First-Time DUI Charges
Santa Barbara DUI Defense Lawyer
Facing a DUI charge is always serious, even if you don't have a prior criminal record. A first-time DUI can lead to driver's license suspension, probation, mandatory DUI education, and incarceration. If your arrest involved a third-party injury, you may be subject to additional penalties, including restitution and extended jail time.
Common penalties for your first DUI may include:
- Three to five years of informal probation. Although most first-time DUI convictions trigger a three year period of informal probation, five years is permissible by law as well.
- Three months of mandatory, court-order and court-approved DUI education. DUI education programs can vary in length, but usually last three months after a first-time DUI conviction.
- Fines and penalty assessments ranging from $390 to $2,000. It is not unusual for a first DUI conviction to cost around $ 1,900 in penalty assessments and fines.
- Six months of driver's license suspension. During this time, you cannot legally operate a car. Sometimes, you can obtain a restricted license after thirty days.
Facing any criminal allegation can be scary, especially if your reputation and your freedom are on the line. Subsequent drunk driving arrests are subject to heightened penalties, but even your first DUI can lead to a jail sentence. After an arrest, you probably have a lot of questions about the consequences of a conviction and the DUI process. Let our Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys help you find the answers.
With Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP on your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your case is in good hands.
First DUI & Driver's License Suspension
There are two ways to lose your driver's license after a first-time DUI: in court or through the DMV. After a DUI arrest, your driver's license will be automatically suspended unless you schedule a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest. A DMV license suspension hearing allows you to fight for your driving privilege after an arrest. At the hearing, your attorney will present evidence in your favor to help the DMV determine whether or not you should retain your license. Unlike court proceedings, the DMV hearing will not determine your guilt or innocence; it is only used by the DMV to determine the status of your license. While the DMV will be interested to hear evidence related to your case, it will not actually decide if you will be convicted of DUI.