Getting charged with a DUI in California is frightening. You may be worried about the penalties, and you aren’t sure what to expect. Find out what happens when you get a DUI for the first time in California. Knowing what to expect will alleviate some of the anxiety.
Consequences of a DUI in California
If you’re convicted of a first-offense DUI in California, you will face 48 hours to six months in jail. Fines range from $390 to $1,000, and your license could get suspended for four months. Let’s take a closer look at the consequences of a DUI in California.
Jail After a DUI
The idea of going to jail is terrifying. Fortunately, you’re likely to get probation as a first-time offender, meaning you won’t have to go to jail. The probation will likely last for 36 months and will include conditions that you must follow. These might consist of attending DUI school or substance abuse treatment. You will also need to avoid drugs and alcohol during probation.
License Suspension in California
If you get a DUI in California, the DMV will suspend your license 30 days after the arrest. You can challenge the suspension if you wish, and you must do that within ten days. Also, you might be eligible to get a restricted license if you install an interlock ignition device. This device prevents you from driving while intoxicated. You will have to pay for the cost and the installation if you go this route. Even with the device, you can only drive to and from work or school.
You’re not eligible to get a suspended license if you refused a chemical test, are under the age of 21 or are on DUI probation.
Reinstating Your License
Once your suspension is up, you can have your license reinstated. You must pay the DMV a $125 fine and file proof of financial responsibility. This refers to an SR-22 certificate that proves you have car insurance.
Is a DUI a Felony?
Suppose this is your first DUI in California. In that case, it will be charged as a misdemeanor unless you caused severe injury or death. In that case, the prosecutor can charge you with a felony, with more serious consequences.
How Long Will It Stay on Your Driving Record?
A DUI in California stays on your driving record for ten years from the date of the arrest. At the end of that period, the DUI will go away. Then, your insurance rates should go down.
Getting Back on the Road After a DUI in California
Facing a DUI in California is stressful, but it won’t be long before you’re back on the road. However, because of the DUI conviction, some car insurance companies might charge you lots of money for a basic policy. Instead of buying the first policy you see, contact a licensed insurance agent, so you can comparison shop. When you compare plans, you can find something affordable, even though you have a DUI conviction on your record. Then, you can begin putting your life back together.
Get the support you need after a DUI conviction with Freeway Insurance. Start your free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you. We can help when no one else will. Don’t wait any longer.