Probation in DUI Cases

Upon conviction for a DUI in California, the court will place a defendant on probation for a period of three to five years. Probation can be formal or informal. Formal probation requires supervision by a probation officer, informal probation does not. It is unusual for a defendant to be placed on formal probation for a misdemeanor DUI, but some courts including Ventura and Pomona have a reputation for requiring formal supervision by a probation officer even on a first time DUI. It is typical for formal probation to be imposed for a felony DUI in Los Angeles or Orange County.

The standard conditions of probation in a DUI case include a requirement to violate no law. The commission of any new criminal offense during the probationary period will result in probation violation proceedings. This happens frequently when people take a chance and drive on a suspended license following a DUI conviction.

In addition, it is typical for the court to require, as a condition of probation, that the defendant refrain from driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in his or her breath or blood. Even driving after drinking one alcoholic drink is a violation of probation. It is also a condition of probation to submit to any field sobriety tests, breath or blood test in the event that a police officer requests it. Normally, field sobriety tests, including preliminary alcohol screening devices are voluntary. This is not the case for defendants on probation.

Conditions of probation can also include a prohibition on drinking alcohol at all, and a prohibition on attending bars. Some judges in Long Beach impose this condition in all DUI cases.

Standard conditions also include no driving without a valid license and insurance.

It is also a condition of probation to complete all terms of the sentence, including any jail time or community labor, pay any fine and complete any alcohol education program ordered by the court.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or Orange County, please contact the leading DUI law firm of Gold & Witham to discuss your options.


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