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DUI Penalties in California


Most people seeking a DUI attorney in Los Angeles are looking for information about potential or likely outcomes in their case including assurances that they will not suffer any county jail time. The reality is that no experienced DUI lawyer is going to give assurances about specific outcomes. There is always a range in potential outcomes from the best to the worst and any lawyer who cares about his clients will explain this from the beginning. Of course, it is always important to have in mind a legitimate and reasonable goal and to have a plan of action as to how to get there, but defending DUI charges in Orange County and Los Angeles is difficult and requires hard work and dedication.

The minimum penalties for a first DUI in Los Angeles and Orange County include three years of informal probation, a fine and a three-month alcohol education program. Jail time is not mandatory for a first offense, only discretionary up to a maximum of six months. For a second offense in ten years, jail time varies from 96 hours minimum to one-year maximum. On a third offense, the minimum period of county jail is 120 days, up to one-year maximum. A fourth offense can be filed as a felony DUI with potential prison time.

It is never advisable, and is actually unethical, to guarantee any outcome in a DUI case. If you are in the position of having to seek an attorney following a DUI arrest, you should decline to hire an attorney who offers a guarantee. Generally, it is the cheaper lawyers who do this, but I have been consulted by potential clients who have suggested that they would pay any amount for a guarantee. I generally decline to represent people who take this approach with me from the beginning. What you should be seeking from your attorney is experienced, and informed and reasoned advice and support. If you do this, you will happy at the end of your case.