Category: Driving Under the Influence

California DUI | Los Angeles DUI Lawyer| California DUI Defense | No Cuffs

How to Avoid Trial

If you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it does not necessarily mean you will be convicted, but it also doesn’t mean your case will automatically go to trial. Sometimes it’s better to settle your case. Other times trials are the better route, but every case is different.


There are several ways to resolve a DUI case without trial. The following information is generally true for California DUIs, but some courts have local customs that may be different.


A DUI conviction has serious consequences. A first-time conviction carries up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, if you are convicted of DUI, you could lose your driving privileges for up to 10 months.


However, an attorney may be able to protect you from facing all of these harsh consequences by negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution. A plea deal is when you agree to plead guilty or no contest to the charges against you, in exchange for a lenient sentence, or to plead guilty or no contest to a reduced charge (meaning one that is less severe than the original charge). If you agree to a plea deal, you will not have to risk being convicted at trial.


As part of your plea deal, you may be asked to plead guilty to one of the following crimes:


Wet reckless driving

A wet reckless charge is an alcohol related reckless driving conviction. If you agree to plead guilty to wet reckless, you face up to 90 days in county jail and a $1,000 fine. However, the other penalties and assessments are about half of those of a DUI.


A wet reckless conviction does not require a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. However, if you are convicted of another DUI within 10 years, a wet reckless conviction will be treated as a DUI conviction, which would result in harsher punishment for you. However, there are significant advantages to a wet reckless wet reckless for employment and professional licenses.


Dry reckless driving:

Reckless driving not involving alcohol is significantly better than a DUI. It generally involves probation, a fine, and possibly an alcohol education class. The probation period and penalties for this crime are similar to a wet reckless conviction, but there is no mandatory jail time for a dry reckless driving conviction. Additionally, a dry reckless does not count as a prior DUI offense in the event that you are charged with a DUI again within 10 years.


Exhibition of speed

An exhibition of speed, which refers to things like chirping your tires when leaving a parking lot, is even better. It’s usually offered when we show the prosecutor that losing the DUI is likely. It will usually result in a fine, and perhaps alcohol education.


Traffic infraction

The best possible outcome for a plea agreement would be a reduction to a traffic infraction, or a combination of traffic infractions. Your DUI charge would be changed to an infraction for an unsafe lane change or speeding, and you may be able to remove the infraction from your driving record by going to traffic school.


Experience Matters

An experienced DUI defense attorney could make a huge difference in your case. A lawyer who knows the prosecutors in the court where your case is pending may be able to negotiate a favorable plea bargain for you so that you do not have to face the harsh penalties of a DUI conviction.


At 1-800-NoCuffs, we know all of the options in your area. Our skilled DUI defense attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges for more than 20 years. Call us now at 1-800-NoCuffs for a free consultation.


US Supreme Court Affirms 4th Amendment Protection

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an individual’s right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures in Lange v. California.


The justices ruled that the 4th Amendment rights of a California motorist were violated when a CHP officer followed him home, entered his garage without a search warrant, then investigated and cited him for DUI.


The key events in Lange’s case were:

  • A retired Sonoma County real estate broker was followed home by a California Highway Patrol officer.
  • The officer turned on the flashing lights of his patrol car just as Lange pulled into his driveway. Lange was listening to music and was not aware the officer was following him.
  • The officer followed Lange into his garage, questioned him and then wrote him a ticket for driving under the influence.
  • Lange filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained after he entered his garage, and the state court judge denied the motion. Appellate courts in California upheld the decision.


The U.S. Supreme Court considered the question whether the pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect always qualifies as an “exigent circumstance,” or exception to the requirement that police obtain a warrant before conducting a search of someone’s home.


“The need to pursue a misdemeanant does not trigger a categorical rule allowing home entry, even absent a law enforcement emergency,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote. “When the nature of the crime, the nature of the flight, and surrounding facts present no such exigency, officers must respect the sanctity of the home — which means that they must get a warrant.”


If you have been charged with a DUI, or another criminal offense, we can help. For more information, call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

What Happens After I am Arrested for a DUI?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws are getting stricter with each passing year and the consequences of conviction are increasingly severe. In most states, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will automatically suspend the license of anyone who’s arrested for a DUI and has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or refuses a blood or breath test.


This automatic DMV action is often called an “administrative per se” suspension. Administrative suspensions are triggered by the DUI arrest—rather than a conviction in criminal court—and usually go into effect 30 days or so after the arrest.


A driver who wishes to contest an administrative per se suspension must promptly request a hearing. The driver typically has ten days (or less) to contact the DMV and do this. If you fail to request a hearing at this time, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended.


Instead of focusing on what you should have done, you need to focus on what to do next, in order to minimize the impact of a DUI arrest.


Drivers who represent themselves have almost no chance of winning since the DMV hearing officer is acting as the prosecutor and the judge. The hearing officer is going to suspend your license just based on the arrest UNLESS you or your attorney show why the officer doesn’t have the authority to do that.


Some issues at the hearing could be:

  • Was there a lawful arrest?
  • Was the BAC at or above .08 at the time of driving?
  • Did the driver refuse chemical testing?
  • Is the government’s evidence admissible?


In many cases, the police may have made a mistake in procedure or documentation. This is why having an attorney present at your hearing can help your case. Just because you were arrested for a DUI does not mean you have to lose your driver’s license.


We can help you defend against a DUI charge or other criminal charges. We’re experts at navigating the system. Learn more at, or call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

Did you know these could lead to a DUI arrest?

You go out with friends, share some laughs and have a few drinks. You’re well aware of your limits and have always been able to determine if you can drive home safely. However, what happens when the odds catch up with you? In some DUI cases, police will pull you over because of signs of impairment, such as swerving or driving well below the speed limit. But did you know an expired registration sticker can also lead to a DUI arrest?


Here are some other common reasons you might be pulled over: 


Broken tail light

You might wonder how a routine stop for a broken tail light leads to a DUI arrest. A police officer can stop your car if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred, which includes minor traffic violations. Broken tail lights seem like a harmless offense, but any sort of driving infraction that can be seen as a possible danger, such as having a broken or burned-out taillight, can lead to a traffic stop.


A third brake light out

A third brake light is the light or lights mounted high and at the center of your vehicle’s rear window. If it is out, you can be pulled over. Should you seem intoxicated or an officer sees something in your vehicle that is illegal, like an open bottle of alcohol, you may be charged with a DUI.


Not having a front license plate

In California, the DMV always issues two license plates for each vehicle, which means each vehicle is required to have one license plate on the front and one on the back. Most often, police will not pull you over for a missing front license plate. However, police may do this for the purpose of discovering drivers under the influence or committing other crimes. And yes, legally they can stop you for this type of technical violation, even though their true intent is to investigate other possible wrongdoings.


The next move is up to you

Seeing those flashing lights come up behind you is extremely nerve wracking, but you need to react intelligently. First, pull over to a safe spot on the right side of the road. Turn on your dome light and place your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them. You should be able to locate your registration and insurance card easily when asked to present them. Be courteous, but not overly friendly or talkative. Do not volunteer information; the officer does not need to know the details about the party you attended or how much you had to drink. Remember that any admission you make about drinking could be used against you.


We can help you defend against a DUI charge or other criminal charges. We’re experts at navigating the system. Learn more at, or call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

Ignition Interlock Device Law Effective Date: January 1, 2019


Effective January 1, 2019, the Ignition Interlock Law will become effective California state-wide due to Senate Bill 1046 being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The new law will remain in effect until January 1, 2026.

In 2010, the pilot Ignition Interlock Device program became effective in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare Counties. This program required individuals whose driving privileges were suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles Mandatory Actions Unit because of a conviction in criminal court for driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with .08% or more of alcohol in his/her system (as a misdemeanor or a felony) to install an Ignition Interlock Device (hereafter “IID”) for a minimum of 6 months after being sentenced.  The pilot program’s findings showed that the installation of IIDs reduced the number of DUI incidents and those who re-offend (continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drive with a blood alcohol content or .08% or higher.)


What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An IID is a breath machine which is connected to the starting-component of a vehicle.  For the vehicle to start, the driver must blow into the device. The device is installed on the vehicle’s steering column. The sample of air blown into the device is analyzed to ensure there is no alcohol in the breath sample.  If there is alcohol in the breath sample, the car will not start.

Once the car has started, the IID will require the driver to provide breath samples during the time the vehicle is turned on and moving by alerting the driver that he/she needs to blow into the machine and provide a breath sample.  The driver blows into the device while driving and does not need to pull over, stop, or turn off the car in order to provide a breath sample.

Breath samples are recorded and saved by the device.  The company responsible for maintaining and calibrating the IID will store all breath results of samples provided. A violation of the proper use of the device (i.e.: detection of alcohol in a breath sample, tampering, disabling the device) may result in the Department of Motor Vehicles terminating a person’s ability to have a restricted license with the IID and reinstate the mandatory suspension of a person’s driving privileges.


How much does the IID cost?

The monthly cost of having an IID in one’s vehicle depends on the make and model of one’s vehicle and includes the installation, maintenance/calibration every 2 months, and removal of the IID. It is approximately $75.00 per month to have an IID in one’s vehicle.


How Long Does a Person Need to have an IID?

The length of time a person needs to have an IID installed in his/her vehicle depends on the charge for which the person is convicted:


First DUI conviction within 10 years:

Without injuries:

6-month restricted license with an IID installed where one can drive anywhere he/she chooses, OR

1-year restricted license to only drive to and from work and an alcohol treatment program

With injuries:

6-month restricted license with an IID is required. There is no option to forgo installing the IID and having restricted driving privileges.


Second misdemeanor DUI conviction within 10 years:

IID required for one year


Third misdemeanor DUI conviction within 10 years:

IID required for two years


Fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within 10 years:

IID required for three years


How does this affect drivers in pilot counties?

In Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, or Tulare Counties, the new law will not result in any significant effect to drivers who are convicted of a DUI starting in 2019.

The main difference that the new law has created for all counties (including the pilot counties) is that a person, as of January 1, 2019, can have an IID installed in his/her vehicle after arrest to avoid any significant disruption in his/her ability to legally drive. If the IID is installed in the vehicle prior to it being mandated by the Department of Motor Vehicles, a person can receive credit for the total amount of time he/she has the IID in his/her vehicle so long as the driver obtains prior approval from the California DMV to obtain a restricted license.


We encourage anyone who is arrested for a DUI as of January 1, 2019 to take the following steps:

After Arrest:  Call 1-800-NoCuffs!

The police will take a person’s California Driver’s License away if a person’s blood or breath alcohol test is .08% or higher, or if a person refuses to submit to a chemical test. The police will give a person a temporary license which is on a pink sheet of paper and is only valid for 30 days from the date of arrest.


Minimizing the number of days a person’s license will be suspended (without the ability to drive at all):

  1. An insurance company must electronically file an SR-22 form with the DMV. An SR-22 is a form shows the DMV that a person is insured while driving a vehicle.
  2. Register for a DMV-approved alcohol education class. Proof of enrollment must be electronically sent to DMV.
  3. Install an Ignition Interlock Device in any car you own or operate. The IID company should provide you with proof of installation AND send electronically to the DMV proof of installation as well.
  4. Pay a license reissuance fee to the DMV once approved for a restricted license.


10-Day Rule Still Applies:

A person must still request an administrative per se hearing with the California DMV within 10 days from arrest in order to preserve your right to a hearing.


Upon a conviction of a DUI in court:

  1. A person can avoid a 30 day hard-suspension IF the steps above are followed.
  2. A person will receive credit for time you have had a restricted license with the IID if you obtained a restricted license before your conviction in court.


Exceptions to being immediately eligible for the installation of an IID:

Those who fall into one of the categories below will not be allowed to install an IID and obtain a restricted license if he/she receives a conviction in court for one of the items below and/or the DMV suspends a person’s driving privileges based on an Administrative Per Se Hearing:

  1. Refusing to submit to a chemical test when requested by a peace officer
    1. 1-year hard suspension/ no driving (if convicted in court and/or APS hearing is upheld)
  2. Commercial license holders (Class A or B)
    1. 1-year hard suspension/no driving (if convicted in court and/or APS hearing is upheld)
  3. Drivers under 21 (if convicted in court for a traffic infraction of having any measurable amount of alcohol in one’s system while driving and/or reckless driving with alcohol in one’s system, or misdemeanor DUI):
    1. 30 days hard suspension (no driving)
    2. One apply for a critical needs license after the first 30 days of no driving
    3. It is highly likely a person will be required to install the IID upon the DMV granting the application for a critical needs license.


Instead of installing an IID, may a person “sit out” during the suspension period? What if a person does not own a vehicle?

The Department of Motor Vehicles allows ONLY for 1st DUI offenders to “opt-out” of putting the IID in his/her vehicle; however, the first 30 days after a person is convicted of a DUI the person is unable to legally drive.  After that time, a person may obtain a restricted license for 11 months upon showing proof to the DMV enrollment in a DMV-approved alcohol education class, proof of insurance, and the payment of a license-reissuance fee. This type of restricted license allows a person to only drive to and from work and to and from a DMV-approved alcohol program.

On a 2nd DUI (or more) conviction, the law requires a to install the IID for the specified time frame (which is shown above). A person can request and be granted an exemption from installing the IID for not having a vehicle registered to him/her; however, he/she will not be legally able to drive any vehicle during that time frame.  The DMV will require the installation of the IID upon requesting a restricted license.


Driving a company vehicle

An individual may drive a company vehicle without the IID being installed; however, one must receive approval from the DMV. The Department of Motor Vehicles has a form which must be signed by the employer which indicates that the employer is aware of the employee’s restricted license status, and despite such, permits the person to drive the company vehicle. This does not avoid any requirement for an individual to install an IID on his/her personal vehicle.



Driving in California With A Suspended or Revoked License

Driving in California with a suspended or revoked license is prohibited under vehicle code 14601 .  However, a key factor in determining a verdict revolves around the driver’s knowledge of the suspension or revocation.


California treats the crime of driving with a suspended or revoked license more severely than driving without a license. Driving without a license refers to individuals who have never had a license. The state considers driving with a suspended or revoked license to be more serious because the DMV suspended or revoked the individual’s driver’s license for a reason. Moreover, by driving anyway, the individual disregards the ruling of the DMV.


The State of California classifies driving with a suspended or revoked license to be a misdemeanor offense, and convictions can result in jail time as well as substantial fines.


Injustice system court gavel hits person needing bail bond


To officially suspend or revoke a driver’s license, the State of California must send the message of suspension or revocation in one of three ways: by certified mail, by an officer serving the individual with a notice of suspension or revocation, or by a judge (in court) recommending a license suspension or revocation. If the state sent the message in one of these ways, the state will then presume that the individual knew of the suspension or revocation.


People accused of driving with a suspended or revoked license have a constitutional right to defend themselves in court. An effective defense attorney acts as a resource that can reduce the great imbalance of power between the American government and the American citizens. A skilled defense attorney challenges the state to be fairer, more accurate, and more just by diligently researching and investigating the situation in question.


Defining Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License in California


California state prosecutors must prove specific elements of the crime in order to convict someone of driving with a suspended or revoked license.


The elements include:


  1. The defendant drove a motor vehicle while his or her California driver’s license was suspended or revoked
  2. The defendant knew that his or her driving privileges had been suspended or revoked at the time



Element One


The first element concerns only a simple fact: either the individual in question was driving, or was not driving, at the time of the arrest. The officer’s testimony, together with other evidence, determines this element.



Element Two


The second element concerns knowledge of the suspension or revocation.


In order to presume that an individual had knowledge of the suspension or revocation, one of three things must have happened.


  • A certified mail carrier had delivered a letter of revocation or suspension from the DMV to the driver.
  • A police officer had served a notice of suspension or revocation to the driver at the time of arrest
  • A judge had informed the driver of a suspension or revocation during sentencing for a prior crime


Even if one of these three things did occur, it only creates a presumption of knowledge. It does not prove that the individual had knowledge of the suspension or revocation. In a jury trial, the prosecution will typically create a presumption, leading  the jury to conclude that the driver had knowledge of the suspension or revocation.


A skilled criminal defense attorney will build a case that challenges this presumption of guilt.


mail man and letter


Suspension or Revocation by Letter


The law presumes the individual received a letter if the prosecution can prove three things.

  1. The California DMV mailed the individual a notice of revocation or suspension
  2. A mail carrier delivered the notice to the individual’s most recently reported address
  3. The mail carrier did not return the DMV notice as undeliverable or unclaimed.





Stanley suffers a traumatic brain injury, leaving him with severely limited cognitive abilities. For his safety and the safety of others, his family and doctor contact the DMV to revoke Stanley’s driving privileges.

Since the accident, Stanley has moved into an assisted living facility. The DMV sends the notice of revocation to his former address. The U.S. Postal Service returns the letter to the DMV as undeliverable.


In this case, if a police officer pulled Stanley over, he could not be arrested for driving with a revoked license. The DMV notice never reached Stanley. Therefore, the court may not presume that he had knowledge of the license revocation.


Suspension or Revocation by Verbal Order


The law may also presume that a driver knew of his or her license suspension or revocation if he or she received a verbal notice:

  1. A police officer may personally serve a notice of suspension or revocation at the time of arrest
  2. A judge may inform the driver of a suspension or revocation at a sentencing hearing for a prior violation that resulted in the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license.





Again using Stanley as our example, things could be very different with just a few changes in circumstances.


After Stanley moves into the assisted living facility, new tenants began to rent his house.

When the DMV revocation letter arrives in the mail, the new tenants throw it out, and the US Postal Service never returns the letter as undeliverable. This scenario creates a presumption of guilt even though Stanley never received the letter.


The presumption does not indicate Stanley’s guilt under Vehicle Code 14601. Stanley’s criminal defense attorney can point out that he had moved, and therefore never received the letter of revocation.


gavel and scales of justice


California Laws Regarding Driving With a Suspended or Revoked License


California State Vehicle Code 14601 can only be used to suspend or revoke an individual’s driver’s license if the suspension or revocation is valid. Valid driver’s license suspensions and revocations are covered in a variety of sections of the code.

The State of California may suspend or revoke driving privileges under Vehicle Code 14601 for specific offenses, general offenses, DUI, habitual traffic offenses, or chemical test refusal and other DUI related offenses.



Vehicle Code 14601

Specific offenses leading to license suspension or revocation include:

  • Reckless driving
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Physical or mental limitations inhibiting safe driving
  • Being declared a negligent or incompetent operator.


Vehicle Code 14601.1

General offenses may also lead to a license suspension or revocation under Vehicle Code 14601.1. This section serves as a catch-all for prohibiting individuals from driving with a suspended or revoked license for any reason.


Vehicle Code 14601.2

In California, a serious consequence of a DUI conviction is the suspension or revocation of an individual’s driver’s license. Vehicle code 14601.2 punishes individuals for driving with the knowledge that his or her license has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI conviction. In California, DUI includes DUI resulting from drug use as well as DUI resulting in injury to another person. Vehicle Code 14601.2 lists all of these types of DUIs, and provides the foundation for charging an individual for driving with a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI conviction.


Vehicle Code 14601.3

Habitual traffic offenders may have their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked. Vehicle Code 14601.3 prohibits habitual traffic offenders from accumulating a history of driving problems while their driving privileges are suspended or revoked. Vehicle Code 14601.3 states that a driver becomes a habitual traffic offender under the following circumstance:

During a 12-month period, the driver is convicted of any combination of the offenses listed below, with the resulting suspension or revocation of his or her driver’s license.

  1. Two or more serious driving-related crimes, such as reckless driving or exhibition of speed
  2. Three or more general moving violations, such as speeding
  3. Three or more accidents causing injury or property damage totaling at least $750.


Vehicle Code 14601.5

Chemical test refusal in other DUI offenses may result in a driver’s license being suspended or revoked. Vehicle Code 14601.5 prohibits drivers from knowingly driving with a license suspended or revoked due to the following:

  • Chemical test refusal
  • California DUI under 21
  • Refusing a preliminary alcohol screening after being suspected of driving under the influence while on probation for DUI
  • Driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.01 percent or greater while on probation for California DUI
  • Driving with a 0.04% blood alcohol content or greater if the driver holds a commercial driver’s license


jail cells


Penalties for Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License


The State of California classifies driving with a suspended or revoked license as a misdemeanor offense. Potential penalties include fines and county jail time. However, the specific state-sanctioned punishment is determined by the following: the reason for a driver’s license suspension or revocation, any prior convictions relating to license suspension or revocation, and the individual’s driving history.


First-time offenders face various penalties depending on the specific violation.

Vehicle Code


License revoked or suspended for specific offenses, including reckless driving, alcohol or drug addiction, negligent operator, physical or mental condition 5 days to 6 months in county jail Fines from $300 to $1000
Vehicle Code


License revoked or suspended for general reasons which are not listed in other statutes Up to 6 months in county jail, no minimum Fines from $300 to $1000
Vehicle Code


License revoked or suspended for DUI 10 days to 6 months in county jail Fines from $300 to $1000
Vehicle Code


Habitual traffic offenders while license suspended or revoked 30 days in county jail Fines up to $1000
Vehicle Code


License revoked or suspended for chemical test refusals and DUI-related offenses Up to 6 months in county jail, no minimum Fines from $300 to $1000




Driver’s License Reinstatement


Driver’s license suspensions expire. However, drivers still need to act in order to reinstate their driving privileges.


The California DMV explains that in order to reinstate driving privileges, an individual must visit a California DMV office in person with the required documentation. He or she must then pay the fines to the State of California. The driver must also prove that he or she completed all probation requirements.


we the people


Understanding Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License in California


California Vehicle Code 14601 prohibits individuals from knowingly driving with a suspended or revoked license.


The law contains various sections, and punishes convicted drivers differently depending on the specific section that he or she violated.


California law classifies driving with a suspended or revoked license as a misdemeanor crime.

In order to convict an individual of driving with a suspended or revoked license, the prosecution must prove two elements of the crime.

  1. The individual was driving the vehicle
  2. He or she understood that his or her license was suspended or revoked


The driver’s knowledge is an integral part of the crime. Moreover, if the driver did not know of the suspension or revocation, then he or she cannot be proven guilty of driving with a suspended or revoked license.


A skilled criminal defense attorney can help the individual stand up against the court system. Defense lawyers hold the court accountable by representing people accused of crimes. Furthermore, without experienced legal counsel, it is almost impossible to obtain a positive outcome in a driving with a suspended or revoked license case.


However, most people do not have the time, energy, or resources available to research and investigate the situation with enough specificity to build a successful defense.


Will my insurance know I got a DUI?

- Will my insurance know I got a DUI

The penalties for being convicted of a DUI in California are serious and should not be taken lightly. While most DUI is treated as misdemeanors, there is still the loss of one’s drivers license, fines, and varying jail sentences to contend with. In addition, a very significant consequence of receiving a DUI conviction is that your automobile insurance premiums will increase a great deal.

Having to spend a few hundred dollars more for car insurance can cut into anyone’s fixed budget and mean participating in far fewer of life’s pleasures. Over a ten-year period, you could pay a total of ten to twenty thousand of dollars more in car insurance premiums if you are convicted of a DUI.


At the DMV

The good news is that neither the court nor the California DMV will be automatically informed of your conviction if this is your first offense. When you go to renew your auto insurance policy or when you file a form SR-22 to have your driver’s license reinstated, your insurance company will be notified. You can expect that there will be an increase of about 50% over and above the current premiums you pay and more if you were involved in an accident causing personal injury or property damage.


Your Insurance

If this is not your first DUI then you may have your automobile insurance canceled completely or you could be placed in a “high risk” category and charged an amount that could make driving prohibitively expensive. If your automobile insurance is canceled you face the difficulty of having both a DUI and an insurance cancellation on your record when trying to convince another insurance carrier to issue you a policy. Your premiums, in this case, will be two to three times as high as your original premium.

After the ten year period has elapsed starting from your most recent DUI conviction, your DUI will be cleared from your driving record and you should be able to once again get less expensive car insurance. That is assuming you have no other motor vehicle infractions.

In addition to DUI, other factors that an automobile insurance company will take into consideration when determining your premium are how old you are, your gender, your driving history and the model of car you drive. Each auto insurance company is different so it will pay to shop around and get multiple quotes.

10 things that happen when you get a dui

What Happens Now After I got a DUI

The first thing that happens when you are arrested and charged with a California DUI is that you are put in handcuffs, tossed into the back of a police cruiser and taken to the local police station. Once arrested and in police custody, you will have to undergo a mandatory breath, blood or urine test to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood. You will be fingerprinted and booked. If you are arrested late at night you will probably spend the rest of the night in jail. After you are released you will receive a summons to appear in court.

You will have to hire a DUI defense attorney. Even if you plead guilty you will need an attorney to work out any plea to a lesser charge and to file the appropriate paperwork. If you are a repeat DUI offender there could be mandatory jail time and you will have to arrange for bail to be released pending your trial.

Your driver’s license will be taken from you and you will have to make an appointment and go to a California Department of Motor Vehicles to get it back or receive a conditional license.

You will be required to pay any fines that are levied against you. Even a first-time California DUI conviction can cost over $1000 in fines and administrative penalties.

Your auto insurance will be notified of your DUI when you renew your policy or when you file form SR-22 to reinstate your suspended driver’s license and at that time your auto insurance premiums will go up a lot. The amount you pay could double or triple and this can add hundreds of dollars to your cost of driving every month. If you have multiple prior DUI’s your automobile insurance may be canceled entirely when the policy comes up for renewal and you could be classified as a “high risk” driver.

The impact a DUI has on your life depends on a number of factors such as your age, your prior DUI convictions, whether or not you are currently on DUI probation, and most importantly, whether or not you were involved in an accident causing personal injury, loss of life, or extreme property damage. There are however a number of life-altering consequences to receiving even a first DUI that can have a negative impact on your life.

How long does a California DUI stay on your record?

How long does a California DUI stay on your record

How long a California DUI stays on your record depends on a number of factors and also which record you are talking about. A California driver builds a record at the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as a personal criminal record. Each record serves different purposed when it comes to how your California DUI affects your life.

Your Driving Record

A DUI conviction stays on a person’s driving record for 10 years. Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement can see and use this information when you seek to have your driver’s license reinstated. The number of years a DUI remains on a driving record was increased to 10 from 7 years in 2007. Driving records cannot be removed until the term, which begins on the date of your first arrest, has expired, however, your driving record is not accessible by potential employers or other criminal investigators. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, your DMV driving record is accessed to determine the critical date of your first, second or subsequent DUI arrests to determine the charges. The difference between a third and fourth DUI is an elevation of the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony and as such the penalties can have life-altering consequences including a long loss of driving privileges and a long period of imprisonment. Your California car insurance company also has access to your DMV record and will increase your car insurance premiums based on the number of points you have from DUI. Your driver’s license will be suspended if you have 4 points in two years, 6 points in three years or 8 points in any four-year period.

Criminal Record

A DUI conviction stays on a person’s criminal record permanently. While most DUI’s are misdemeanors, a California DUI can be charged as a felony if it is the fourth within 10 years or if you were DUI and caused personal injury. Under certain circumstances you can have a DUI expunged and cleared from your criminal history. This expungement will eliminate the charge when a third party such as a potential employer performs a criminal background check but does not affect the DMV record of your DUI’s. If you are faced with a DUI it is always a good idea to talk with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI expungement lawyer especially if you are concerned with how the conviction will affect your employment of professional status.

How Long Will Your License be Suspended

There are a number of scenarios that present themselves following a California DUI and the penalties depend on several factors. If there is no personal injury or property damage involved, the length of one’s California driver’s license suspension depends on the number of prior DUI offenses on one’s record. There are additional penalties added to your DUI conviction should you refuse post-arrest chemical testing. The following are common California DUI scenarios and how each affects your driving privileges.

If you are over 21 years of age, not on DUI probation, and this is a first DUI conviction without causing personal injury or property damage, and you complied with the required chemical testing, you will face a 4-month driver’s license suspension. Second and subsequent DUI convictions will result in a one-year suspension. If you are on DUI probation and test positive for drugs or alcohol, you face a one-year license suspension with no allowances for getting to and from work. If this is your first DUI and you were involved in an accident that caused personal injury or property damage, you will lose your driver’s license for at least one year. Felony DUI convictions carry a three-year driver’s license suspension.

Refusing Chemical Testing

If you are convicted of the above DUI and do not comply with chemical testing requirements, i.e., breath, blood or urine testing, a first DUI conviction will receive a one-year suspension, second offenses within a 10-year period a two-year suspension, and if this is a third or subsequent DUI offense, a three-year driver’s license suspension.

Zero Tolerance for Under 21 Drivers

For those under 21 years old, a one-year license suspension is applicable if preliminary alcohol screening or chemical testing that show even a .01 blood alcohol content.

If your DUI accident did not cause severe injury or death to another individual and you are convicted of DUI for the fourth time you will face a four-year driver’s license suspension and forced to complete a 30-month multi-offender program to get your license back. If your DUI caused the death of another, you may be charged with DUI causing injury, vehicular manslaughter, or in certain instances second-degree murder, all resulting in a permanent loss of your California driver’s license.

If you are involved in any California DUI situation, you should immediately contact a California DUI defense lawyer to advise you of the penalties that are applicable to your unique situation. Your age, the number of prior convictions, whether or not you are on DUI probation, and if another person was injured or killed or you caused property damage all will have an effect on how long you will be unable to drive.