Misdemeanor DUI allegations, though not as serious as Felony DUI charges, must be taken seriously. Generally speaking, with misdemeanor DUI charges, a first time offense could receive up to 6 months in County Jail, potentially probation for 3-5 years, fines between $390-$1,000 (base fines), requirement of completing an alcohol program, and license suspension triggered by the conviction for a period of at least 6 months. With any subsequent DUI conviction, penalties only increase. If you have been charged with a DUI, a DUI defense attorney is essential for you to avoid punishment that could take away your rights. In many situations, multiple conviction for the same offense will cause punishment to increase with each offense – such as petty theft offenses and DUI offenses. For example, with each additional DUI conviction within a 10 year period, penalties will only be enhanced – a fourth DUI within 10 years could lead to felony charges, which are punishable by a minimum of 1 year in the state prison.
Felony charges are extremely serious and should be considered accordingly. Felony charges could result in imprisonment in the State Prison for a minimum of one (1) year to life, depending on the charges – with “normal” sentencing range for a single DUI charge being between 16 months to 3 years. A felony charge can result from a DUI arrest if a fourth (4th) DUI has been received within 10 years of each other, or if an accident is involved and that accident resulted in injury or death to another individual. Keep in mind, however, if there is a death involved, the DUI driver could be facing murder or manslaughter charges, as well. It is always a good idea to contact a DUI defense attorney to discuss your specific case, and to offer you some potential outcomes after discussing the details of your case.
In addition to the statutory and legal consequences, you could also face loss of employment, insurance rate increase, inability to find gainful employment, and potential loss of a professional license (i.e., nurse, teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc) as collateral consequences of a DUI conviction. Before accepting any guilty plea, you must carefully consider the present impact, as well as future.
The the Law Office of Scott T. Stotz handles both misdemeanor and felony DUI Defense cases throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino County. If you have been arrested for DUI you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing and avoid an automatic suspension by the DMV. Contact one of our DUI defense attorneys right away to assist you with your hearing.
For more information and to discuss your case, please call the office for a free consultation.