Drivers convicted of DUI / DWI face consequences from the court, including fines, license suspensions, and jail time. Possible jail sentences vary depending on the charges, the facts of the case, and the number of drunk driving arrests within a 10-year span. Because judges have some discretion when handing down jail sentences, a qualified California DUI / DWI defense attorney can review each case and determine the best strategy to keep jail sentences to a minimum.
A defendant on a first-time DUI / DWI who accepts probation faces no minimum jail time; however; the judge can elect to sentence the driver to 48 hours to six months in jail. Drunk driving defendants who refuse probation face a term of between 96 hours and six months in jail.
Drivers facing a second DUI / DWI within 10 years who accept probation can receive 96 hours in jail, 10 days in jail, or a maximum of one year in jail. If probation is not granted, then the judge is entitled to impose a sentence of 90 days to one year in jail.
A driver convicted of a third DUI / DWI within 10 years who accepts probation faces 120 days to one year in jail. A driver who declines probation can receive 120 days to one year in jail.
If a DUI involved injury, the case is treated as a felony, and the potential jail times go up substantially. Drivers who accept probation face five days to one year in jail. Drivers who decline probation can receive 90 days to one year in jail.
A second-offense DUI / DWI with injury will result in a jail sentence of either 30 days, 120 days, or up to one year in jail with probation. Without probation, a judge may impose a sentence of 120 days to one year in jail.
Obviously, there are many variables involved in how much jail time a DUI / DWI defendant receives, or whether he or she receives any jail commitment at all. A California lawyer who concentrates on drunk driving defense will defend each case with the goal of minimizing jail time and other negative consequences.