If you are convicted of drunk driving in California, your DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record for your entire life, unless otherwise ordered by the court. However, with regard to your driving record, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for a period of 10 years after the date of the incident.
In addition to the conviction being on your record for a long time, there are a number of other penalties that are imposed by the law and the Department of Motor Vehicles that you should be aware of when you are facing a DUI. If you or someone you know is charged with a DUI in California, the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you fight these DUI charges.
Prosecution for DUI
In California, there are two distinct DUI laws which may be charged depending on the circumstances of your case. California Vehicle Code 23152(a) prohibits “driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or both);” and California Vehicle Code 23152(b) prohibits “driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.” Regardless of how you are charged, you will still be facing the same punishments.
In order to convict you of a DUI under CVC 23152(a), the prosecution must prove that:
1. You drove the vehicle; AND
2. When you drove, you were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or a drug, or both
In order to convict you of a DUI under CVC 23152(b), the prosecution must prove that:
1. You drove the vehicle; AND
2. When you drove, your blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.08% or more by weight
It is important to note that if you are charged under CVC 23152(a), the prosecution does not need to prove your BAC, only that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or both, at the time you were driving.
DMV Hearing to Avoid a Suspended License
Even if you have not yet been convicted of a DUI under California Vehicle Code 23152, you will be required to take steps beyond the legal system to ensure that your rights are protected. When you are arrested for a DUI in California, you will have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing, which will determine whether your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of up to one year.
At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. If you successfully contest the suspension, you will be able to keep your driver’s license while fighting your DUI charges.
If you fail to schedule a hearing within 10 days of being arrested for a DUI, then your license will automatically be suspended for up to six months. If you fail to contest your driver’s license suspension, then the DMV will add two (2) points to your driver’s license. The two points will remain on your record for the full period of ten (10) years.
Punishment for DUI
Apart from the DMV penalties that you will face when you are charged with your first DUI, you will also be subject to:
1. A jail sentence in county jail of up to six months
2. A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000)
3. Probation from three to five years; AND
4. A requirement that you successfully complete a lengthy driving-under-the-influence program
The penalties for subsequent DUIs become progressively severe with more stringent requirements.
California DUI Defense Attorney
At Wallin & Klarich, we know that facing a possible DUI conviction is scary and can have a long-lasting, negative effect on your life. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients in DUI cases. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville, Torrance, Sherman Oaks, and West Covina. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL. We will get through this together.