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What to Expect in California If You're Arrested for DUI

In California, being charged with DUI is a serious criminal violation. DUI offenses can ruin your image and take away a significant portion of your driving privileges. Previous DUI convictions can further harm your driving privileges, immigration status, and professional prospects.



This article will discuss what to anticipate when dealing with DUI charges. This site can also assist you in understanding the DMV hearing procedure and the penalties associated with a DUI arrest.

In most situations, getting a DUI for the first time in California is a misdemeanor. Depending on the specifics of the offense, California has several different DUI penalties.

These neighborhood laws are as follows:

  • 23152 VC of the California Vehicle Code. It is against the law to drive while intoxicated in the state, according to this legal statute. According to Section (b) of this Vehicle Code, it is likewise prohibited for drivers to have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more.
  • 23152(f) of the California Vehicle Code. It is against the law for drivers to operate a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, as stated in this section of Vehicle Code 23152.
  • 23152(g) of the California Vehicle Code. It is forbidden to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, as stated in this section of the code.
  • 23152(d) of the California Vehicle Code. According to this part of the vehicle code, commercial drivers are not permitted to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or more.
  • 23152(e) of the California Vehicle Code. According to this part of the vehicle code, it is illegal for any for-hire drivers to operate a service vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or above.
  • 23153 VC of the California Vehicle Code. Any injury brought on by a drunk driver is not considered to be the result of negligence, according to the first section of this Vehicle Code.

Depending on the seriousness of the incident, a DUI charge carries a variety of penalties. Penalties for a drunk driving arrest that results in injury or death are more severe than they are in a case of simple drunk driving.


Here is what to expect if you are arrested for a DUI in California for the first time

  • DMV Hearing

If you are arrested in California for a DUI, you must set up a hearing with the DMV. An administrative per se hearing is the name given to this procedure. Your license will either be suspended or revoked throughout this procedure, depending on the DMV's decision.

During the arrest, the responding law enforcement officer will also seize your driver's license. You only have ten days from the time you receive a notice of your DUI arrest to ask for a hearing with the DMV. If not, the DMV has the ability to immediately suspend your driver's license.

You will receive a notice of suspension when a law enforcement official takes possession of your license. A phone number for scheduling a DMV hearing is listed in this notice. The DUI defense lawyer does this frequently.

The DMV will provide you a 30-day temporary license after a hearing is arranged. The DMV may not be able to hold your hearing within 30 days in some circumstances, though. In certain situations, they will issue a document enabling the interim license extension.

  • License Suspension Imposed By The Court

The court may suspend your license if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated or under the influence in California. Depending on your circumstances, this suspension will last for a specific number of months or years.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the scheduled DMV hearing is separate from any criminal trial. You can avoid having your license suspended by the court by scheduling a hearing with the DMV. But this is insufficient. You must still prevail in the administrative hearing.

Avoiding a "plead guilty" or "no contest" is also crucial to avoiding a court-ordered license suspension. To avoid a court-ordered suspension, it is best to hire the best DUI defense attorney.

  • A Court Appearance Is Required

In California, if you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you will be required to appear in court for a criminal hearing. Failing to appear in court for your scheduled hearing can result in serious consequences, including the issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest and potential revocation or suspension of your driver's license.

Once you are convicted of a DUI offense in California, attending all court hearings is mandatory. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in further legal penalties, including additional fines and the possibility of a longer jail sentence.

It's important to take DUI charges seriously and to seek legal counsel to help navigate the legal process. Your attorney can advise you on the specific requirements for your case and help you understand what you need to do to comply with the law and avoid further legal consequences.

  • DUI Court Case vs. DMV Hearing for License Suspension

A DMV license suspension hearing is a civil proceeding that is separate from the criminal court case. This hearing is conducted to determine whether or not the defendant's driver's license should be suspended as a result of a DUI arrest. The hearing officer has limited authority and can only make a decision regarding the suspension of the defendant's driver's license. The DMV cannot impose any criminal penalties, and losing the DMV hearing does not result in a criminal record.

On the other hand, a DUI court case is a criminal proceeding that can result in severe penalties, including fines, probation, community service, and even imprisonment. The criminal court judge has the authority to impose these penalties, and a conviction in criminal court will result in a criminal record, which can have long-lasting consequences.

It's important to note that the outcome of a DMV license suspension hearing does not affect the criminal court case, and vice versa. However, if a defendant is convicted in criminal court, the judge may impose a driver's license suspension or revocation as part of the criminal penalties. In some cases, the court may reverse the DMV's decision regarding the defendant's driver's license suspension, depending on the outcome of the criminal court case.

It's crucial to have legal representation for both the DMV license suspension hearing and the criminal court case to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome in both proceedings.

  • California's First-Time Dui Offender Penalties

If you are arrested for inebriated driving in California, you could be subject to a number of legal repercussions. Most of the time, a first DUI offense is a misdemeanor. If you are able to get a "ignition interlock device limited license" for a few months, you might be able to continue driving despite this degree of crime.

Also, you'll probably need to attend DUI classes. You can also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle by the court.

You may be facing more serious charges that could lead to jail time if your blood alcohol level was extremely high or if you were involved in an accident.

To help you better grasp the potential consequences of being charged with drunk driving, here is a list:

  1. Probation or jail time for DUI. A county jail sentence of six months is imposed for a minor DUI. You could be placed on informal probation for three to five years by the court.
  2. DUI school. For a first offense DUI, an instructional DUI program typically lasts three to nine months.
  3. Calculating penalties. A first-time DUI offender typically pays a fine between $1,500 and $2,000.
  4. Suspension of license. A first-time DUI offender's license may be suspended for six months. Instead than suspending a defendant's license, the court may provide them a number of other choices.
  5. Ignition interlock device. Arrested defendants in California must install an IID for six months in the majority of the state's counties. The court's decision to demand an IID will be based on a number of variables.
  6. Additional sanctions. Foreign defendants may experience some immigration repercussions or only have certain travel rights.

No matter the facts of your situation, you must quickly find knowledgeable legal counsel. You can get a good case result with the assistance of a DUI attorney.


Our Final Thoughts

In conclusion, being arrested for DUI in California is a sobering experience, and the legal process can be overwhelming. The DMV hearing, license suspension, and court appearance can be daunting for anyone, but it's crucial to remember that there are legal options available to you. A DUI court case and DMV hearing for license suspension are distinct legal proceedings, and it's important to understand the difference between the two. California's first-time DUI offender penalties are severe, but the consequences of a DUI conviction can last a lifetime.

If you're facing DUI charges in California, it's vital to seek the advice of an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome. Remember, driving under the influence is a serious offense that endangers the safety of everyone on the road. By understanding what to expect and seeking the help of a qualified attorney, you can mitigate the risks and protect your rights.



Do You Need a DUI Lawyer You Can Trust?

With Lynn Gorelick you don't have to face criminal charges alone. You will receive personal attention to your case. Ms. Gorelick will be the one to appear in court with you from beginning to end. Ms. Gorelick, herself, will be doing your DMV hearings. You will not be handed off to another attorney or associate. You deserve this kind of attention to your needs at this stressful time. Ms. Gorelick has represented people charged with DUI for over 38 years.  She has NEVER been a prosecutor who pursues convictions. She has only DEFENDED people accused of crimes. Contact us today for your consultation!



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