Every crime is different, and every punishment depends on the crime. Typically in California, for a first DUI conviction with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level below 0.2 percent, the maximum penalty includes:

  • Probation for three to five years
  • Six months in county jail
  • Six months suspended license
  • Fines up to $1,000, plus penalties up to $2,710
  • A $100 contribution to the State Restitution Fund for D.U.I. accident victims
  • Completion of an alcohol education program
  • A $50 fee for Alcohol Abuse Prevention
  • A $37 fee for your BAC test
  • A $20 fee for court security

These are maximum penalties. Depending on the details of your particular case, an experienced driving under the influence defense attorney may be able to have your charge reduced or dismissed altogether. Additional penalties may be imposed if your BAC level was above 0.2 percent, if you injured someone, or if you had a child in your car. For a second D.U.I., the fines and penalties listed above are increased, plus:

  • Up to a year in a county jail
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days
  • An 18-month driver’s license suspension

For a third or fourth time driving under the influence, all of these penalties increase, plus:

  • License revocation for up to 4 years
  • Completion of a 30-month alcohol treatment program
  • Up to 120 days in a county jail for a third offense
  • Up to 180 days in a county jail for a fourth offense
  • 16 to 36 months in a state prison if the conviction is for a felony

That’s only the start. You may also have to pay higher insurance costs for SR-22 coverage, tow and impound fees, alcohol rehabilitation program costs, and legal fees for a driving under the influence defense attorney and for the court. As you can see, even one California DUI conviction is something you absolutely want to avoid. If despite your best efforts you are charged with DUI in California, it’s imperative to obtain the services of a good driving under the influence defense lawyer. An experienced DUI defense attorney will safeguard your rights and fight aggressively for the best possible resolution to your DUI case. If you face the charge, get the legal help you need and call an experienced DUI defense attorney at once.