Being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence is an incredibly stressful experience, especially for those who have never been arrested for any criminal offense previously. People who are facing DUI charges often want to know what type of consequences they potentially face. There are many myths and false information surrounding DUIs and anyone who has been arrested for DUI should consult with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. A person arrested for DUI may face the following consequences.
- Criminal Consequences
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense and those who are arrested for DUI can be charged with a crime. While in some cases DUI offenses can be charged as felonies, most first-time DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors. Defendants who are convicted of DUI will face certain consequences as a result of that conviction.
A defendant who is convicted of DUI will face certain mandatory conditions of probation; including completion of an alcohol education class, an automatic driver’s license suspension and mandatory court fines. In addition, the Court may impose several other conditions of probation that the defendant would be required to follow. A DUI defendant may be sentenced to serve time in jail, complete community service or community labor, pay victim restitution for any damages caused, attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel or other programs such as the Hospital and Morgue (“HAM”) program. Any violation of probation could result in additional penalties being assessed, including jail time. In addition, the conviction would be communicated to the Department of Justice and would go on the defendant’s criminal record.
- Driver’s License Consequences
A person who is arrested on suspicion of driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or who refuses chemical testing will face a driver’s license suspension whether or not a criminal case is filed in court. The California DMV will automatically issue an administrative suspension 30 days after the arrest date unless the driver requests a hearing to challenge the suspension within 10 days of the arrest. The DMV hearing is not held in court but is handled by a DMV hearing officer who is neither a judge nor an attorney. On a first-time DUI, a driver can lose his license for four months and may be eligible for a restricted license. If the driver refused testing or was under the age of 21, he or she will face a yearlong driver’s license suspension and no restricted license would be available.
In addition, drivers who are convicted of DUI in court will automatically have their license suspended. Defendants in Los Angeles County would be required to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) in their vehicles as a result of the DMV’s IID Pilot Program.
- Collateral Consequences
A DUI can also trigger many collateral consequences for drivers beyond what happens in court and with the DMV. Having a DUI conviction on one’s record may make it difficult to find a job or housing as many employers and landlords now conduct criminal background searches. For those who are in a profession that requires a license, such as doctors, nurses or attorneys, a DUI conviction can trigger an investigation and potential action from the state licensing board. These are only a few of the potential collateral consequences that may be caused by a DUI conviction.
If you have been arrested on suspension of DUI, it is important that you meet with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer immediately. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Attorney Michael Kraut understands the extensive consequences that a DUI may cause and works hard to ensure his clients receive the most comprehensive defense possible.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI consequences, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.