If you are convicted of DUI in California, you may face a variety of penalties. The severity of the penalties will vary depending on the circumstances of your case. For instance, your punishment may be enhanced if you had an extremely high blood alcohol content, had a child in the car or caused an accident that resulted in bodily injury or death.
Penalties for a first offense
A conviction for a first offense will result in a jail sentence of anywhere from a few days to a few months, and you may also spend up to five years on probation. This is in addition to a fine of up to $1,000 and a license suspension of up to a year. However, you may be able to get your license reinstated so that you can go to work or to an alcohol rehabilitation facility.
Penalties may be enhanced
If you cause an accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may spend up to 10 years in prison. Penalties may also be enhanced if you have been convicted of drunk driving. Other DUI consequences may include the need to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and attending a DUI education program for up to nine months. You will generally be required to pay the cost of having a device installed in your car or to take a DUI education class.
A DUI conviction may have a significant impact on your life even if you aren’t sentenced to jail time. This is because fines, court costs and other fees may make it difficult to keep up with your other expenses. In addition, losing your license may make it difficult to get to work assuming that you keep your job.