What Happens on a First-Time DUI Offense?

If you are facing a DUI charge in the state of California you can expect to have to plead your case to the DMV as well as to the prosecutors against criminal charges. Whether it is your first, second, or third DUI there are always consequences that you will have to face. However, the severity of the consequences can vary based on how many times you have encountered a DUI in the past. First-time offenders, with effective legal counsel, can often have the penalties reduced or avoided altogether.

What Consequences Am I Facing As A First-Time DUI Offender?

First time DUI offenders in the state of California are usually faced with a misdemeanor. Typically the punishment is fines, probation, DUI school, and driver’s license suspension.

Fines are about $390 plus “penalty assessments” totaling about $2000. You will also have to pay for a 30-hour first offender alcohol program which is approximately $500.

Some counties in California (Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare) require an ignition lock for first-time offenders for four months. This will add about a $500 cost.

Drivers License Suspension/Restriction


A DUI arrest for alcohol automatically sets off a chain of events within the DMV that can result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

It is possible to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license with the DMV by requesting a hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you don’t your driver’s license will automatically be suspended within 30 days of your DUI arrest date.

It can be very difficult to plead your case at the DMV hearing to challenge the suspension unless you have effective counsel to represent your case.


It is possible, even if you have a suspended license, to get permission for a restricted driver’s license that will allow you to drive to and from work as well as your drug and alcohol program.

Will I Have To Do Jail-Time For My DUI?

Most people are released from jail after a DUI arrest within a few hours. Posting bail, in a first-time offense, is usually not necessary unless someone sustained injuries.

There is no jail time that is required for a first time DUI offense unless there are other aggravating circumstances present. Some of those circumstances would be if a minor were present in the vehicle or if the driver was going more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit on a roadway or 30 miles per hour over on the freeway.

If you are facing a DUI charge in the state of California call Mr. Ticket to represent your case!

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