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Will I Go to Jail for a First-Time DUI Offense?

Were you arrested for drunk driving in California? If so, you may be wondering whether or not you will have to spend any time in jail. The answer to this question is: it depends. The severity of the penalties that you could be facing will ultimately depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. For example, the penalties for a first-time DUI offense are much different than those imposed for a second, third or subsequent offense. It is also true that you would face enhanced sentencing if you caused an accident that resulted in injury while driving under the influence. Generally speaking, however, you can expect to face the following legal penalties if convicted of a first, second or third DUI in California:

First DUI Offense

  • Although the court may not sentence you to jail for a first-time DUI offense (especially if your blood alcohol concentration was borderline illegal), it is still possible that you could be asked to serve up to six months in jail. You could also be ordered to pay a $390 fine, give up your driving privileges for 30 days and attended an alcohol-treatment program.

Second DUI Offense

  • If you have been convicted of a prior DUI offense, you may be asked to serve a mandatory jail sentence of ten days or 96 hours total in jail—with at least two 48-hour sessions. You could also be ordered to pay a $390 fine, forfeit your driver's license for a period of two years and install an ignition interlock device on all of the vehicles that you own.

Third DUI Offense

  • If you have been convicted of two prior DUI offenses, you may be asked to serve a mandatory jail sentence of 120 days. You could also be ordered to pay a $390 fine plus penalty assessments, give up your driver's license for a period of three years and forfeit your vehicle to impoundment for a maximum of 90 days (at your own expense).

Regardless of whether or not you are expected to face jail time for your DUI charges, it is important to understand that the consequences of a conviction are often long-lasting. Not only will a conviction remain on your permanent criminal record, but a suspended license could limit your ability to get to and from work. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to secure the help of a San Jose DUI attorney from The Law Offices of Daman Allen Arant as soon as you have been arrested. If you are interested in discussing your case with our experienced legal team, call now to schedule your free consultation.

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