DUI Charges in Van Nuys, California

Van Nuys DUI Attorneys

Punishments For Misdemeanor Convictions Under Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and/or 23152(b)

If you are convicted of misdemeanor DUI under Vehicle Code §§ 23152(a) and/or 23152(b), there are a wide variety of potential penalties and punishments.  These penalties and punishments will almost always increase for a second or third misdemeanor DUI conviction.  If you are charged with felony DUI your punishment may be significantly increased, including imprisonment in the state prison.

In addition to any court punishment, the DMV in any DUI case may take separate action against your driving privilege, including suspending or restricting your right to drive.

Beginning July 1, 2010, drivers convicted of any misdemeanor or felony DUI offense in Los Angeles County must install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operate.

First DUI Misdemeanor Punishments – Punishments for a first misdemeanor DUI conviction may include:

  • Informal probation for 3 to 5 years (this is probation by the court.  You are not required to report to a probation officer)
  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Between $390-$1000 in fines, plus mandatory court ordered penalty assessments
  • Community service or Caltrans
  • A 3 or 9 month alcohol education program, depending on your BAC. The 9 month program is generally ordered in cases of a .20 or greater BAC.
  • A 6 to 10 month driver’s license suspension, however, first time DUI offenders are immediately eligible for a restricted driver’s license. This license suspension may still be separate from any driver’s license suspension or restriction ordered by the DMV.

Second DUI Misdemeanor Punishments – Punishments for a second misdemeanor DUI conviction can include:

  • Informal probation for 3 to 5 years (this is probation by the court.  You are not required to report to a probation officer)
  • A minimum of 96 hours to up to 1 year in county jail
  • Between $390-$1000 in fines, plus mandatory court ordered penalty assessments
  • Community service or Caltrans
  • An 18 or 30 month alcohol education program, depending on your BAC
  • A 2 year driver’s license suspension, however, second time DUI offenders may typically obtain a restricted license after serving only 90 days of this suspension upon installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This license suspension may still be separate from any driver’s license suspension or restriction ordered by the DMV.

Third DUI Misdemeanor Punishments – Punishments for a third misdemeanor DUI can include:

  • Informal probation for 3 to 5 years (this means you are on probation by the court and do not have to check in with a probation officer)
  • A minimum of 120 days to up to one 1 year in county jail
  • Between $390-$1000 in fines, plus mandatory court ordered penalty assessments
  • Community service or Caltrans
  • An 18 month alcohol education program, and in some cases a 30 month program.
  • A 3 year driver’s license suspension, however, third time DUI offenders may typically obtain a restricted license after serving only 180 days of this suspension upon installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This license suspension may still be separate from any driver’s license suspension or restriction ordered by the DMV.
  • Designation as a Habitual Traffic Offender by the DMV.

Fourth DUI Misdemeanor Punishments – Punishments for a fourth misdemeanor DUI conviction can include (NOTE: in most cases a fourth DUI is charged as a felony and is subject to felony DUI punishments):

  • Informal probation for 3 to 5 years (this is probation by the court.  You are not required to report to a probation officer)
  • A minimum of 180 days to up to 1 year in county jail
  • Between $390-$1000 in fines, plus mandatory court ordered penalty assessments
  • Community service or Caltrans
  • A 18 month alcohol education program, and in some cases a 30 month program
  • A 4 year driver’s license suspension, however, a restricted license may typically be obtained after only 12 months of this suspension upon proof
  • of completion of 12 months of the alcohol program and installation of an ignition interlock device. This license suspension may still be separate from any driver’s license suspension or restriction ordered by the DMV.
  • Designation as a Habitual Traffic Offender by the DMV.

California DUI Schools

Anyone convicted of a DUI, and certain people convicted of the reduced charge of a Wet Reckless, must enroll in a DUI school within 21 days of sentencing, and complete DUI school within the time period ordered by the Court.

DUI School varies in length depending on the severity of the DUI conviction.

There are four basic DUI programs offered in California.

  • 3 Month First DUI Offender Program – This is the most common DUI school for a first time DUI conviction with a BAC of less than .20%.
  • 9 Month First DUI Offender Program – If a first time offender has a BAC of .20% or greater; a refusal; or a wet reckless conviction with a prior wet reckless or DUI conviction within 10 years, the court will typically require a 9 month first offender program.
  • 18 Month Second, Third and Fourth DUI Offender Program – The 18 month program is the minimum program required for second, third and fourth time DUI offenders.
  • 30 Month Multiple DUI Offender Program – The 30 month program may, in some cases, be imposed against second, third and fourth time DUI offenders.

Proof of completion of a DUI Program is required to regain full driving privileges.

You must show proof of completion of your DUI Program to both the Court and the DMV to regain an unrestricted license to drive in California.

Finding a DUI School in your area

The following website contains a list of some local DUI Schools: http://www.adp.ca.gov/Criminal_Justice/DUI/pdf/DUI_dir.pdf

California Vehicle Code Section 23153

California Vehicle Code § 23153, commonly referred to as “DUI with Injury”, is typically charged in cases of DUI causing injury to another person.

VC § 23153 is a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.  The prosecutor will make this decision based on the particular circumstances of the case, such as your Blood Alcohol Concentration (“BAC”), seriousness of the injuries, and prior criminal history, particularly any prior DUI convictions.

What The Prosecutor Must Prove To Convict You Under VC Section 23153

A finding of guilt under VC § 23153 requires the prosecutor to prove the following:

  • You drove while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
  • While driving you broke a law – in addition to driving under the influence – such as speeding, or you acted in a negligent manner while driving; and
  • Your unlawful act or negligence caused the injury to another person.  This means that even if you were DUI and acted negligently, you cannot be convicted under VC § 23153 if you did not cause the injury.  For example, if the injured party ran a red light and hit you it is unlikely that you caused the accident and injury even if you were DUI

Defenses To DUI Charges Under California Vehicle Code Section 23153

Like a non-injury DUI charge under Vehicle Code § 23152, there are many potential defenses to a charge of “DUI with Injury” under VC Section 23153.  The Weinrieb Law Firm will conduct a detailed, individualized analysis of your case to determine every possible defense to your DUI with Injury charge.

Potential defenses to a DUI with Injury charge including the following:

  • Defenses available in a non-injury DUI prosecution under Vehicle Code § 23152.
  • No causation – Because a conviction under VC § 23153 requires proof that you caused the injury to another person, evidence that you did not cause the accident and injury, even if you were DUI, is critical to overcoming a VC § 23153 charge.  Proof that you did not cause the accident or injury may require significant investigation into the accident and support by an accident reconstruction expert.

Punishment, Penalties and Sentences For Convictions Under California Vehicle Code Section 23153

Punishment for violating VC § 23153 significantly depends on if the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.  Potential punishments for misdemeanor or felony VC § 23153 convictions are as follows:

Misdemeanor DUI with Injury

Punishments for a misdemeanor DUI with Injury can include:

  • Informal probation for 3 to 5 years (this is probation by the court.  You are not required to report to a probation officer)
  • 5 days to 1 year in county jail
  • Between $390-$1000 in fines, plus mandatory court ordered penalty assessments
  • Community service or Caltrans
  • A 3 or 6 month alcohol education program, depending on your BAC.
  • A 1 year driver’s license suspension.  This action on your driver’s license may be separate from any action on your driver’s license taken by the DMV.
  • Restitution to any injured parties

Felony DUI with Injury

Punishments for Felony DUI with Injury can include:

  • 30 days to 1 year in county jail
  • 16 months to 4 years in state prison, plus the following potential prison enhancements:
    • 3 to 6 years if any victim suffers great bodily injury
    • 3 years for inflicting great bodily if the defendant has four or more prior DUI convictions.
    • 1 additional year for each additional person that suffers any injury, up to a maximum of 3 years.
  • A “strike” on your criminal record under California’s Three Strikes Law if anyone other than you suffers great bodily injury
  • Between $1,015-$5,000 in fines, plus mandatory court ordered penalty assessments
  • Habitual Traffic Offender status for three years
  • 5 year California driver’s license revocation.  This license suspension may be separate from any driver’s license suspension or restriction by the DMV.  Restitution to any injured parties

There are often strong options to defend DUI charges, and with a thorough review of the evidence against you, the legal team can advise you what strategy can be implemented.  It is vital that you act quickly, as you will likely have your license suspended if you do not contact the firm and set up the DMV hearing, and handling the arraignment on a DUI charge without legal counsel is a dangerous matter.

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges, contact a Van Nuys Criminal Attorney from Naderi & Weinrieb today at (818) 888-2711.