In all 50 states,
driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a crime punishable by jail, probation, mandatory
DUI education, license suspension, and more. Unlike many states, including
Arizona, Georgia, and Tennessee, California does not impose a mandatory
jail sentence for first time DUI offenders. The typical criminal penalties
for a first-time DUI without any aggravating factors, such as bodily injury
or death, include:
- DUI School
- Jail (sometimes)
- DUI Probation
- Driver’s License Suspension
Orange County DUI Penalties
In California, specific
DUI penalties range between counties. Compared to most California counties, Orange County
enforces mild mandatory DUI sentencing. Most DUIs without a prior record
will usually prompt the following consequences:
- Approximately $2,000 in Fines
- 3 Years of Summary Probation
- 3-Month DUI School
- 1-Day MADD Course
Other counties, such as Ventura, Riverside and Los Angles, usually enforce
larger fines and more likely to enforce incarceration. In Riverside County;
for example, fines and penalties can easily cost $2,300, while fines and
penalties in Ventura County may cost as much as $3,000. Additionally,
penalties in other counties include ignition interlock devices and work programs.
A California DUI conviction will influence your insurance rates. If convicted,
you might earn the label "high risk driver," which can prompt
your insurance provider to drop your policy or increase the amount of
money that you must pay to maintain coverage.
Do I Need a DUI Attorney for a First DUI?
The simple answer to this question is
yes. A DUI defense lawyer can offer valuable insight and guidance during your
case, even if you do not have prior
DUI arrests. Although the penalties are less severe than subsequent offenses, your
first DUI can have far-reaching consequences.
Such consequences include difficulty obtaining certain jobs (e.g. law enforcement),
finding affordable auto insurance, and acquiring many types of professional
licenses, including real estate licenses and nursing licenses. Let’s
not forget that even though most first-time DUIs are misdemeanors, they
are reported on people’s criminal records indefinitely, so they
do come up on background checks.
If you are facing DUI charges in Orange County,
contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with OC’s DUI Queen!