There are many common questions on California DUI laws, and this post will go over each question, each law, and what penalties you can expect.
California DUI – Your Arrest
You’ve been arrested, what next? The officer is required by law to forward a notice of suspension along with a report to the DMV. At this point, you can appeal to the DMV within 10 days stating how you thought the arrest was wrong. If approved, you get your license back. If not, you face charges of drinking and driving, and will be punished.
What are the penalties?
For first time offenses, you typically lose your license for six months, pays fines of about $1,500, face a mandatory 48 hour jail sentence, and appear in court. You also will have to take DUI classes. If this is not your first DUI, the penalties, as with all other states, get worse. You face longer license suspensions, higher fees, and longer jail sentences.
How do you get your license back?
At the end of your suspension, your license will be returned. You must also pay a fee of $125. If, however, you appeal and win, your license will be immediately returned to you. This is difficult without the right California DUI lawyer.
How can a lawyer help?
A lawyer is a necessary step in fighting for your rights and lessening penalties if not eliminating them. You can represent yourself in court, but it’s always wise to get professional counsel.
How much does a lawyer cost?
Fees vary, but lawyers are not free and this is a business. It will depend on the time required, but a good lawyer actually saves you time, money, and headaches, especially if you win an appeal. You have to consider how much you value your license, how much you want to avoid fines, and that you want to keep this off your record. And a lawyer is integral in getting your license back if you ever do lose it as part of a DUI or aggravated DUI.
What if you’re charged with a felony?
A felony charge can also be called an aggravated DUI, and this usually occurs for one of several reasons. You may have multiple DUI violations, you may have hit another driver or pedestrian while drinking and driving, or you may have been putting a minor in danger. If any of these occur, you get a felony charge in some cases instead of a misdemeanor (you get a misdemeanor for a regular California DUI). Felony charges, as it sounds, can come with very severe penalties. This too makes it important to hire an experienced California DUI attorney.
How do you start over?
If you’re found guilty of a driving under the influence, lose your license, get fines, and have to serve jail time, it may seem like the end of the world. It’s not. If you can stay on track, and get the help of a lawyer, you can successfully get a second chance to be a driver. Just avoid ever drinking and driving again; the penalties get worse the more you do it.