Yes. Many people are surprised to learn that DUI is a criminal offense and not just a traffic violation, but California has gotten consistently tougher on DUI for decades. All forms of DUI, including drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, and underage DUI are criminal offenses. This even includes a first-time DUI where no one was hurt. There are no exceptions.
In most cases, DUI is a misdemeanor. This means that it is a criminal offense that goes on your criminal record and can carry jail time among other penalties.
The most basic penalties for DUI include:
- First DUI (no one was hurt): 3 days to 6 months in jail, heavy fines, license suspended for at least 4 months, 3 months of mandatory classes
- Second DUI (no one was hurt): 4 days to 1 year in jail, heavy fines, license suspended for 2 years, 18-30 months of mandatory classes
- Third DUI (no one was hurt): 6 months to 1 year in jail, heavy fines, license suspended for three years, 30 months of mandatory classes
All DUIs are expensive, and even a first DUI can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and fees.
In other cases, however, DUI can be a felony. This includes:
- Fourth DUI or more (no one was hurt)
- DUI causing injury
- DUI causing death
In some cases, a DUI death can even be charged as murder.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your free consultation today.