Sacramento DUI Penalties

DUI Penalties

One of the most common questions asked by someone facing a DUI charge is what kind of DUI penalties can they expect. Although the State of California has general guidelines to follow, much of your sentencing is negotiable. Meaning, both the courts and the district attorney’s office have a considerable amount of leeway in deciding your ultimate fate.

Since so much of your sentence comes down to skilled negotiations and understanding the specifics of the law, hiring a good DUI attorney is the first thing to consider when facing a DUI charge.

The Law Office of Joshua Kaizuka has over 15 years of experience in representing individuals accused of a DUI and their families. Our skilled attorneys know what tactics work in cases like yours and can help you understand the complex nature of DUI arrests and penalties.

If you are someone you know needs advice for dealing with a drunk driving incident, contact our offices today at 916-706-0678. Consultations are free of charge, and our team of experts can assist with answering any questions you might have.

1st Offense DUI Sentencing

In California, DUI charges are considered “priorable” offenses. Meaning, for every repeat conviction that occurs within a 10-year period, the resulting punishment increases each time. This is why it is so important to enlist the help of a qualified DUI law firm when confronting these kinds of incidents.

Most first-time offenders do not receive the maximum penalties allowed (without extenuating circumstances), but fall somewhere in this range:

  • Informal (“summary”) probation for three to five years
  • A jail sentence of up to six months
  • Minimum $390 fine (maximum of $1000) which ends up being over $2000-$3000 with penalties and assessments depending on the county
  • Completion of a mandatory three to nine-month DUI program
  • Driver’s license suspension for a period of six to ten months

It is important to note that for any DUI arrest, the California DMV will automatically suspend your driving privileges after 30 days of being charged. The only way to avoid this suspension is to request a DMV Hearing within ten days of your arrest.

The law office of Joshua Kaizuka can help you file your request, and if facing misdemeanor charges only, can appear on your behalf at the hearing. If you would like to take advantage of this valuable service, contact our office and speak to one of our DUI specialists.

2nd Offense DUI Sentencing

Although some aspects remain the same, many of the penalties for repeat offenders are increased with each additional violation. If you are facing a second DUI charge in less than ten years, the following is what might happen:

  • Summary probation from three to five years
  • County jail time from ten days to one year
  • Minimum $390 fine (maximum of $1000) which ends up being over $2000-$3000 with penalties and assessments depending on the county
  • Completion of a mandatory 18 month DUI program
  • Driver’s license suspension for a period of two years

Again, different counties, judges, and prosecutors will recommend specific sentences based on the type of DUI case and the past criminal history of the defendant.

Although nothing is guaranteed, having a reputable DUI attorney on your side can greatly increase your chances of earning a reduced sentence or smaller fines. Without proper representation – and knowledge of California DUI penalties – defendants are left at the mercy of the courts when it comes to sentencing for their crimes.

For most people, driving is a fundamental element of their livelihood and too important to leave to chance. Don’t risk it! Contact the Law Office of Joshua Kaizuka today to ensure your rights are protected. We will do everything possible to keep your driving privileges intact or reduce the amount of time you are forced to go without them.

3rd Offense DUI Sentencing

If someone is arrested for a third DUI violation, the sentencing phase becomes significantly more costly. This is due to the fact that California is a “three strikes law” state. Government rules say that the courts must hand down harsher penalties for those considered to be “habitual offenders.”

Such penalties include:

  • Summary probation from three to five years
  • County jail time from one hundred and twenty day to one year
  • Minimum $390 fine (maximum of $1000) which ends up being over $2000-$3000 with penalties and assessments depending on the county
  • Completion of a mandatory 18 month DUI program
  • Driver’s license suspension for a period of up to ten years

Note that depending on the decision of the court; drivers may be required to install an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) after any DUI conviction. IIDs are mini breathalyzers that require the driver to blow into the device before their car starts. If any alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath, the vehicle’s ignition system is disabled.

4th Offense and Injury-Related DUI Sentencing

As you can imagine, DUI punishments involving injuries or fourth-time offenders can be some of the most severe of all. This final class of sentencing is different because these cases can be tried as felonies instead of misdemeanors.

The results of these kinds of cases include:

  • A California prison sentence of sixteen months to 4 years or more in DUI injury cases with a great bodily injury enhancement which makes the case a strike
  • $10000 in fines or more
  • Completion of a mandatory 18 to 30-month drug or alcohol recovery program
  • Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) designation
  • Restitution (payment) required to any injured parties

Choosing a California DUI Attorney

When facing something as serious as a DUI conviction, you need the help of an experienced attorney to minimize your DUI penalties. We understand what it takes to win DUI cases and seeks to help clients negotiate the best DUI settlements possible.

If you need help with your legal situation, contact us today to learn more about the services we can provide. Consultations are free of charge, and we are always honest in discussing the merits of your case.

Call us at 916-706-0678 and let’s work together to find the best solution for your specific DUI needs.