Being convicted of a DUI can result in the following sentencing terms: jail time, work release, community service, electronic monitoring, alcohol monitoring, monetary fines, alcohol programs, license suspension, and probation.
In addition, the State can charge the driver with certain allegations which result in more severe punishment. It is important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to help fight both the DUI and special allegations. Some of the most common sentence enhancements result from the following:
Prior Convictions: A DUI conviction within the last ten years will serve as a prior offense resulting in increased penalties. There are a number of enhancements which accompany a prior offense such as: custody time, length of alcohol program, and license suspension period. Two or more priors will result in additional penalties. Please note, three priors within a ten year period will result in the fourth offense being filed as a felony.
High BAC: A blood alcohol content of 0.15% is considered to be excessive and is subject to the penalty enhancement pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23578. This factor may justify enhancing the sentencing terms.
Refusal: If a driver refuses or fails to complete a chemical test, he/she may be charged with the refusal enhancement under California Vehicle Code Section 23578. Refusing to submit to a chemical test may justify increased penalties including longer license suspensions/ revocations.
Injury: A drinking and driving incident resulting in an accident with injury to another person may be charged as a felony, punishable by up to 3 years in state prison. Furthermore, the person may have to serve an additional year for each person injured or an additional 3 years if the person sustains great bodily injury.
Child Endangerment: A person charged with DUI with a minor passenger under the age of 14 in the vehicle may be charged with child endangerment. The increased penalty requires 48 continuous hours in custody on a first offense; 10 days in custody on a second offense; and 30 days in custody on a third offense.
Speed Enhancement: A person driving recklessly in addition to DUI may be charged with a speed enhancement under California Vehicle Code Section 23582. A person driving recklessly and DUI coupled with speeding 20 mph or more on a street or highway, or 30 mph or more on a freeway, will be punished by serving a mandatory 60 consecutive days in custody in county jail.
If a person has been charged with DUI, and most importantly any of the above enhancements, he/she should immediately consult a skilled criminal attorney to start building a solid defense. The legal team at the Parker Law Center understands the needs of the convicted and is a fierce advocate of its clients’ rights.