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Jail Time

Jail Time for DUI

Will I go to jail for my DUI?

One of the most common questions we get when we take on a new client is "Will I go to jail?" We sincerely hope that the only jail cell you will have to experience is when you are taking in for booking after your arrest. After an arrest, you haven't been sentenced yet, which means that this time spent in jail is not part of a formal penalty for DUI.

If you are convicted of drunk driving, you could receive a jail sentence. However, many people are able to negotiate probation in lieu of jail.

  • First DUI– 48 hours to six months
  • Second DUI– 96 hours to one year
  • Third DUI– four months to one year
  • Fourth DUI – six months to three years

There are sentencing enhancements for those convicted of DUI accidents involving injury or death.

  • DUI with Injury – 3 years in prison plus 1 additional year for every other person injured. This could increase to 3 additional years per every person injured in cases of great bodily injury.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter – 4 years in state prison with a maximum of 10 years in prison in cases of extreme recklessness.

DUI accidents and multiple DUI offenses are not the only ways you can receive a sentencing enhancement. In California, you could receive additional jail time for DUI offenses involving:

  • Extreme BAC (at or above .15%)
  • Having a minor under 14 in the car with you at the time
  • Excessive recklessness
  • DUI while on probation or under license suspension

Jail Time for Felony DUIs

If you were arrested for DUI causing injury or death, DUI with prior wet reckless' or DUIs on your record, or DUI with one prior felony DUI, you could be charged with felony DUI in California. If convicted of felony DUI, you could face 16 months minimum or up to three years in state prison.

Private Jail for DUI

One option available to defendants faced with county jail time is to negotiate a disposition that permits jail time to be served in a "private" jail. There are a number of jails in Los Angeles and Orange County that are run independently, outside of the county jail system. These jails are run by local police departments and offer facilities that are cleaner, safer, and better run than county jails.

Additionally, local jails often offer flexibility in terms of allowing work/trustee programs so that prisoners can return home at night. Some local jails will also allow a work furlough arrangement whereby a person is allowed to go to work during the day and check into jail at night. Weekend jail is also an option. These options often allow defendants to keep their job intact.

Private jails are not free. They vary in terms of what they charge, but for those who can afford it, it is worth paying.

In Los Angeles there a private jails in Glendale, Pasadena, Seal Beach, Hawthorne, Palos Verdes, and Hermosa Beach. In Orange County, there are private jails in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Santa Ana.

Some judges and prosecutors are reluctant to allow defendants "preferential treatment", but effective plea negotiations can often result in a disposition that avoids the stress and fear associated with a pending county jail commitment.

How to Avoid Jail

If you are facing DUI charges and you want to avoid jail, with the help of your DUI defense lawyer, you may be able to negotiate a plea bargain to avoid jail. In some cases, like when evidence is dismissed, DUI charges can be dropped completely. Gold & Witham could help you avoid jail by:

  • Pleading wet reckless
  • Negotiating probation in lieu of jail
  • Filing a motion to dismiss evidence

Contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney at Gold & Witham if you were arrested for drunk driving. Our team of proven defense lawyers are here to ensure you receive fair treatment and sentencing under California law. Get in touch with us today for a free evaluation of your case.

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