First-Time DUI Charges Reduced — No Jail Time

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Drunk Driving Charges in California

While some states call it a DWI (driving while impaired), California exclusively uses the term “DUI” for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There is more than one way to get a DUI.

First Time vs Multiple DUIs

A first-time DUI in California is a misdemeanor offense that indicates the driver has never received a DUI or has not received one in the last 10 years (called a “look back period”).

If a driver has had one or more DUIs in the last 10 years, their charges will be enhanced, and penalties could be more severe.

Per Se DUI

A per se DUI (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC) in California is a type of DUI charge that is based solely on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. This means that if a driver is caught driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they can be arrested and charged with DUI, even if they are not exhibiting signs of impairment.

DUI with a High BAC

A DUI with a high BAC (California Vehicle Code Section 23578 VC) in California is a DUI offense in which the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.15% or higher. This is considered an aggravating factor in DUI cases and can result in more severe penalties.

Felony DUI

A felony DUI in California is a more serious type of DUI offense that can result in more severe penalties. There are multiple ways in which a DUI can be considered a felony in California:

  • Fourth DUI offense within 10 years
  • Prior felony DUI convictions
  • DUI causing injury or death

It’s also important to know that there is no “washout period” for felony DUIs. When calculating penalties, a washout period is the amount of time a prior DUI conviction is applied to later DUI charges. If you receive a felony DUI, it will always count against you if you receive one in the future.

Underage DUI

An underage DUI (California Vehicle Code Section 23140 VC) in California is a type of DUI charge that is specifically for drivers under the age of 21. In California, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01% or higher. This means that even if a driver under 21 is not exhibiting any signs of impairment, they can still be arrested and charged with DUI if their BAC is 0.01% or higher.

Commercial CDL DUI

A commercial CDL DUI (California Vehicle Code Section 23152(d) VC) is a type of DUI offense that is specifically for drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In the United States, CDL drivers are held to a higher standard than non-commercial drivers when it comes to alcohol use. This is because they are responsible for operating large and potentially dangerous vehicles, such as trucks and buses.

The BAC limit for CDL drivers is 0.04%, which is significantly lower than the 0.08% limit for non-commercial drivers.

Penalties for a DUI in California

The penalties you may face for a DUI in California depend on the facts of the case and your history (whether you’ve had prior DUIs). If there are aggravating factors, such as injury or death, penalties could also be more severe.

Jail Time

You may face up to six months in county jail for a first offense, up to one year in county jail for a second offense, and up to three years in state prison for a third offense.

A felony DUI can result in up to three years in prison. Your penalties may increase if your actions resulted in someone’s death and you are charged with vehicular manslaughter.


You may have to pay up to $2,000 plus penalty assessments for a first offense, up to $3,000 plus penalty assessments for a second offense, and up to $5,000 plus penalty assessments for a third offense. Fines are higher for felony and CDL offenses.

Driver’s License Suspension

If you are convicted of DUI, you will face a driver’s license suspension of six to 10 months for a first offense, one to three years for a second offense, and three years for a third offense.

Other Consequences for a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of a DUI, you will also likely face:

  • Mandatory DUI school
  • Substance abuse treatment program requirements
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

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Why Hire a Folsom DUI Lawyer?

DUI cases are complex. They often involve a lot of evidence that needs to be reviewed and disputed in court. Whether you are facing a first-time or a felony DUI, you need to work with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you understand the legal process and your options.

Folsom lawyer Chris Walsh has handled countless DUI cases like yours. He always strives to achieve a fair outcome for his clients, ensuring they get the best conclusion possible.

Walsh Law will communicate with you honestly and clearly about your case. We will do whatever is possible to get you the desired outcome and fight to keep you out of jail while retaining your eligibility to drive.

Defending Against DUI Charges

Every DUI case is unique and needs a defense strategy developed for the facts at hand. The DUI lawyers at Walsh Law will work by your side to represent you in court and create a defense that achieves the best possible outcome in your case.

We may argue one or a combination of:

  • You were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We can challenge the breathalyzer or blood test as well as field sobriety tests.
  • The police did not have probable cause to arrest you. We may assert that the police did not have probable cause to believe you were under the influence, and your case may be dismissed.
  • The police violated your constitutional rights. If the police conducted an illegal search and seizure or failed to read your Miranda rights before questioning you, certain evidence may be suppressed (or thrown out).
  • There was a medical condition that caused you to appear intoxicated. Some medical conditions can cause you to exhibit signs of intoxication, which can help you avoid conviction.

What should I do if I’m arrested for DUI?

If you are arrested for DUI, you should first remain silent and ask to speak to an attorney. You have the right to an attorney, and exercising this right as soon as possible is important. A Folsom DUI defense lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect your interests.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver's BAC is above a certain level. IIDs are often ordered as a condition of probation after a DUI conviction.

Will I go to jail if I’m convicted of DUI?

Whether or not you will go to jail if you are convicted of a DUI in California depends on several factors, including your BAC level, whether there were any injuries involved, and your prior criminal record. If this is your first DUI offense, a skilled attorney can likely get your penalties minimized to eliminate jail time. However, if you’ve faced multiple DUIs or are facing a felony DUI, you’re more likely to be incarcerated.

Call Walsh Law About DUI Charges in Folsom

Many prosecutors are harsh on DUI charges. They seek the highest penalties possible and don’t like to negotiate. That’s why it’s important to work with a Folsom DUI lawyer like Chris Walsh. He used to be a prosecutor, so he knows how to get you a plea agreement. He has dedicated himself to working for people like you who have been accused of serious crimes.

Contact the legal team at Walsh Law today to find out your options and how you can move forward with life after a DUI charge. Contact us today at 916-237-8270 to schedule an initial consultation.

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