DUI in Vista,CA or San Diego County is a serious offense and carries hard penalties. A DUI arrest can result in considerable jail time, hefty fines, suspended license, drunk driving educational requirements, ignition lock devices and other penalties. A skilled DUI defense attorney can help you get reduced fines, little or no prison time or …even have your charges completely dismissed.
A Felony DUI is a serious offense. When a DUI charge involves the bodily injury or death of another party, the charge is classified as a federal offense, also known as a felony DUI and the penalty is much more severe, including imprisonment in the state prison.
Also, if you’ve been arrested with DUI more than three times, your fourth DUI within a 10 year time-frame will result in a felony DUI charge, even if no one was injured or died. Those prior DUI arrests or convictions must be proven in court.
If you find yourself accused of felony DUI, you need the help of an experienced DUI attorney to represent you in Orange County or San Diego county courts.
According California’s Vehicle Code: Section 23153:
“Any person who, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and any drug, drives a vehicle and when so driving does any act forbidden by law or neglects any duty imposed by law in the driving of such vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than himself, is guilty of a felony.”
If you find yourself accused of DUI with an injury or death (vehicular manslaughter), you need the help of an experienced Felony DUI attorney to represent you.
California DUI Information
When you are charged with DUI (driving under the influence), you are really charged with two offenses:
- “driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or both)” and
- “driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.”
The penalties are the same for both offenses. The punishment and sentencing for each subsequent DUI is more severe and can include large fines and jail time. Typically on the initial DUI conviction, if probation is granted, a potential sentence includes attending an alcohol or drug program and a $390 to $1,000 fine, plus penalty assessments of an additional 180% of the fine; plus either (a) 48 hours to 6 months in jail and a 6 month license suspension; or (B) a 90-day license restriction to and from work, during work, and to and from DUI program following any DMV suspension (available only if a chemical test was not refused).
On the first DUI conviction, if probation is NOT granted, a potential sentence includes 96 hours to 6 months in jail, a $390 to $1,000 fine, and a 6-month license suspension. With or without probation, your vehicle may be impounded for 6 months, and you may be required to have an ignition interlock device on your car for up to three years.
In addition to these punishments, your DUI sentence can be increased if:
- you were excessively speeding (either more than 100 mph, or more than 30 mph over the speed limit) at the time of the DUI,
- you had a child under age 14 in the car at the time of the DUI,
- you had a blood-alcohol reading over .20%,
- you had a previous conviction within 7 years
- you refused to take a blood alcohol or Breathalyzer test
A carefully negotiated plea-bargain may let you avoid a sentence increase.