A DUI conviction in California carries some serious penalties. How severe these penalties are depends on factors like:
A San Mateo DUI and DWI Defense Attorney / Lawyer will be in the best position to help you understand the laws that apply to your particular case, but here is an overview of some of the possible penalty ranges.
A first-time drunk driving conviction results in between 96 hours and six months in county jail and a fine ranging from $390 to $1,000. Your license will be suspended for six months, but you may be able to get a restricted license after the first month. This license lets you drive to and from work.
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If this is your second drunk driving offense, your maximum jail sentence will be raised to one year. The minimum jail sentence and the minimum and maximum fine remain unchanged. However, your license suspension will last two years—four times as long as for a first offense. Furthermore, you will not be eligible for a restricted license until after the first year.
A third conviction dramatically raises your minimum jail sentence from four days to four months. You also face the same $390 to $1,000 fine and a three-year license suspension.
The actual amount you will have to pay if convicted of a DUI is higher than the above-listed fines. That is because you will also have to pay impound fees, DMV fees, court costs, attorney fees, tuition for a state-approved DUI program, and increased insurance premiums. The total estimated cost of a DUI conviction is nearly $9,000.
The penalties get much worse if you are convicted of drunk driving causing a felony injury or death—up to life imprisonment in the most extreme cases. Regardless of the facts of your case, you will benefit by contacting a San Mateo DUI lawyer early on to make sure your rights are protected. Call James Dunn, an expert San Mateo DUI and DWI Defense Attorney today for a free evaluation of your case.