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Does a California DUI Mean Jail?

Since a large percentage of people drink, driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common offenses that people are arrested for. Not only that, but the vast majority of people who are arrested for DUI aren’t exactly hardened criminals.

DUI defendants come from all walks of life. They’re teachers, truck drivers, doctors, servers, counselors, college students, entrepreneurs, and stay-at-home moms and dads. When you’re a DUI defendant and you have a job or a family depending on you, the last thing you can afford is to go to jail.

For people with jobs and young children, a jail sentence imposes a big problem. If you were recently arrested for DUI in Orange County and you can relate to this predicament, you’re probably wondering if a DUI conviction means that you’ll be automatically sent to jail, and that is a very good question.

Will you be sent to jail?

Nobody wants to go to jail. If you’re sentenced to jail, will your job be there when you get back? Since California is an “at-will” employment state, your employer can fire you for any reason as long as it has nothing to do with discrimination. So, could they fire you for an extended absence due to a DUI? You bet they can.

Will you go to jail? It depends on the circumstances of your case.

If this was your first DUI and there were no aggravating circumstances, such as you didn’t have a high BAC, there was no accident or injuries, and there was no child in your vehicle at the time of the arrest, then you may be granted probation in lieu of jail. Usually, a first DUI is punishable by 0 to 6 months in jail.

Otherwise, the sentencing for second and subsequent DUIs within 10 years are as follows:

  • Second DUI – up to 1 year in jail
  • Third DUI – up to 1 year in jail
  • Fourth DUI – up to 5 years in state prison

In addition to the above, factors such as a blood alcohol concentration of .16% or greater, having a minor in the vehicle age 14 or under, or causing an auto accident that results in injury or death can lead to enhanced penalties.

Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.

If you want to avoid going to jail, the best thing for you to do is fight your DUI charges, or negotiate a favorable plea bargain, and our Orange County DUI defense firm can help you with that. Don’t wait – contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. without delay!