California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
Call or Message Us 24/7
When people plead guilty to a California DUI charge, they usually get placed on probation. The court imposes certain “terms and conditions of probation.” Violating these terms and conditions may result in a bench warrant for one’s arrest, a probation violation, and possible jail time.
The terms of probation consist of affirmative duties and prohibitions. Affirmative duties include, for example, enrolling in and completing California DUI school, and completing a MADD victim impact class. Prohibitions include refraining from breaking the law, from driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in one’s system, and from driving without proper liability insurance.
Most bench warrants get issued for people failing to complete the affirmative requirements. For example, one must enroll in the DUI school within 21 days of sentencing. Most judges require you to return to court with a “proof of enrollment” within 30 days of sentencing, and a “proof of completion” within 6 months.
Merely completing DUI school is not sufficient. The person must also return to court and show proof. Neglecting to follow through on this triggers a bench warrant, and the police can arrest you and bring you to court in custody.
If the person enrolled in and completed DUI school, judges will usually just give a verbal warning about failing to bring proof to the court. But a person who ignores the DUI school altogether could see his probation violated and be put in jail for up to the maximum term—which, in a first-time DUI case, is six months. Learn more in our about article on California DUI penalties.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
Because a “no contest” plea under California DUI law is essentially the same as a guilty plea…given that both result in a sentence…you may not give much thought to which plea to enter if you are about to be convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence. But if your DUI involved any other cars, passengers, ...
California’s victim restitution laws provide that any person who suffers an economic loss due to another person’s criminal act is entitled to recoup those expenses. This means that if you are arrested for driving under the influence…and the incident involves an accident…California law may require you to pay victim restitution. If the victim can prove ...
You may have heard that people under the age of twenty-one (21) face a lower threshold for being convicted of California DUI. This is correct. The laws that apply to underage (under-21) DUI in California are a bit different than those for people 21 and older. The first thing to remember is that if you break ...
There are pros and cons to both breath tests and blood tests in Nevada DUI cases. Breathalyzer tests in Nevada DUI cases: Pros: Breathalyzers test only for alcohol, so they will not show if the person is high as opposed to drunk. But note that if the cop suspects the driver is high, the cop ...