IWV Legal proudly serves clients throughout Kern County on Criminal Defense cases.
Driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal charges that drivers face. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Law enforcement might do everything they can to get you to provide self-incriminating answers, but you have the right to remain silent and to consult a lawyer.
Whether this is your first DUI offense or a subsequent charge, IWV Legal can defend you against the penalties and argue for a reduced, if not entirely dismissed, charge. We aim to provide clients with one-on-one legal support, and you can expect to work directly with our attorneys on your DUI case to get it resolved efficiently and effectively.
Let IWV Legal protect your driving privileges. Contact our firm today for an initial consultation to discuss your legal options.
Under California law, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. The BAC threshold is lowered to .04% for commercial drivers and .01% for drivers under the age of 21 (“zero tolerance” law). Proof of driving is required in California for a DUI conviction, which is not the case in many other states.
Most standard DUIs in California are charged as misdemeanors, but DUIs under the following scenarios may be charged as felonies:
- Causing serious injury to another person while driving under the influence
- Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence
- Having three or more prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years
- Having a prior felony DUI
The penalties for DUI depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the incident and whether the defendant has any prior convictions:
- First offense: Up to six months in jail; $390-$1,000 in fines; six months of license suspension; six months of ignition interlock device (IID) use or 12 months of IID use if driving on a restricted license
- Second offense: Up to one year in jail; $390-$1,000 in fines; two years of license suspension; one year of IID use
- Third offense: Up to one year in jail; up to $1,800 in fines; three years of license suspension; two years of IID use
The penalties for felony DUI are much more severe and depend on the specifics of the case:
- DUI involving injury: A “wobbler” that can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony with penalties of 16 months to four years in prison and $390-$5,000 in fines
- DUI involving fatality/death (vehicular manslaughter): If charged as negligent vehicular manslaughter, up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines; if charged as second-degree murder, up to 15 years to life in state prison
- Fourth or subsequent DUI in 10 years: A felony punishable by 16 months to four years in prison and $390-$1,000 in fines
- Past felony DUI: A felony punishable by 16 months to four years in prison and $390-$1,000 in fines
Keep in mind that California also has an “implied consent” law in place that requires all drivers lawfully arrested to submit to BAC testing. Refusing to take a test will result in administrative penalties to be served in addition to any criminal DUI penalties.
The administrative penalties are $125 in fines and:
- One year of license suspension for a first offense
- Two years of license suspension for a second offense
- Three years of license suspension for a third offense
If you have been accused of driving under the influence in Kern County, an experienced lawyer will know how to guide you through the legal process. At IWV Legal, we will focus on your case and help you out of your legal troubles. Our attorneys will do our best to protect your driving privileges and get you back on the road.
Contact IWV Legal to learn more about how we can help you resolve your DUI charge.