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DUI consequences for a first-time offender in California

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Choosing to drive while not completely sober can lead to some irreversible consequences. If you are facing a DUI charge, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of typical penalties. And as a first-time offender, you will want to know if the punishment you receive is fair or out of line.

Potential penalties

Here are the consequences first-time DUI offenders may expect:

  • Fees up to $2,000
  • Jail time up to 48 hours
  • License suspension up to 6 months
  • Mandatory three-month alcohol education course
  • Potential vehicle confiscation
  • Possible order to use ignition interlock system

If time and money are luxuries you have plenty of, then these consequences may seem tolerable at first glance. But it’s vital to understand that these setbacks will have long-lasting impacts. It’s also important to note that penalties could be even harsher if someone developed injuries because of one’s drunken drive.

Long-term effects

A DUI offender may encounter ramifications for their mistake many months and years out from their arrest. Thousands of dollars in fines and assessments can force someone to dip into money set aside for their daily needs or their savings. Spending even a couple of hours in jail can cause mental distress. It might also pull away from responsibilities like going to work or being a parent. In turn, therapy may be a must, resulting in more costs, and an offender could face judgment by their family, friends, or employer. Having a license taken away can also make day-to-day life difficult. You may go from an independent lifestyle to having to rely on others or public transportation.

Overall, the common penalties attached to first-time DUI arrests can force someone to make several changes to their routine at once. On top of that, the consequences may not even be fair. So, instead of immediately accepting these penalties, it’s worth considering defense options.