A DUI arrest charge will have a serious and lasting effect on a person’s life, which also includes the strong likelihood their driver’s license will get suspended for a first DUI in California. Upon a conviction or guilty plea for driving under the influence offense, drivers are understandably curious about how long is a license suspension for DUI in CA? According to the state laws for a DUI license suspension, the average length of time to expect for how long a person will have a suspended license for a 1st offense is between 4 months to 1 year. It is important to note that the precise amount of time for how long a person will lose their driver’s license for can vary, since each person’s arrest details and circumstances are different in each case. However the penalties of not being able to legally drive are difficult for anyone to learn to deal with, no matter what the circumstance. The lack of transportation can affect a person’s ability to hold a job, while the conviction and permanent criminal record can make finding a new job in the future far more difficult, since the DUI offense will be easily found on a background check. If a DUI driver is a licensed professional in California, even a first-time offense of driving under the influence conviction can jeopardize a person being able to keep their professional license. This is all in addition to the costs and the potential jail time associated with the sentence for DUI arrests.
For most driver’s arrested for CA DUI charges, it is quite understandable that one of the first questions people ask is “will my driver’s license be suspended for a DUI in California, or how can I save and keep my license after a first DUI in CA?” In order to help assist drivers in knowing all of the potential ways how to avoid a license suspension and keep a California driver’s license after a DUI charge, we have outlined in the navigation links below the most effective and best options how we can help save a license for a first offense.
- How Will I Know If My License Is Going To Get Suspended For A DUI?
- How A DUI Record Will Affect A Driver In California
- How To Get A Driver’s License Back After A DUI
- How To Keep A Driver’s License After A DUI Charge In CA
- What Happens To My License If I Plead Guilty To A First DUI Offense?
- How Can A Lawyer Help Prevent My License From Getting Suspended For DUI?
- How Likely Is It I Will Lose My License For A First DUI Charge In California?
As for what can be done to fight California DUI charges after we are able to first examine a driver’s arrest details online, the next step to take is to investigate and determine whether police officers properly followed their duties and responsibilities under the law. For example, did the officer follow proper procedures when stopping a person’s vehicle, advising a driver of their rights, perform any searches, and administering any tests under the required rules? Was the driver given the opportunity to speak to a lawyer before being asked to submit to a field sobriety, Breathalyzer, or blood test? Were any of the DUI BAC tests themselves properly administered by people who had a valid license and training in how they must be taken for a driver under arrest for a DUI offense? After we can review a person’s arrest details for information that may provide the best ways how to avoid a CA license suspension for DUI, some of the following common defense strategies can be looked into further which could help prevent losing a driver’s license and keep driving privileges.
- Did the Breathalyzer readings in the police report uncover any errors or malfunction during the time the breath testing was being taken, and was it properly calibrated according to California DUI protocol?
- Was the specific breath test machine used in person’s arrest operated properly according to manufacturer specifications?
- Following the Breathalyzer test manufacturer specifications, was the breath machine that was used, properly functioning for each time a test was taken? Was it also properly operated, calibrated, and maintained?
- Was the breath test machine used during a driver’s DUI arrest obtain two proper breath samples as required for a DUI CA testing procedure?
- Were the Breathalyzer test samples provided in a case possibly contaminated? Was there another medical cause which may have falsely caused higher blood alcohol content level readings?
- Can a toxicology expert with a proper license and training in the state of California, help fight in a person’s DUI defense if improper test procedure happened in during an arrest?
Breath test certification is important when a driver who was arrested for a DUI charge wants to challenge the accuracy of the Breathalyzer results, since for ways how to effectively avoid a California DUI driver’s license suspension with this defense strategy, 3 vital points should be made to be successful:
- The Breathalyzer test machine used during the arrest was improperly operated or did not work properly;
- That a malfunction or the person operating the breath test device caused the machine errors, that may have resulted in wrong Breathalyzer test readings, or
- That a driver’s BAC level reading could not have exceeded the .08 blood alcohol content reading of blood at the time of getting pulled over and charged with a DUI offense.
If a driver wants to keep a driver’s license after being arrested and charged with a first DUI offense in California, a person must choose to fight the charge in enough time. Unlike most other criminal charges, a plea bargain is usually out of the question for a driving under the influence case. This is because with how strict the new CA penalties are for even a first-time offenders, the prosecution attorneys are instructed to prosecute every type of DUI offenses to the fullest extent of the law. Therefore, if a driver wishes to expect having the best chance possible of saving a license, they will need to have a local lawyer review the arrest information online with us as soon as possible, who will have the experience necessary to fight first offense California DUI charges successfully.
Like most DUI arrests that happen today with the effective technical defenses that can be found, fighting any type of driving under the influence case can be complicated. In order how to get successful results that could help people save a driver’s license and legally drive in CA after a DUI arrest, the defense will often depend on the lawyer’s knowledge of the new California laws and the science involved. This is part of why it is so crucial in order to help prevent the penalties that can happen after an arrest, that a driver takes advantage of having their arrest examined free online with us, so we can discuss what options may be available to prevent a suspended license, as well as how to apply the law to the specific facts of a person’s unique arrest situation. As with any DUI offense case, whether it’s a first offense, repeat offense, test refusal charge, or even a Marijuana or illegal drugs DUI – it is imperative to get the best help available who is suited to protect a driver’s rights and license to legally drive after a DUI arrest. When the consequences of getting convicted or pleading guilty to a DUI offense are this serious, it is important to have the circumstances of what happened reviewed with us by an experienced and local lawyer with a long record of success in winning cases involving every type of driving under the influence charges. The local California first offense DUI lawyers who will review the arrest information for defense options that may provide the best method to help avoid a DUI license suspension period, will protect a driver’s constitutional rights and secure their best interests at the location a person will be going to court at. This is important to any good defense, because an attorney who is has experience negotiating and dealing with the prosecution of the local court, often will have the most success at getting a case dismissed or charges reduced to a less serious offense.
What are the first offense DUI penalties in California, and how will I know if my license is going to get suspended?
Driving under the influence by definition, is driving while a person’s ability to drive is impaired due to consuming alcohol, Marijuana, illegal drugs, or prescription medicine. Driving under the influence does not automatically mean that a driver was drunk. What it means is that a person’s ability to safely operate and drive a vehicle was affected due to alcohol or drugs.
The driver’s license penalties for a first DUI offense charge in California are:
- A 4 month to one year suspended drivers license.
- Having to get and pay for all costs of an Ignition Interlock to legally drive on a restricted driver’s license.
- Paying for all fees from any seizure or towing of the car that a person arrested for DUI was driving.
- A person may not be allowed to drive or operate anything that requires a license to operate, including boats and some machinery during the suspension time period.
If a driver is convicted or enters a guilty plea for DUI, the penalties are:
- A permanent criminal record for life, that will be searchable in a future background check.
- Up to 1 year license suspension period, which could be shorter or longer depending on the specific arrest details of what happened.
- An average fine of between $1,200 and $2,000 dollars.
- A DUI Ignition Interlock device will be required on any vehicle a person drives with a restricted license, including on any work vehicle or company car.
- A driver’s car insurance costs will go up with rates of about $10,000 dollars per year for 5 years, once they get their California driver’s license back to legally drive again after a 1st DUI offense conviction or guilty plea.
- A person will not be able to drive a vehicle, use certain machines, or drive boats and anything that requires a license to operate during this period.
A second DUI offense conviction for CA DUI charges:
- A mandatory sentence of jail time to be served.
- 3 year drivers license suspension period.
- Fine to be determined by the court, but the typical average cost to expect is over $2,000.
- The judge may impose a longer period of a restricted driver’s license and DUI Ignition Interlock requirements, to avoid a longer suspension time.
Third offense conviction and revoked driver’s license period for driving under the influence:
- A mandatory minimum of at least a 3 months of jail time to be served.
- The high possibility of a lifetime driver’s license suspension to legally drive in the state of California.
- Several thousand dollars in fines can be expected to be determined by the court.
- If a driver is ever allowed to get their license back after a 3rd DUI offense, the judge will likely impose a long period having an interlock installed, along with strict rules the driver must follow in order not to lose a driver’s license permanently.
How A DUI Criminal Record Will Affect A Driver In California
If a driver is found guilty of driving under the influence or any of the charges related to a DUI arrest, even for a first offense a person will have a criminal record and under California law, and the person will be considered a criminal. An example of how this will affect a driver even with a valid license, is if a person is applying for a new job, an employer may ask that an applicant lets the company perform a criminal record background check before deciding to hire them. In many types of jobs in California, any type of DUI offense conviction can drastically limit a person’s employment opportunities and future options. This is since a person also may be considered unbondable and considered uninsurable for some types of jobs, especially any position that involves driving or needing a specialty license such as a CDL, for instance.
Additionally, a driver with a DUI on their record may be refused entry into other countries because of the criminal record. A DUI criminal record is kept against a person for life, unless after a minimum period of 5 years or more has passed, a driver is able to get a DUI expunged. This option too will depend on a person’s own unique arrest details as to what will happen and what the chances of success are to clear a CA DUI offense charge.
How to get a drivers license back after a DUI offense
Unless a driver is able to successfully fight the charges before getting convicted of a DUI offense in California, once they are convicted of any of the charges, the state adds further costs and penalties on the driver to get a drivers license back.
To get an already suspended drivers license back after a DUI conviction in CA, the driver must:
- Pay the hundreds of dollars in driver’s license reinstatement fees.
- Complete all the court ordered hours of DUI school classes or alcohol/drug counseling, with an average total cost of $600, depending on how many hours are required.
- Install on any vehicle they wish to drive, which will include a work or company vehicle, a car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device at an average cost of $1,500 in total fees for one year.
- The California DUI interlock costs will add up even for a first offense, due to having the machine inspected monthly at an average price of $130 dollars each month.
When I do get my license back after a suspension, what are the car Insurance Penalties after a DUI for a first-time offender?
Whether a DUI if for a first offense or more, when a driver gets their license back after getting convicted in California, the cost of car insurance rates will also increase dramatically.
- The auto insurance company will only insure a convicted 1st offense DUI driver as a “High Risk Driver”.
- How much higher the car insurance payments for the driver will vary in CA, but can expect it to increase thousands of dollars per year.
- The high risk period for insurance rates will be for 5 years.
- The average total of car insurance cost will be in the range of $12,000 to 20,000 per year
How to fight to keep a driver’s license after getting a DUI charge in CA
Many driver’s assume if they have failed a breath or blood test in California during a DUI stop and arrest, they may think that if the police have enough evidence already and they are automatically guilty of the offense. The police don’t win every case and they quite often do make crucial mistakes during the technical procedures involved with all types of DUI arrests and related charges. Many times after the details of a person’s arrest can be reviewed for specific defense options when any critical mistake has been made by the arresting officer, there are compromises and solutions other than being convicted of a first offense DUI in CA and having a length of time with a suspended or revoked license.
When a driver who has been recently charged with a CA DUI offense submits their arrest details to be carefully examined through us online, we can then be in a position to discuss the best case options for what to so next. This is because a skilled and local first offense DUI lawyer with actual trial experience fighting driving under the influence charges in California courts will review the arrest information, and a driver can then be able to find out how they may be able to avoid a license suspension penalty entirely, and keep their current legal status driving privileges. An experienced local DUI attorney with us is able to accomplish this result in many cases for drivers, since they are experts with years of court experience and have legal experts like former California police Breathalyzer technicians, and alcohol or drug toxicologists standing by to assist a driver’s defense when necessary to use them to successfully fight and beat the charges.
The DUI arrest review with us online is always a free resource for a driver to use for ways to fight the charges, and help keep their license. We will discuss the case in detail at any time that is convenient for you. When it comes to legal fees, a person does have to pay the whole fee up front. We work with some of the most affordable lawyers in California, who will offer flexible and easy payment plans to fit a driver’s current financial situation.
It is not a secret that any driving under the influence offense today is a serious situation both legally and socially, for how it will affect a person’s life both now and in the future for many years to come. Getting arrested and charged in California for driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, has the potential to destroy not a person’s life with all the new laws for consequences, but also will likely cause a driver to lose their license with a suspension for a long time as well. Whether it is in this state or any other throughout the county for that matter, it is not illegal for an adult over the legal drinking age of 21 who has a valid driver’s license, to have a drink or two and then drive a car. In high number of CA DUI arrests, a driving under the influence offense results from a driver’s blood alcohol content level being only a point or two over the legal limit, even though a person may still feel completely sober to safely drive. It is important for every driver to know what to do in case of ever getting stopped in California after drinking any amount of alcohol. If the police officer pulls a person over for a suspected DUI stop, first checks their license status, and then still believes a driver could be under the influence of alcohol, Marijuana, drugs, or medication, a driver does have some options as outlined below.
Refuse the Breathalyzer test
A person can choose the option to refuse to submit to the first initial roadside breath screening test, or the larger Breathalyzer test machine after the arrest later on at the police station. However it is important to realize it is a serious choice that may help the most to win the most serious California DUI criminal offense case, but still could result in a driver’s license getting suspended at the administrative license revocation review hearing. Many people are understandably confused when they learn they will still have a suspended license, even after they win the criminal part of a DUI case. Still losing a license for a length of time in these particular situations is a possibility of happening, due to the strict new laws and penalties for refusing the tests that carries with it many of the same license and driving consequences as a conviction for DUI charges in CA. This is another vital factor where having an arrest examined as soon as possible afterwards with us, could help make all the difference in whether a driver’s license will get suspended or not soon after being charged with a DUI offense.
How to exercise a driver’s rights during a DUI traffic stop
As previously mentioned about how refusing a breath or blood tests may have the risk of negative consequences that result in a DUI license suspension in California, a driver still has important rights they can put to use to help their situation during a DUI traffic stop. After getting pulled over, a person has the right to refuse to walk in a straight line, balancing on one leg, reciting the alphabet, or any other similar type of field sobriety test asked by the officer to perform. And “perform” is the operative word for these particular field sobriety tests, since they are little more than a performance that plays right into an officer’s predetermined bias that a driver is already guilty of a DUI offense, and is already going to be arrested regardless of how well or not they do on these field sobriety tests. Taking these tests, generally only favors the police in building a stronger case when they put in their report that a driver has failed the these subjective roadside tests. A person who has been stopped at a DUI checkpoint or has been pulled over in a traffic stop, also has the right to know why they are being detained if the officer wants a driver to go back to the station to take the official Breathalyzer test.
Every person always has the basic constitutional right not to incriminate themselves. What this means is, a driver is not obligated to share the details of how much they had to drink, where they were at earlier, etc. with the officer conducting the stop. For the best potential for defense options that a skilled lawyer may be able to use to avoid a license suspension as well as other costly penalties, it is typically best not tell police any additional information beyond providing identification, driver’s license, and insurance. Questions such as when a driver started drinking, what time they stopped, or how many drinks they had before driving the car, do not have to be answered by a driver.
What happens to my driver’s license status if I plead guilty to a first DUI?
When a driver takes a DUI breath or blood test with a reading at or over the legal .08 BAC limit in CA, a person does have the option of choosing to plead guilty to the charges. Some drivers make this decision too quickly after an arrest, because they assume that entering a guilty plea will speed up the process and get them through a driver’s license suspension period sooner, so they can legally drive again. However before hastily deciding to plead guilty to a DUI offense that happened in any city or county within California, it is very important that a person keeps a few facts in mind. If a driver chooses to plead guilty or gets convicted of even a 1st DUI offense charge:
- A person will have a permanent criminal record for life, unless it can be expunged later after a minimum of 5 years has passed.
- A driver’s license is suspended for an average time period length ranging of 4 months to 1 year.
- An Ignition Interlock device, which is also called a car Breathalyzer, must be installed on any vehicle a DUI offender drives with a restricted license.
- Mandatory jail time will be served, and a 3-year license suspension if convicted again of the offense in the future.
- A person will have to face any job-related consequences and limited career opportunities by not having a regular driver’s license or it’s possible suspension.
How will a lawyer help prevent my California driver’s license from getting suspended for a DUI arrest offense?
As part of a person’s constitutional rights as a US citizen, a police officer who detains or arrests a driver for a suspected DUI offense must inform the person that they will have the right to speak with an attorney. Criminal first offense DUI lawyers in CA who specialize in new ways how to fight and dismiss a DUI case, is a person’s absolute best chance to not only help avoid a suspended license for a long length of time, but also to win the criminal case and prevent the high costs and penalties of a conviction from happening in the first place. Just because things might not look too good right after getting charged with driving under the influence offense, or even failing the breath or field sobriety test, it does not at all mean a person can’t win based upon the circumstances that took place during the entire arrest scenario .
The best local California DUI lawyers who will review a driver’s arrest details that are submitted online to us, deal with fighting 1st offense charges on a regular basis and are proven experts in this complex area of law. They see cases and similar arrest situations such as yours all the time, and will know precisely what can be done to help stop a DUI license suspension from happening, as well as where to look within the specific arrest details to build the strongest defense possible for what to do and win. Below are some common things an attorney will look into after first having a chance to review a driver’s arrest information through us online:
- Did the police pull a driver over during a traffic stop for a valid reason?
- How did the arresting officer instruct or ask a person to take the first roadside breath test device?
- When was the last time the smaller roadside breath test device, or larger police station Breathalyzer test machine calibrated?
- Did the police officer give clear instructions for how to take any of the DUI tests, that were easy understand?
- Was a driver given a legitimate chance to speak with a lawyer while they were being arrested or detained at the local police station?
- Is there other evidence in the arrest details that could show the results of any breath or blood test over the .08 BAC limit were wrong?
Being stopped and arrested for driving under the influence charges can be a scary ordeal to go through for most drivers. Many people have never had a criminal record or offense before, and now suddenly have to wonder “even if this is my first offense, is my license really going to get suspended for a DUI in California?” Just the thought of all the ways it can affect their life if they have a driver’s license suspension for any length of time, can seem overwhelming at first. Please realize that these type of negative thoughts are normal and perfectly understandable with all that is at stake. That is why we are here to provide free online help to answer any questions a person going through this situation has. We will examine and then discuss all the number of possible ways that may apply to a driver’s unique case, which could keep a license from getting suspended or revoked for DUI, and possibly fight for a full dismissal of the charges in court.
How likely is it for a first-time offense arrest, will I lose my license for a DUI charge in California?
Immediately after a driver who has been charged with a DUI offense submits their arrest details online to us for a free review of their best defense options, we provide systematic and thorough discussion of things that could be done to help the situation, as well as answer any questions a person may have about their own specific case circumstances. We explore all avenues for fighting for a full case dismissal of California DUI charges with strategies that can include, but are not limited, to:
- Challenging the legality and reason of the initial traffic or DUI stop by police in the first place
- Questioning how the police officer’s tactics were used for testing a driver’s sobriety
- Exploring the potential of any witnesses who could be effective at challenging the police report or testimony
- Inquiring further about whether expert alcohol or drug test toxicologists can be used to help challenge the DUI test results evidence
- Examining the arrest information carefully for any police mistakes were made at any point, that can be used as a strong defense advantage
- Evaluating a person’s unique arrest situation, that may provide ways of preventing a CA DUI license suspension from ever happening
When a driver has been accused or charged with driving under the influence offense in CA for the first time, they are understandably worried about the chances of losing a driver’s license, a high increase in car insurance rates, needing to get an Ignition Interlock installed, and spending any amount of time in jail. This is why knowing all the essential rights that a driver has within their own arrest situation that may have been violated, or if any other police mistakes can be discovered once we are able to review the arrest details online, it can mean all the difference between whether a person will get a suspended driver’s license or not. It will also assist in seeking out any additional ways of preventing the other expensive penalties, when a DUI offense conviction can be avoided altogether. If a person has been charged with a 1st offense DUI charge for alcohol, drugs, pot, or even prescribed medicine, then it is important that the arrest can be examined online free and easily by us, as soon as possible. After a local California DUI Lawyer reviews the information for the best options of defense, they will then discuss what the possibilities are how to fight and dismiss the charges, as well as answer any questions such as will my license get suspended for a first DUI in:
South Lake Tahoe
La Habra Heights
Palos Verdes Estates
Rancho Palos Verdes
Rolling Hills Estates
Santa Fe Springs
South El Monte
Del Rey Oaks
San Juan Capistrano
Desert Hot Springs
San Juan Bautista
Big Bear Lake
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo
East Palo Alto
Half Moon Bay
South San Francisco
Los Altos Hills