What Can I Expect After a First DUI Arrest in Los Angeles, California?

At Kosnett Law Firm, our DUI defense attorneys in Los Angeles understand how disruptive drunk driving charges can be to our client’s personal and professional lives, beginning with getting your car towed, an arrest, and spending the night in jail.

While California state law treats DUI as a misdemeanor, the penalties that follow the initial arrest are steep and can have long-term consequences that affect different aspects of your life, including your ability to legally operate a vehicle going forward.

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles County, contact our criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles today to learn how we can minimize the fallout of the charges, so you can get your life back.

What are the Penalties for a DUI in Los Angeles, California?

Assuming there was no property damage, accidents with injuries, or other extenuating circumstances that occurred as part of the arrest, a first DUI conviction in California is a misdemeanor.

The penalties for a conviction include:

  • Fines up to $1,000, and penalty assessments that can substantially increase the total.
  • Your license will automatically be suspended for 30 days after your arrest unless you request a hearing with the DMV to pursue a restricted license.
  • Total license suspension up to six months.
  • Any driver that refuses a BAC test faces a one-year, mandatory administrative license suspension.
  • First offenders may be eligible to apply for a restricted license that allows them to drive to work, school, and court-ordered appointments, but requires an ignition interlock device to be installed on their vehicles.
  • Even those who do not apply for the restricted license will generally be required to install an IID for up to six months after their licenses are reinstated.
  • Probation requirements, which may last from three-five years, and includes participation in a three-month DUI school or 30 total hours.
  • For offenders who were arrested with a BAC of .20 or more, the DUI classes are extended to nine months or 60 total hours.
  • Jail time is possible for first offenders, which typically starts with a minimum of 48 hours up to six months, but the sentence is not mandatory and is at a judge’s discretion.

In California, the law has separate sets of penalties for first, second, and third+ offense DUIs, and they are much steeper than the initial charges.

If you are facing a DUI charge, whether the consequences include fines and court costs, treatment and education programs, a suspended license, and limited driving privileges, or if you are facing a second or third offense, you will need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney in Los Angeles to devise a unique defense strategy that can help minimize the penalties you face as a result.

Contact Our Los Angeles DUI Attorneys at Kosnett Law Firm to Learn More About Your Legal Options Today

If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Kosnett Law Firm today by calling (310) 445-5900 or by contacting us online. We will explain your legal rights and options, so you can make informed decisions about the direction of your case.

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