What Happens When You Get Your First DUI in California?

What Happens When You Get Your First DUI in California?

Getting your first DUI can be scary. You may not know what to do or who to call. While getting a DUI is not the end of the world, it is a serious offense for which a conviction can follow you for many years to come if not handled properly. If you are arrested for a DUI in Ontario, your first move should be to contact an Ontario DUI attorney as soon as possible, and it is wise not to say anything to police officers, insurance adjusters, or anyone for that matter until you speak with an attorney.

As intimidating as getting a DUI can be, having a sound and knowledgeable Ontario DUI attorney representing you is essential in optimizing the potential your case may present in minimizing DUI charges and penalties against you and even possibly avoiding a conviction. Having an attorney is especially important if you are concerned about a long-term license suspension and the impact it can have on your employment and other areas of your life.

A DUI has obvious consequences, such as potential jail time, probation, monetary costs, and potential long-term loss of driving privileges, just off the top of the list. However, the more severe consequences are those that impact the everyday life of the defendant. The personal consequences of a DUI can be even more far-reaching than the penalties imposed by a court as a result of a conviction.

After a DUI Arrest

Following a DUI arrest, you will be booked and registered at the jail. Most defendants will be released within a few hours following their arrest for DUI. In most cases, posting bail is not required for the release of a defendant charged with DUI, especially if it is a first-time offense and no one was injured as a result of driving under the influence.

Once someone is arrested for DUI in the state, the DMV is automatically notified of the pending charges and automatically suspends their driver’s license and driving privileges. A defendant may challenge this decision, but it is generally wiser to go through this process with legal support from a DUI attorney, and the challenge must be done within ten days of the arrest.

After ten days, the window of opportunity to retain driving privileges closes, and the driver’s license is suspended for 30 days from the date of their arrest.

If the defendant requests a DMV hearing to challenge the DMV’s decision for automatic suspension, the defendant will maintain driving privileges during that time up until the hearing occurs, which may be several weeks or several months later.

An Ontario DUI attorney is an ideal ally when attending your DMV hearing. Individuals without representation rarely experience successful outcomes in these hearings. An attorney, however, can increase the chances of a defendant retaining their driving privileges by carefully examining the case and identifying any action taken by law enforcement officers or thereafter that was unjust and in violation of their client’s rights.

If an attorney is able to prove one of these items or another disqualifying fact at the DMV hearing, the automatic suspension of their client’s driving privileges may be set aside or canceled (until criminal prosecution is complete). It is important to note that a successful DMV hearing is independent of criminal charges and court proceedings of criminal charges.

An acquittal or dismissal of DUI charges by a California criminal court will automatically reinstate a driver’s license with the DMV.


Q: What Are the Consequences of a First-Time DUI?

A: A first-time DUI offense in California is punishable by up to five years of probation, up to $1,000 in fines, a requirement to attend DUI school, a license suspension of six months, points on their driver’s license, and an ignition interlock device (IID) installation on the offender’s vehicle. Not all offenders will endure all penalties, though some may. These are the sentence maximums for first-time DUI convictions.

Q: How Do I Get My First DUI Dismissed?

A: There are many defense strategies for a first-time DUI charge, and an Ontario DUI attorney is the most valuable resource in determining what strategy will work for your case.

Some common defense tactics in combating first-time DUI charges include proving the initial traffic stop was unwarranted, finding errors in the sobriety test administered at the time of arrest, presenting blood alcohol content results from suppressed blood tests, and proving the breath test procedure was violated by law enforcement officers, just to name a few.

Q: Will I Lose My License for My First DUI Offense?

A: If you are over the age of 21 and are stopped by a law enforcement officer and given a blood or breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC), and the test result indicates your BAC is higher than 0.08%, you will lose your license for four months for the first offense. A subsequent offense within ten years will require a one-year suspension of driving privileges.

If you refuse to take the BAC test and are convicted, you will lose your license for one year, and a second offense will result in a two-year license revocation.

Q: How Long Does Your First DUI Stay on Your Record?

A: An individual’s first DUI in California, or any subsequent DUI for that matter, will remain on an offender’s driving record for precisely ten years from the date of arrest. However, arrests, charges filed, and convictions can remain on a criminal record until the offender files a petition with the court and requests their record be expunged of their DUI. Speaking with an Ontario DUI attorney can help you determine if your DUI is eligible for expungement.

If you are facing DUI charges and have been arrested for DUI or are interested in finding out more information about how to get your DUI removed from your criminal record, the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores can help you. We are a well-equipped and experienced DUI law firm and have represented thousands of DUI cases similar to yours. Speak with an Ontario DUI attorney about your case today.

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