Probation Violations and DUI

Probation violation proceedings in DUI cases can result from an arrest for a new DUI or other criminal offense during the probationary period. Probation violation proceedings can also result from a failure to comply with court penalties, such as a failure to pay a fine on time or the non-completion of an alcohol program by the due date.

When the probationary court receives information about a new criminal law violation, or when a defendant fails to comply with the other terms of probation, the court terminates probation and either issues an arrest warrant or sends a notice to appear to the defendant mandating a court appearance.

The court has broad powers on a probation violation, from reinstating probation on the same terms and conditions without any further penalty, to imposing the maximum penalty for the original offense. For a first time DUI, the maximum penalty is six months in county jail.

Normally, if a defendant fails to pay a fine on time or fails to complete an alcohol program on time, the court will allow an extension without additional penalties, so long as the request is made promptly. However, if there are repeated violations, or the commission of a new DUI, some additional jail time is to be expected. The policies of individual courts and judges vary quite considerably in this regard.

A DUI probation violation in Orange County normally results in an additional thirty to ninety days county jail. Los Angeles County courts tend to be more lenient.

A defendant charged with a probation violation has the right to be represented by an attorney and has the right to a probation violation hearing before a judge (not before a jury). However, the standard of proof is on the balance of probabilities, not beyond a reasonable doubt.


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