Jail time is one of the most common penalties for DUI. All California DUI charges carry the possibility of jail time.
When a driver is arrested for DUI, one of their biggest worries is often jail time. In California, all DUI defendants face the possibility of jail time, from as little as a few days to as long as six months on a first conviction.
However, there is a sharp difference between jail time and the sort of prison sentences you see in movies. Jail refers to your local or county jail facility, while prison refers to an institution run by the state. Jail is usually considered “better” than prison. This is because jails tend to be closer to your family, contain less violent offenders than prisons, and are aimed at short-term sentences.
But jail time is still unpleasant. It is a highly controlled environment with little in the way of amenities or recreation. Often, a jail sentence will also force you to miss time from your job. Employers can and often do fire employees who are sentenced to jail.
In California, there are alternatives to regular jail time. Many local police stations operate a “pay to stay” jail. This means that if you pay a fee, you can serve your jail time in these smaller, local facilities instead of the county jail. The facilities are usually cleaner and safer, and you may even have a private cell.
These programs are not available to everybody, however—and six months is a long time to spend in any jail. If your DUI was a repeat violation or involved an injury, you could even face prison time instead of jail.
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.