If you are facing DUI charges, it is important that you understand the allegations made against you, the possible penalties of conviction, and the defenses available in your situation. The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen provide aggressive and effective defense for all types of DUI charges, and the firm can represent you before the court and the DMV. They can ensure you understand the specifics of the charges you face and the penalties you could be sentenced to if convicted, and then work with you to decide upon the best defense option for your circumstances.

The team can thoroughly assess the factors of your arrest and the prosecution’s evidence to determine if your rights were violated in any way and if your test results could have been tainted. The firm can then build a detailed and powerful defense to present before the court and at your DMV hearing to advocate for your interests and freedoms. If you would like to retain aggressive defense for your drunk driving case, do not hesitate to call on our experienced DUI lawyers in San Diego to learn more about your options.

Potential Penalties for Drunk Driving in California

Sentencing for conviction of DUI depends upon a number of things, such as prior DUI charges within 10 years, your BAC, and if there were any aggravating factors involved in the incident. The basic penalties for DUI are as follows:

First DUI – Misdemeanor

  • Fines between $390 and $1,000
  • Incarceration in county jail for up to 6 months
  • Driver’s license suspension for 6 to 10 months
  • Summary probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Mandatory completion of a 3 to 9 month alcohol education program

Second DUI – Misdemeanor

  • Fines between $390 and $1,000
  • Incarceration in county jail for a minimum of 96 hours to a maximum of 1 year
  • Driver’s license suspension for 2 years
  • Summary probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Mandatory completion of a 18 to 30 month alcohol education program

Third DUI – Misdemeanor

  • Fines between $390 and $1,000
  • Incarceration in county jail for a minimum of 120 days to a maximum of 1 year
  • Driver’s license revocation for 3 years
  • Summary probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Mandatory completion of a 30 month alcohol education program
  • DMV designation as a habitual traffic offender (HTO)

Four or More DUIs – Felony

  • Fines between $390 and $1,000
  • Incarceration in state prison for 16 months to 3 years
  • Driver’s license revocation for 4 years
  • DMV designation as a HTO

Misdemeanor DUI with Injury

  • Fines between $390 and $5,000
  • Incarceration in county jail for a minimum of 5 days to a maximum of 1 year
  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 to 3 years
  • Summary probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Mandatory completion of a 3 to 30 month alcohol education program
  • Restitution to all injured victims

Felony DUI with Injury

  • Fines between $1,015 and $5,000
  • Incarceration in state prison for 16 months to 10 years, with additional time for the number of victims and the extent of their injuries
  • Mandatory completion of an 18 to 30 month alcohol education program
  • DMV designation as a HTO for 3 years
  • Restitution to all injured victims

As mentioned above, all of the factors related to the stop, evidence of impaired driving, disputable issues pertaining to the accuracy of your BAC and to what extent it may have exceeded the legal limit, will contribute to the level of punishment or the likelihood of having the case dismissed. All of these points can play a very significant role in obtaining a verdict of not guilty in the event that your case goes to trial.

Fighting DUI Charges in San Diego

Going to trial and fighting to establish your innocence should always be your attorney’s initial instinct. However, as the evidence begins to present itself, many times in a DUI case it is wiser not to take the case to trial, and negotiate a plea bargain instead. Any of the factors listed above that you may present at trial may be used to negotiate a better deal with the prosecution. Simply the threat of taking the case to trial will help leverage a deal.

If your San Diego DUI attorney can build a case that you have a good chance of winning, the prosecution will be more inclined towards leniency in your sentencing. For example, a lower BAC will provide your attorney with more power to possibly negotiate the charges down to a wet reckless which will carry no jail time and only a $1000 fine.

In the event of a plea bargain, ultimately your punishment will depend largely on the skill of your San Diego DUI defense attorney. Therefore, it is crucial that you retain an attorney that is familiar with the courts, has proven experience negotiating with the prosecution, and has the necessary skills to present a strong case in getting an attractive offer on your behalf.

A DUI, even with no priors and a relatively low BAC of even 0.08% can be a very traumatic experience. Most individuals who are arrested under this section have never been in trouble with the law. Therefore the punishments afforded to the state under this section can be devastating.

Get Help from Attorney Marc Kohnen!

Attorneys at the Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen understand the lack of familiarity you may be feeling in this troubling time. However, it is crucial that you be proactive because, once again, you have only 10 days to schedule your DMV hearing to prevent an automatic license suspension.

The firm has handled hundreds of DUIs with extremely successful results, both in the criminal court and in the DMV hearings. If you or loved one has been arrested and charged with a violation under California Vehicle Code 23152, please contact the firm for a confidential and complimentary consultation concerning your available options in this pressing matter.