Probation After a California DUI Conviction
When a person is convicted for a DUI offense, one of the standard penalties is jail time. This is quite scary for a lot of people as well as an inconvenience to their daily lives. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, a violation of vehicle code section 23152 (DUI) or 23153 (DUI with injuries), a person can face long periods of incarceration:
- First Offense: 96 hours to 6 months
- Second Offense: 90 days to 1 year
- Third Offense: 120 days to 1 year
A jail sentence can also be increased if the arrest involved any aggravating factors like excessive speeding or having a minor in the car. These penalties add up and the more prior convictions that an offender has had in a ten year period, the more jail time they will face. Luckily, California judges often allow the offender to serve probation in lieu of jail time. There is no law that says that probation is a right; it is solely up to the judge whether or not you will be able to serve probation instead of jail time. He judge will also lay out the exact terms of your probation.
Terms of California Probation for DUI
Regardless of the circumstances of the offense, the terms of DUI probation are always the same. The period of probation will be no less than 3 years and no more than 5.If a person's original jail sentence was over 5 years, then the length of probation may also be extended to the same time period.
Three to five years of probation may seem like a very long time to some people, but a good portion of this period will be non-reporting probation where the offender will not have to meet with a probation officer. This is called informal or summary probation. As long as they do not violate any of the following terms, their probation will not affect their daily life:
- Don't drink and drive. For people on probation, California has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving or using drugs and driving. Any amount of alcohol in a person's system can result in a probation violation if they are operating a vehicle.
- Don't break the law. The offender shall not commit any other criminal offense while on probation. Even if the crime is unrelated to DUI, a charge will affect probation. A conviction will result in a probation violation. Minor traffic offenses like speeding tickets do not count as criminal offenses.
- Submit for chemical testing when asked. The offender will not refuse to submit to a chemical blood, breath or urine test when asked by police to check for alcohol content in the body. Police use these tests to check the amount of drugs or alcohol in a person's body. If you decline taking this test, the terms of your probation will be violated.
In addition to these rules, a person on probation for DUI will also have to pay the fines they were sentenced to (usually between $390 and $1000) and serve the minimum amount of jail time. In the beginning of their probation, offenders will also have to check in with a probation officer. In most cases the judge will require an offender to complete a DUI education course in a given period of time. If they do not enroll in a program or fail the program, their probation could be revoked.
Penalties of Probation Violations
Failure to comply with any of the above terms will result in a probation violation. When a violation is made, a person's probation will be revoked and they will have to serve their jail sentence along with an additional 48 hours.
Driving on DUI Probation in California
A person is allowed to drive while on probation assuming that their license is not suspended and they have auto insurance. Other factors of probation can also affect a person's license. For example, completion of a DUI education program is part of the terms of someone's probation but proof of completion must also be shown before their license can be returned to them.
Some judges may sentence an offender to install an IID in your vehicle. This is a device that reads the driver's breath and evaluates for the presence of alcohol before they are allowed to start the engine. Judges can use their discretion in sentencing up to 3 years of IID use to a DUI offender.
People in Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento Counties are subject to mandatory IID installation for all DUI infractions even first time offenses.
California DUI Probation Defense
If you have been arrested for DUI and are concerned about the penalties that will result from a conviction, call our firm now. Our attorneys will explain more about probation and other consequences of DUI. We can also help you understand your defense options. Call us right now for a free consultation.