California laws appear to be getting more harsh for those charged with Southern California DUIs. Legislators in recent months have begun to amass together to bring sweeping changes to the existing DUI laws. As of today, the laws are fairly straight forward. Los Angeles DUI defense Attorneys who are former prosecutors, and have trained law enforcement officers, are well versed in the penalties in DUI cases. The DUI defense attorney who who almost exclusively handle DUI cases are often in the best position to ensure that these penalties do not fall on their clients’ shoulders. Those charged and convicted with a first time Los Angeles DUI can expect the following to occur:
1. Driver’s License suspended for 4 months.
2. Must enroll in a 3 month DUI alcohol awareness program.
3. Pay huge court fines.
4. Receive a criminal record.
5. Be placed on probation for a period of at least two years.
6. Have a public record of conviction.
7. Mandatory jail sentence.
8. Sky rocketing insurance rates.
Because these penalties are so sever, it is always recommended that if a person is stopped and arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, that they immediately hire a pre-filing DUI defense attorney. Often times the criminal defense attorney is able to raise legal questions so that charges are either reduced or in some cases fully dismissed.
Those charged with a second time DUI have significantly higher penalties. A second time DUI is determined by a person having been convicted of a DUI sometime within the last 10 years before the most recent DUI. The penalties include the following:
1. Mandatory jail sentence of between 4 and 10 days and a maximum of 6 months in county jail.
2. Dui alcohol school that lasts 18 months at a minimum or a maximum of 30 months.
3. Driver’s license suspended for 2 years.
4. Court can mandate formal probation.
5. Court may order a DUI interlock device. This device will need to be blown into before your car can start. While this may not seem that inappropriate, if your job requires you to drive at all, you may likely be fired.
6. Huge fines from the court.
7. Loss of car insurance or significantly increased fines.
While these penalties are sever, Sacramento legislators are considering apply the Three Strikes Law to driving under the influence cases, making the penalties even harsher. The law makers are publicly upset about cases in which people have been convicted of eight or nine separate DUIs are still able to get back behind the wheel after their sentence is complete.
The most recent statistics from the California Department of Motor Vehicles indicate that almost 1,500 people were killed in DUI related deaths in 2007. In addition to those killed, well over 30,000 people were injured in DUI accidents during the same time period.
Statistics from 2006 point to an alarming increase in the rise of Los Angeles DUIs, as well as driving under the influence cases throughout Southern California and the rest of the State. The State reports in excess of 5,000 drivers had amassed four DUI conviction within the last 10 years.
Based upon these statistics, law makes are talking about instituting a Three Strikes type law which would permanently take these repeat offenders off the roadways. Tougher DUI laws are already being enacted. Beginning next year, first time DUI offenders In Los Angeles who are convicted of either Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or drugs in violation of CVC 23152(a) or of having a blood alcohol level in excess of of .08% in violation of CVC 23152(b), will have to have a ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle they drive.