A DUI charge in Laguna Woods can affect all aspects of your life. No matter what, you’ll lose your driver’s license—and that’s just the beginning. You may face huge fines and fees, jail time, and a mark on your record that impacts future career prospects. But the good news is that you can fight a DUI charge. To do so, you need the help of an experienced Laguna Woods DUI lawyer.
We believe one bad mistake shouldn’t cast a permanent shadow on the rest of your life. DUI defense lawyers know how to properly defend a case. They can increase the chances of winning—meaning you would be left free of charges. At the very least, a good DUI lawyer can fight for a better deal that may get you a lesser charge or fewer penalties. To find out for sure, let’s get you a FREE consultation with a top DUI lawyer in the Laguna Woods area. Call 310-862-0199 or complete the form on this page today.
What Are the Costs of Getting a DUI?
In Laguna Woods and all of California, a DUI has become one of the most expensive misdemeanors you can get. Just one DUI conviction can cost you as much as $15,649! And that’s just a portion of the total penalties that may come with a DUI, even for a first offense. (This is why it’s crucial to get a DUI lawyer on your team as soon as possible after your arrest.)
The severity of your penalties can depend on your BAC and the number of DUI offenses you’ve gotten within the past ten years.
Here are some penalties you might expect from a typical DUI.
Driver’s License Suspension
With most crimes, there aren’t any penalties for simply being arrested unless you’re convicted. Not the case with a DUI arrest, however. Even if you’re not convicted of DUI, if you were lawfully arrested, you can face a driver’s license suspension for at least four months.
If a chemical test shows your BAC at 0.08% or higher, the arresting officer will take your license and give you a temporary license instead. This will work for 30 days, but after that time your driver’s license will be suspended. You can possibly stop this suspension, however, if you contact the DMV within 10 days and request a DMV hearing. If you win at this hearing, you can keep your license.
In addition, your license will be suspended automatically for one year if you refuse to take a chemical test after being arrested for DUI.
To get your license reinstated after suspension, you’ll have to complete a DUI educational program that we’ll detail below.
Jail or Prison Time
Even first offense DUIs come with the possibility of jail time. This can range from up to six months in jail (for first offense) to up to 16 months in state prison (for fourth offense). This is one of the biggest reasons to get a DUI lawyer to defend you and fight for a better outcome. California does have some alternative options for jail time.
Fines and Court Fees
Even a first offense DUI can be incredibly expensive. Total costs can range from $3,600 to $18,000 depending on the offense. These numbers include:
- Minimum fines
- Court penalties
- Vehicle towing and impound fees
- DUI school
- Bail bonds
- And more
Fines have risen considerably in California recently as the state cracks down on DUIs.
DUI school is a program that teaches you about drunk driving dangers as well as alcohol and drug safety. If you’re convicted of DUI, this training is required. DUI school requires can range from three to 30 months, and the cost is out of your own pocket.
Ignition Interlock Devices
You may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle after getting a DUI. This is a device that requires you to blow into a tube for a breath sample before you can start your car. If you’ve been drinking, it won’t start.
Costs for IID devices are typically $70-$150 to install plus $60-$80 per month to maintain.
The DUI probation period is usually three to five years after a conviction. There are two types of probation:
- “Supervised” probation where you check in with a probation officer regularly.
- “Unsupervised” probation where you don’t have a probation officer but must follow some rules.
In Laguna Woods, you’ll probably receive unsupervised probation for DUI. Supervised probation is rare in California. During your probation period, you can’t commit any crime, drive with any alcohol in your system, and you can’t refused a chemical test if arrested for or suspected of DUI. If you violate these terms, you will face additional probation violation penalties on top of your DUI criminal penalties.
Besides the penalties above, you may also face “unofficial” consequences of your DUI, such as increased insurance rates. These can vary per person and situation.
Is it Possible to Get a DUI Charge Reduced?
Yes, it is possible. If you have a good DUI lawyer, they will work to get you a good deal. However, it requires careful and intelligent choices throughout your case.
The most common plea deals that happen for DUI are reckless driving and wet reckless driving. While these charges aren’t as good as winning your case completely, they are much better than a DUI. There is no license suspension or mandatory jail time, and there are very minimal fines compared with DUI costs.
To increase your chances of getting a DUI charge reduced, you’ll need to get inside the prosecution’s head and show them that they might not win if you go to trial. To do this, you’ll need a great Laguna Woods DUI lawyer. They will know what it takes to get a plea bargain that is actually good for you.
Speak with a Laguna Woods DUI Lawyer for Free Today
Having a dedicated, experienced DUI attorney can make all the difference in your DUI case. We can connect you with a local DUI defense attorney for FREE today. To get your consultation as soon as possible, call us at 310-862-0199 or complete the form on this page and we’ll get started.