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I Was Arrested For A DUI – Am I Going To Jail?

A prison hallway. Prison cells with bars lining each side.When you’re arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence or DUI in Los Angeles (or any city in California, for that matter), you are most definitely going behind bars. Police will cuff you upon your arrest, bring you to the local station, and hold you in a jail cell there.

However, your detention will probably last for a few hours, and then you will be released. When it’s your first DUI, and no one got hurt, you may even be released without having to post bail. You will then have to hire a DUI lawyer because you will need one.

Keep in mind, however, that in the State of California, all DUI crimes come with jail time upon conviction. How long your jail term would be or if you can serve your jail time through other means would all then depend on the circumstances of your case.

First DUI offense

For those convicted of DUI for the first time in California, the jail term is 48 hours to six months. However, judges typically show leniency toward first offenders. In most cases of first-time DUI offenders, judges order probation, which means the offender won’t have to serve mandatory jail time.

Probation, however, isn’t a slap on the wrist, even for first-time offenders. Informal probation for first DUI offenders is normally set at three years, although it could last up to five years. The offender will also have to complete 30 hours of DUI classes stretched over a three-month period. That program could be even longer at nine months, with 60 hours of classes for DUI convicts found to have a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of .20% or more.

On top of all that, a first DUI offender will have to pay $390 to $1,000 in fines, plus several penalty assessments that could push the grand total to a few thousand dollars or more. A first DUI conviction also carries a six-month license suspension.

Related: How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost?

Second DUI offense

For second offenders, 96 hours to one year in jail is par for the course. Still, a judge can decide to allow the offender to serve the jail term on house arrest, a jail-alternative work program, or probation.

As with first DUI offenders, informal probation for second DUI offenders normally lasts for three years but can be up to five years. The main difference lies on the length of the DUI school condition of probation. Depending on the judge, a second offender will be compelled to complete an 18-month or a 30-month DUI program.

The fines for a second DUI offender are the same as those for a first-time DUI at $390 to $1,000 on top of penalty assessments, but the license suspension is longer at two years.

Third DUI offense

For a third DUI, the jail sentence stands at 120 days to one year. If the judge grants probation, the third DUI offender has to serve three to five years of informal probation, and if the judge orders so, go through 30 months of DUI school.

The fines for a third-time offender can go up to a maximum of $1,800. The license suspension period will be three years.

DUIs involving injuries and death

The jail time and the other penalties above, however, are the way they are because all three offenses are standard DUIs categorized as misdemeanors. When a DUI case involves injuries or death, the DUI could be charged as a felony, which carries much more severe consequences.

An injury DUI, for example, can lead to a prison sentence of 16 months to four years if charged as a felony in California.

Meanwhile, a DUI that resulted in the death of another person will be typically prosecuted under the manslaughter or murder laws of California. The DUI offender will likely face charges like negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or second-degree murder.

If you’re convicted in a misdemeanor negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated case, you will face up to a year in jail. A second-degree murder conviction, however, is an entirely different story, as it carries a penalty of 15 years to life in state prison.

Should you find yourself arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, don’t think twice about getting the services of an experienced DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is equipped with extensive knowledge about DUI laws and how DUI courts in the state do things, both of which could give your DUI case a boost.

Contact Jon Artz today.

About The Author

Andrea Williams is the Content Marketing Strategist of The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing mini golf with her friends and family on her spare time.

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