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1st Offense

DUI Penalties

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Summary of Penalties

If you’ve been convicted of a first DUI that is charged as a misdemeanor, you can expect the court to order one or the following conditions:

You will face a minimum two days in county jail and a maximum of six months. 

 

3 to 5 years of informal probation, also known as summary probation.

 

DUI school that will range between 3 to 9 months. In the majority of first offenses, the court will order you to the 3-month course unless your BAC was over .20 or you refused a chemical test.

 

Fines and penalty assessments up to $2,000.

 

A suspension of your driver’s license up to 6 months.  You may be able to get a restricted license if you install an ignition interlock device.

Custody Time

In most cases, the court will order the minimum jail sentence of two days. If you were booked into jail before midnight and then released the next day, the court will give you credit for two days as time served and you will not have to serve additional time.  If you only have credit for one day, the court may allow you to serve the second day on a weekend by sitting in the sheriff’s department lobby. If you are sentenced to more time in custody than two days, you may be able to perform the additional custody time on work release or sheriff alternative custody program, such as ankle monitoring, work release, or work furlough.

Probation Conditions

If you are placed on probation the court is going to order a variety of conditions.  In every DUI case, the court will order that you not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood.  You will also be required to submit to a chemical test at the request of any peace officer. This may include the PAS test at the scene. 

The court may also order optional conditions such as the installation of an IID, attendance at alcohol anonymous meetings, or in serious cases attendance in an outpatient rehab program.

Watson Advisement

If you are convicted of a first DUI or plead to a lesser charge such as a wet-reckless, you will be given what is known as the “Watson” advisement.  The Watson advisement reads:

“I understand that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. I understand that it is extremely dangerous to human life to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. I understand that if I continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and as a result of my driving, someone is killed, I can be charged with murder.”

It is very important that you understand the meaning of this.  If you have been convicted of a DUI, and then you drive under the influence a second time and that results in a person being killed, you will be charged with murder.  Although the advisement says “may” you can be sure that every prosecuting agency will charge you with murder.

License Suspension

If you are placed on probation the court is going to order a variety of conditions.  In every DUI case, the court will order that you not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood.  You will also be required to submit to a chemical test at the request of any peace officer. This may include the PAS test at the scene. 

The court may also order optional conditions such as the installation of an IID, attendance at alcohol anonymous meetings, or in serious cases attendance in an outpatient rehab program.

DUI School

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, or plead to a wet reckless, you will be required to attend a DUI education program. This program is required by the courts and is also a requirement to getting your license back. You may file a declaration stating you are not intending to get your license back, but you should know that the DMV will require you to complete the course to get your license back, even if you attempt to do so 10 years from now.

 

DUI programs are conducted in-person.  You also cannot “pre-enroll” in the program as most will require that you have either a court order or a suspension from DMV before being allowed to enroll.

 

For a wet-reckless program, you will be required to attend a total of six sessions, each being two hours.

 

If you are convicted of a first DUI and ordered to the three month program, you will be required to attend a total of six, two hour education sessions; nine two-hour group counseling sessions; and three individual sessions that last for approximately 15 minutes.

If you are convicted of a first DUI and ordered to the six-month program, you will be required to attend: six two-hour education classes; 16 two-hour group counseling sessions; and four individual sessions that last approximately 15 minutes.

 

If you are convicted of a first DUI and ordered to the nine-month program, you will be required to attend: six two-hour education classes; twenty-four (24) two-hour counseling sessions; and six individual sessions that last approximately 15 minutes.

 

If you’ve agreed to take the second offender, 18 month program, you will be required to attend: six two-hour education classes; twenty-six (26) two-hour group counseling sessions; twenty-six (26) individual sessions that last approximately 15 minutes; and six one-hour sessions a month for the last six months of the program.

Dedicated DUI Attorney

Kevin Ballard is a dedicated DUI attorney based in Fairfield who understands how to effectively defend those charged with DUIs. Kevin is one of the few attorneys who is both a former prosecutor and trained as a police officer. As such, Kevin knows first hand how DUIs are handled from the initial traffic stop through prosecution and appeal. Let the Law Office of Kevin L. Ballard help you today defend your rights and protect your liberty.