First-time DUI: Can I Really Go to Jail?

While driving in Los Angles, a police officer stopped you. You were later arrested for driving while under the influence, or DUI. A simple trip to the store, work or to pick up your children resulted in a DUI charge. Now you are worried. You want to know:

  • What happens after my DUI arrest?
  • How bad will this DUI arrest impact my reputation?
  • How will this DUI arrest impact my current and future employment?
  • Should I hire a DUI defense attorney to fight my DUI charge?

Besides worrying about how your DUI arrest will immediately impact your future, you also have other worries causing sleepless nights. For example, you want to know the answers to questions like ”Will I go to jail?” After all, this is your first DUI arrest.

Yes, you need honest answers to these tough questions. You also need a DUI defense attorney to represent you. You need a legal fighter and champion. You need Beverly Hills DUI defense attorney Jonathan Franklin to fight your DUI charge on your behalf.

What it means to be charged with under the influence of alcohol or drugs

In California, it is against the law to drive while under the influence of any alcohol whether it is beer or hard liquor. Law pertaining to DUI can be found in subsections A and B of the state’s vehicle code 23152. The subsections define being under the influence of alcohol as having a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol content, or BAC.

First-time DUI conviction explained

The state has penalties, or specific punishments, for each DUI conviction. In other words, the severity of the penalty is based on whether it is a first, second, third or subsequent DUI conviction. Let’s take a second DUI conviction as an example. If convicted of a second DUI, you face the following punishment:

  • Informal probation. You will not have to report to a probation officer. However, you may be on probation up to five years. During this time, you are not permitted to consume alcohol and drive.
  • Complete a drug and/ alcohol education program.
  • Suspended license or six months.
  • Serve a term in Los Angeles County jail for up to six months.

Will you have to go to jail?

Well, the honest answer is that it depends. Keep in mind that just because you are facing the potential term of six months in Los Angeles County Jail does not mean you will spend any time there. In LA County and other counties in the state, a few factors are taken into consideration such as:

  • Mitigating factors. A reason why you had to commit the crime.
  • No aggravating factors. These factors include having a BAC higher than 0.15 percent and a passenger in your vehicle under 14 years old at the time for the DUI stop. You spend 48 hours in jail according to VC 23572.

If the above applies to your case, you could avoid going to jail. Let’s say a judge sentences you to:

  • Probation for three years.
  • Complete an alcohol program.
  • Community service for ten days.

Keep in mind that no two DUI cases are alike. If convicted, you are not guaranteed to have a particular sentence. Contact Jonathan Franklin for a free consultation.

How VC 23582 increases a DUI sentence

You may receive up to 60 days in jail according to this code if:

  • You drive over 20 miles over the speed limit on the freeway.

Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin today to schedule your free consultation. Jonathan will review your case and discuss its possible defenses.