In case you are charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in California, your penalties depend upon two main factors:
- The number of DUI charges in your record in the last ten years
- Injuries caused to other individuals because of your driving
Irrespective of the severity of the situation, hire a Ventura DUI lawyer after you have been charged. The DUI attorney can help you to a large extent in mitigating the penalties. They allow you to request a hearing. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) hearing is essential to save your license, and it provides an opportunity to use your defense strategies for minimal damage.
When charged for DUI, you face jail time, fines, and license suspension in California. For the first DUI offence, you may be charged with six months of jail time, up to $1000 in fines and six months of license suspension.
For the second DUI offence, your jail time can go up to one year, along with $1000 in fines and a 2-year license suspension. The penalties for the third offence is almost the same as the second DUI charge.
Fortunately, the penalties can be reduced or eliminated. Most cases are dismissed as misdemeanor DUI. A Ventura-based DUI lawyer can make the task easier for you.
When you are charged for drunk driving for the fourth time (or more instances) within a ten-year time frame, it is considered a felony DUI. The fines and court fees can vary anywhere between $500 to $5000. Jail time can extend up to 3 years, and your license may be suspended for almost four years. The consequences of felony DUI can be severe. In order to handle the situation better, you may need professional assistance from an experienced Ventura DUI lawyer.
Ignition Interlock Device – Why is it Important?
Mandatory installation of the ignition interlock device is required if you are found to be a felony DUI.
The ignition interlock device tests the alcohol level in the blood. The device is connected to the ignition system of your vehicle. The driver is expected to provide a breath sample each time he starts the engine. If any alcohol gets detected in the sample, the engine does not start, thus stopping the individual from driving.
Felony DUI with Injury and Fatality
If the DUI accident caused bodily injury to one or more individuals, the penalties and punishment are more severe than in a standard DUI case. In addition to heavy fines, jail time, and license suspension, you are entirely responsible for compensating the injured party. The convicted felon status goes into your record permanently. You are expected to implement the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of three years.
In the case of fatality, the person charged is prosecuted for second-degree murder charges or negligent/gross vehicular manslaughter. The penalties for deaths can be very severe.
Thus, if your blood alcohol concentration level is over the allowed limit, the first wise thing to do would be to talk to a Ventura DUI attorney. Irrespective of the severity of your case, your lawyer can determine the best solution for your situation.