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Southern California Misdemeanor DUI – Potential Consequences

Potential Consequences for a California Misdemeanor DUI

When a person is charged with a DUI under California Vehicle Code §23152 sections (a) or (b) it is a misdemeanor charge. As with any criminal charge, a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony and doesn’t warrant consequences that are nearly as severe. However, the penalties can still disrupt your life, and may include:

  • Informal probation
  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Alcohol rehab or education

If you are facing misdemeanor DUI charges in California, the most common penalty that you will face is a fine. The fines for a misdemeanor DUI range from $390 to $1000. In general, fines charged in misdemeanor cases will be closer to $390, unless there are aggravating circumstances. After the fine has been calculated, you will also have to pay court costs and fees, which can add significantly to your financial penalty. So, in reality, the $390 fine will closer to $1,500 after the court has finalized the sentence and added the appropriate costs and fees.

Misdemeanor DUI Penalties Beyond Fines

In addition to fines, a misdemeanor DUI sentence will almost always require that you attend alcohol rehabilitation and education classes. These are often the types of classes such as those offered by Mothers Against Drunk Driving or Alcoholics Anonymous. You will be asked to attend a certain set program and number of classes, and then you will have to provide proof and certification to the court that you have completed this portion of your sentence.

Along with a fine and any rehabilitation classes, the court will also require that you be put on probation. Probation comes in two forms, informal and formal. Misdemeanor DUI sentences involve informal probation, which will last from three to five years. You will not have to check in with a probation officer, and no one will be monitoring your behavior. Instead, on your own honor, you will be responsible for not committing any further offenses during the probationary period.

Very rarely does a misdemeanor DUI sentence involve jail time. However, jail time can be ordered due to aggravating circumstances if the prosecution determines it appropriate. In second or third misdemeanor DUI offenses, jail time will be a consideration due to the previous criminal history.

Experienced California DUI Lawyers

At Hoffman & Associates, we understand the complex laws relating to driving under the influence. Our DUI attorneys have successfully defended clients facing DUI charges in courtrooms throughout California. The relationships we have developed with prosecutors and judges over the past 30 years in practice benefit our DUI clients greatly. If you or someone you know is facing a misdemeanor DUI charge, it is important to get a skilled criminal DUI attorney involved with your case immediately. Contact us today for a consultation and put our experience with DUI cases to work for you!