Punishments for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in LA
The LA legal system has followed a national trend toward zero tolerance for DUI offenders. The result has been a drastic increase in drinking and driving citations and devastatingly severe penalties for each conviction. Below is a list of common punishments for an individual’s first, second, third, and fourth DUI convictions in LA.
First DUI Conviction: Common penalties for first time offenders include a collection of fines totaling in close to $1,000 and up to 96 hours in jail. Also, you may lose your driver’s license for up to 6 months and be required to complete a driving under the influence program.
Second DUI Conviction: Second time DUI offenders will likely incur increased penalties that could reach a jail sentence of up to 1 year and fines of up to $1,000. Also, you may lose your driver’s license for up to 2 years and be required to complete a driving under the influence program. The court may also require an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device will make it impossible to start your car without first measuring your blood alcohol content.
Third DUI Conviction: A third DUI conviction could come with penalties of up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000 dollars. It will also lead to a habitual offender label and a likely court ordered installation of the initial interlock device. The DMV will also be given the legal authority to suspend or restrict your drivers license for up to 3 years.
Fourth DUI Conviction: Four times is certainly not a charm. In addition to similar punishments received for the third offense a fourth guilty conviction will also lead to up to 5 years without a legal driver’s license.
Felony DUI and Enhancement Punishments in LA
A DUI conviction in LA is normally a misdemeanor offense. However, certain factors known as “aggravated factors” can bring on felony DUI charges. There are two common reasons for an enhanced drunk driving conviction. They are explained below.
Passenger Under 14: If you are pulled over with a child under the age of 14 and found to be intoxicated you may be facing a felony DUI charge and increased penalties.
DUI with Injury or Death: Any driver who injures or kills another person because they are driving under the influence will be charge with a felony and punished accordingly.
Plea Bargaining for DUI Cases in LA (Wet/Dry and Wreckless)
It seems that due to the severity of a DUI conviction, there are multiple reasons for offenders to hire an experienced DUI attorney. One such reason is their ability to evaluate individual drunk driving cases. When evaluating your case your lawyer should be able to advise you on whether or not to accept a plea bargain.
People often chose to take their case to trial because, if you win, you can have the matter thrown out. The downside is that if you lose the judge has a great bit of discretion when it comes to sentencing. Based on drunk driving conviction and the specific details of your arrest a judge will decide on a sentence. So, once you are found guilty, you have no control over the penalties and punishments given to you by the judge. Conversely, a plea bargain will allow you some control and you will know exactly what you will get.
If you plead guilty to your LA DUI and decide to accept a plea bargain your charge will likely be reduced. Most commonly, the resulting charge will be either a “wet and reckless” or a “dry and reckless.” A wet and reckless charge is one step below a DUI. The wet and reckless does still show that there was at least some alcohol involved in your arrest but will carry less, if any, jail time, smaller fines and no suspension of you license. A dry and reckless is an even further reduction of the DUI offense. The major advantages are that a dry and reckless does not count as a DUI on your criminal or driving record and normally does not cause your insurance to go through the roof.
Find an Attorney for DUI in LA
If you find yourself in need of a DUI attorney in LA, RepresentYou.com is a great place to start because our panel member attorneys are held to some of the highest standard in this business. These standards are designed to ensure a successful referral to each of our clients. In addition to the requirements explained throughout this article, our lawyers are also reviewed by client surveys and we take any and all complaints very seriously.
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At, RepresentYou.com we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Feel free to call at any time to begin discussing your criminal law issue. The RepresentYou.com staff can assist you in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese so please call us toll-free at 1-888-973-7968 or submit your case online.