California DUI Penalties 2013

The State of California delivers harsh penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or the combined effect of both. These penalties include fines, license suspension, and significant jail time. The penalties are harsher for repeat offenders. Violators who have three or more priors convictions may gain a felony charge. With an accident causing injury, this offense can be a felony even if you have no prior convictions.  If you’ve violated this law, here is what to expect.

What To do if You’re Arrested for a DUI

CA DUI penalties 2013 are comprised of 23152 (a) and 23152 (b). Under the 23152 (a), it’s unlawful for any person to drive a vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug. Regardless of what your BAC or blood alcohol level, you can be convicted of the offense. Some people have been convicted of driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.01 percent or even .00 if they are under the influence or prescription or illegal drugs.  Minors under 21 can be convicted of the per se law at .01, commercial drivers at .04 and all other drivers at .08.

Usually police will pull you over if your driving is impaired. This may include speeding, getting into an accident, weaving in and out of lanes, driving too slowly, and failure to use a turn signal. For instance, a person can be pulled over and tested for DUI if they failed to stop at a stop sign.   Other stops are initiated at DUI checkpoints, or the result of an accident.

What are the Penalties for a DUI conviction?

The CA DUI penalties 2013 consisted of incarceration for a maximum of anywhere from 6 months to life in prison depending on the facts of the case and a maximum fine of $1,000s of dollars. The  License suspension is required in most instances, but the driver may be eligible for temporary restricted driving privileges in some cases.  The license suspension can also be fought just like the case in court, but through a separate administrative hearing process called an APS hearing.   Failure to request a hearing will result in a default and the license is automatically suspended.  In order to avoid the default, a hearing must be requested within 10 days of the date the driver was contacted for suspicion of DUI.

The CA DUI penalties 2013 may get even more severe if another violation is made within 10 years. In this instance, incarceration may be up to one year, a mandatory jail sentence, and fines of $1,000s of dollars. Your license will also be suspended in this instance for a much longer period than on a first time DUI.  Habitual offenders with two or more prior convictions can expect that their mandatory minimum jail sentence will be 180 day or more.

How to Negotiate a Settlement

Plea bargains can be negotiated with proper legal representation. Qualified attorneys may take police officers off the streets to provide testimony in a court of law. This can help drivers avoid conviction and keep their driving privileges. Some defendants may relinquish privileges to get a less harsh sentence. Probationary sentencing is also available and can be supplemented with DUI education, which may entail an 12 hour, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, 18 or 30 month program to get licenses restored. It’s important to know your rights and take the proper steps to avoid harsher penalties.  Anyone facing a DUI charge should contact an attorney with experience in California DUI law as soon as possible.

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