Getting convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles or anywhere else in California means facing severe penalties that will impact your personal life for years to come. The penalties you face personally can also negatively impact your work life as well. A single DUI conviction can haunt you personally and professionally for a decade or more.
If you’re facing a possible DUI conviction in California, don’t go through the process alone. An attorney who specializes in DUI cases just like yours can help you minimize how your personal and work life is affected by a DUI. You may face more reasonable penalties or even have you’re the charges reduced if you work with the right attorney. To find your new DUI attorney, call us today at (310) 971-9045.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in California
To appreciate how your life will get impacted by a DUI, it’s important to note what sorts of penalties you face. In California, you will face:
- Court fines and fees
- License suspension
- DUI school
- Jail time
The extent to which you will face each of these penalties will depend heavily on your driving record and the circumstances that led to your DUI arrest. Repeat offenses and DUIs that resulted in injuries to other people will be punished much more substantially than a first offense where no one got hurt.
Court Fines and Fees
When you get convicted of a DUI, you will be charged with a fine between several hundred and a thousand dollars. However, that isn’t the only money you’ll be paying. The court will also charge you for “court-assessment fees.” These fees are costs incurred by the court to handle your case and can bring the total cost in fines and fees close to $3,000 for a first DUI offense.
A DUI conviction for a first-time offense typically carries with it license suspension with a maximum length of 6 months. If your lawyer can negotiate a deal that doesn’t include jail, that can be bumped up to 9 months. Repeat offenses and felony DUI charges can result in a permanent revocation of your driving privileges in California.
Before you step into court for a trial on your DUI charge, however, the DMV will begin the automated administrative process of suspending your license. If you don’t request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest, the DMV will review your case without your input and will likely suspend your license for a minimum of 4 months. If you request a hearing, you can have your attorney represent you at the proceedings, which may stop the DMV’s automatic suspension.
The court will mandate that you attend regular classes at a DUI school for a minimum of 3 months. For more serious offenses, these classes can last over a year.
DUI school isn’t free, either. You will have to pay the expenses associated with attending. You can look forward to paying between five hundred and several thousands of dollars in order to meet the court’s mandate.
Jail sentences with a DUI conviction may be as few as 48 hours or as many as several months. Of course, it depends on your driving history and the severity of the conviction. Your DUI attorney may be able to negotiate to reduce or eliminate the amount of jail time you receive.
The Impact on Your Work-Life Beyond the Penalties
The penalties you face from a DUI conviction can be hard enough to deal with on a personal level. However, it gets worse for your work life. Having to pay substantial money in court fines and fees, not having a license, and needing to spend time in DUI school or jail will make it difficult to keep your current job, receive a promotion, or even find a new job.
If your current position requires you to drive, a DUI conviction may mean the end of that employment. Likewise, looking for any new position that may require driving can be off the table as well.
As a routine part of the hiring process, employers will do a criminal background check. That means your DUI conviction will be brought to their attention, so long as it happened within the past 10 years and your record hasn’t expunged. Even if it is only a misdemeanor, employers may not want to hire someone with a criminal record.
What You Can Do Before You Get Convicted of a DUI
When your time comes in court, the prosecution is going to recommend a harsh sentence for your DUI conviction. This can result in you struggling to keep your current job or make it feel impossible to get a new one.
Rather than let the court push you into the harshest sentences, reach out to our dedicated DUI attorneys at (310) 971-9045. Our lawyers will meet with you for free and will help you understand what can be done so you receive the best outcome possible for your case.
The sooner you call, the more ways we can stop a DUI conviction from affecting your work life.