Were you recently arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI) of
drugs or alcohol in Orange County? If so, and this was your
first DUI offense, surely, you’ll be curious about the penalties involved.
Even though the penalties for a
third DUI are greater, a first DUI still has serious consequences.
For starters, a California DUI is what’s called a “wobbler
offense,” which means it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a
felony. In most cases, a first DUI is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. However,
if the impaired driver seriously injured or killed another person as a
result of the drunk or drugged driving, it will likely be charged as a felony.
Basic penalties for a first DUI:
- DUI probation
- DUI School
- Community service
- AA classes
- MADD Victim Impact Panel
- Up to 6 months in jail
- A driver’s license suspension
What Can Increase My Penalties?
There are specific “aggravating factors” that can increase
the standard penalties for a California DUI. If any of the following applies
to your case, you could face enhanced penalties:
You had a high
blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
You had a
child under the age of 15 in your vehicle.
- You had an open container of alcohol in your vehicle.
- You caused an accident while driving under the influence.
- You seriously injured someone else while driving under the influence.
- You accidentally took someone else’s life during the DUI incident.
If you are facing DUI charges in Orange County, it’s critical that
you enlist the support of an experienced
DUI defense attorney. Even if there’s a lot of evidence against you, that doesn’t
mean you should forgo a defense and accept the state’s punishment.
In most cases, having a skilled defense lawyer can make all the difference
in the outcome of a case, even if it’s through a plea bargain that
yields a favorable reduction in penalties.
To protect your freedom and your rights,
contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.