Los Angeles First Offense DUI
California Vehicle Code 23152(a) or (b)
In court, someone who is convicted of a First DUI in Los Angeles faces:
A base fine of $390 – $1,000. Usually, the prosecutor will allow a minimum base fine on a DUI first offense. Even though $390 doesn’t sound like that much, that’s only the base fine. That amount is then substantially increased by penalties and assessments. It comes out to approximately $2,000 in Los Angeles county.
Someone who is convicted of a first offense DUI in Los Angeles, who had a BAC below .15%, will have to complete a 3-month alcohol program called the AB 541. If their BAC level was above .15%, they may have to complete a 6-month program (AB-762). When someone is convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles and they admit that their BAC was above .20%, that adds a sentencing enhancement to the offense, and requires the completion of a 9-month alcohol program called the AB1353. In order to get the best results possible, it is critical to understand the scientific issues related to a Los Angeles DUI case.
The prosecutor must understand that the chemical results at the time of testing, do not accurately reflect the subjects level of impairment at the time of driving. It is critical to get this particular enhancement stricken, otherwise a 9-month program will be required by the court and the DMV will need proof of completion before they reissue your drivers license.
DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSION
The mandatory action by the DMV is the required suspension that automatically starts the day someone is convicted of a DUI in court. Unlike the drivers license suspension associated with the DMV APS hearing, there is NO mandatory period of suspended time. There is an immediate eligibility for obtaining a restricted drivers license. In Los Angeles county, someone convicted of a Los Angeles first offense DUI must install an Ignition Interock Device (IID) for a period of 6 months following the conviction. Once an IID is installed, then they can drive anywhere at any time.
ADMINISTRATIVE DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSION
The administrative action by the DMV, is the suspension that the DMV hearing officer decides whether to impose, after an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing is conducted. With this suspension you have an option of either 4-months of no driving at all, or 1-month of no driving and 5-months with a restricted drivers license. This restricted license allows someone to drive to work and back, and to the required alcohol program and back.
The consequences for a refusal in court are much worse than a regular DUI. A refusal is a sentencing enhancement that carries a 48-hour mandatory minimum county jail time requirement. The Law Office of Ben Mironer has been extremely successful in convincing prosecutors to strike refusal allegations in Los Angeles, which eliminates the jail requirement. Furthermore, it is common that the 9-month alcohol program is required with a refusal. The mandatory action based on the court conviction, if the refusal is admitted, is a one year no driving license suspension. This consequence is supposed to be mentioned to a subject during an admonition that must be given by a peace officer prior to someone knowingly refusing.
The suspension from the DMV is also a one year driving suspension, which means no driving at all. Unlike a regular administrative suspension, a suspension for a refusal can’t be reversed even if the person is found to be not guilty in court. Another key note is that these suspensions (Court and DMV) do not run concurrently, which means if you start serving one, you don’t accumulate credit for the other one. Each suspension basically starts a one year no driving suspension.
UNDER AGE 21 DUI
Someone who is under 21 must follow Californias zero tolerance laws. A DUI either under California Vehicle Code 23152, California Vehicle Code 23140 (.05% – .07% BAC), or California Vehicle Code 23136 carries a mandatory action of a one year driver’s license suspension. On the DMV side, the licensee faces a one year administrative driver’s license suspension. A request to run the suspensions concurrently must be made with the court, otherwise it is waived. The court has discretion to run these suspensions at the same time, and they usually will allow that.
restricted driver's license
On a good note, after 30 days of suspension, a licensee has an opportunity to get a critical need restricted driver’s license from the DMV. This request must be approved by the DMV and by the court. The case has to be put on calendar in court, to request permission from the Judge. The licensee must also complete an application and submit it to the DMV. The application must give detailed responses as to why there is a critical need for licensee to drive. Typically, there must be a substantial need to drive, and the DMV often limits the amount of driving permitted under the critical need restricted license.