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Do I Have to Go to Jail for a DUI?

You were just arrested for driving under the influence, does that mean that you have to go to jail? Unlike a simple traffic violation, DUI is a criminal offense. That means that it is possible that you could go to jail, but it depends on the individual circumstances of your case and the skills of your defense attorney.

When it comes to sentencing (jail or prison time) for a DUI case, many factors come into play, such as:

  • Your criminal history.
  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • If you injured anyone else.
  • If someone was killed.
  • If you were on probation for another crime.
  • If there was a minor in your vehicle.

Each DUI case is unique, and so are the circumstances. Was this your first offense? Were you involved in an accident? Did you injure someone else as a result of drunk driving? Who is your judge?

Some judges are known for sentencing first-time offenders to probation instead of jail, while others are notorious for signing off on plea bargains that reduce the burden on the courts, while allowing for reduced charges and sentences.

Sentencing for a DUI under California Vehicle Code Division 11.5:

  • O to 6 months for a first DUI offense
  • 96 hours to 1 year in jail for a second offense
  • Between 4 months and 1 year in jail for a third offense
  • Between 1 and 5 years in state prison for a fourth offense

These guidelines explain how much time a judge can sentence you for a DUI, but that does not necessarily mean that it will happen.

Depending on the facts of the case, a good DUI attorney may fight a defendant’s charges and win, or the prosecution may offer a plea of wet reckless (a lesser charge), or the defense may negotiate probation in lieu of jail time.

If you spent the night in Orange County’s drunk tank, this may be the only time you spend in custody, but we recommend you immediately contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a hard-hitting defense.

Every day we’re in court fighting to keep our clients out of jail and at home with their families where they belong, and we’d be glad to do the same for you.

Get a Board Certified DUI defense specialist on your side – call today!