In California, many who are convicted of a first-time DUI are allowed probation, instead of jail time with various other sentencing requirements. Violation of DUI probation terms can have serious repercussions, such as revocation of your probation status and re-sentencing to a term in county jail or in state prison. Thus, anyone facing such allegations should consult an experienced DUI lawyer without delay.
Some probation conditions that may or may not be imposed for a DUI conviction, depending on if it was a first-time or repeat offense, include:
- A 6-month to 4-year driver’s license suspension/revocation: Sometimes, you can obtain a restricted driver’s license that permits you to drive a vehicle to work, school, and DUI alcohol programs. If, however, you drive without a license or to an unapproved location using a restricted license, you have violated probation.
- A 12-hour to 30-month DUI School: If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while attending a court ordered DUI alcohol program, you could be expelled from the class and incur a probation violation.
Probationary impositions that apply regardless of whether it be a first-time or repeat offense include:
- Informal probation for 3 to 5 years: “Informal” indicates you do not have to report to a probation officer, but you still must follow all of the terms of probation.
- Avoidance of further criminal offenses: While traffic “infractions” do not count as criminal, any crime committed while on probation will terminate your probation.
- Requirement to take all BAC tests: If, while on probation, you are stopped by an officer on suspicion of DUI, you lose your right to refuse BAC tests. This includes the PAS, blood sample, breath, urine, and all other tests used by police.
- Zero tolerance on BAC level while driving: Instead of .08%, any measurable quantity of alcohol in your blood stream whatsoever will count as a violation of your probation and will cause a new one year suspension of your license.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device: Ignition interlock devices “lock” your car so it will not start until you provide a BAC sample with zero alcohol content. In Los Angeles, the device is required for every DUI conviction. The time during which the device is required can range from 5 months to 4 years, and it is installed at your expense. Any violation will be detected by the device and end your probationary privileges.
When convicted of a DUI, it is always better to get probation than to be incarcerated.
It is wise to consult an experienced, local DUI lawyer should you find yourself faced with charges.
Prosecutors will know all the best approaches to use in getting you convicted, and if you don’t have a lawyer on your side that can anticipate and counter the prosecution’s strategies, you will be at an extreme disadvantage.
Give me a call today if you need to discuss your case in confidence with an experienced DUI attorney.
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