California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
DUI » What Are the Penalties for a First DUI Offense in California?
Getting a DUI is an unpleasant experience, to say the least. Most people think that if they have been cited for a DUI, they are basically doomed. This is not always the case. There are many factors that can affect a DUI charge. With the help of qualified legal counsel, it is possible to sometimes lessen the charges, strike a plea deal, or even have the charges dismissed altogether.
That said, if you are convicted of a DUI in California and it is your first offense, the penalties are:
If there are aggravating factors, these penalties will be more severe. Aggravating factors include:
If someone was hurt as a result of your DUI incident, the fines become far more serious. This offense is set out in California Vehicle Code 23153 VC. It is also called a “wobbler” which means that it can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. The penalties for a misdemeanor include:
If it is classified as a felony, the penalties are:
Also read our article about IID requirements in California DUI cases.
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.
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