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What can I expect from a DUI? (Fixed)

JayvohJayvoh Registered User
edited May 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I got pulled over on St. Patrick’s Day for drunk driving. Spent the night in the drunk tank and walked home at 6am. Now that my court date is coming up I was wondering what I can expect in terms of punishment. I realize there will be fines and/or community service and a suspended license. I live in California and have, except for the DUI, a perfect driving record. No tickets, no accidents and I’ve been driving for 8 years legally.

I’m pretty set on not getting a lawyer as well as resigned to the fact that I fucked up. Any advice or specific knowledge of the fines ill be getting, and whether I can negate some of it with community service, is greatly appreciated.

Hella

Jayvoh on

Posts

  • CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User
    edited May 2008
    well my aunt in OR got $3000 fine for her DUI, 6 month suspended license, 1 year of Diversion classes at her cost (about $2000-4000) plust the cost of having to get SR-22 insurance when she gets her license back.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Get a lawyer. Get a public defender if you can't afford to pay for one (I think you're eligible for a PD in Cali for a DUI).

    Things will go much, much better for you if you have one. A DUI in California can cost you upwards of $10,000. A good lawyer to handle a DUI will probably cost you $2000, at the outside.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm not sure about the laws in California, but I'd highly recommend you do invest in a good lawyer. DUI seems to be one of those things that places are either really strict about or really relaxed about. In Canada, for instance, you can get life in prison for it (I believe this is only on second or third charge, but still, and may actually be not true I just seem to remember that), whereas in places like Barbados they actually had a special license for a long time (might still have it, im not sure) where you were allowed to drive with a higher level of alcohol.

  • RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
    edited May 2008
    Get a lawyer, definitely. It's worth the $1000 or whatever. When I was 20 I got pulled over two blocks from my home after I had had only four beers. I had already traveled from all the way across the city. I was of course under the limit, but there's zero tolerance in my state for under age drinking and driving.
    I got a lawyer and he basically did all the work for me. We met a couple of times to talk about the incident, and then I saw him again on my court date. I ended up getting only a failing to yield to a stop sign if I didn't get any drinking related offenses (of any kind) within the next year. Even though I did yield to the stop sign, and it was a that I got pulled over in the first place, I'll gladly take that over whatever I would have received.

    tl,dr; Get a lawyer!

    my apartment looks upside down from there
    water spirals the wrong way out the sink
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Get a lawyer. Get a lawyer. Get a lawyer. Yes, I limed myself.

    Mine, who knew what the F he was doing, ran me about $2k I think. He got my charge from a DUI down to Public Intoxication. This was obviously a huge difference in what happened to me. Insurance never went up, didn't need to tell my employer about it, etc.

  • CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Jayvoh wrote: »
    I got pulled over on St. Patrick’s Day for drunk driving. Spent the night in the drunk tank and walked home at 6am. Now that my court date is coming up I was wondering what I can expect in terms of punishment. I realize there will be fines and/or community service and a suspended license. I live in California and have, except for the DUI, a perfect driving record. No tickets, no accidents and I’ve been driving for 8 years legally.

    I’m pretty set on not getting a lawyer as well as resigned to the fact that I fucked up. Any advice or specific knowledge of the fines ill be getting, and whether I can negate some of it with community service, is greatly appreciated.

    Hella

    You can expect PAIN!!!

    1 to 5 years of Court Probation - No probation officer to report to, but absolutely no other crimes of any nature during that time period or you'll be subject to additional punishment.

    A fine, including court fees and costs - Cost of about $1600. This can be paid over time for an additional charge, or in full within 45 days. In some courts people can work off part of the fine through community service.

    6 month loss of California Driver License

    DUI (Driving Under the Influence) School - Depending on your Blood Alcohol Level DUI school may be as low as 12 hours or as much as 45. Think sitting in a classroom watching bad movies and listening to people tell you how stupid you are. If you couldn't figure it out for yourself.

    MANDATORY JAIL TIME!!! - There is a required 48 hours of jail time on a first offense DUI in CA. It is possible to have this time converted to work service.

    You want an attorney. No, serious, you want an attorney.

    EDIT: The above is just based on some quickie research done on Westlaw. Your mileage may vary.

    Spoiler:
  • JayvohJayvoh Registered User
    edited May 2008
    You can expect PAIN!!!

    For all the doom and gloom this part atleast made me laugh..

    So should i just pick a lawyer randomly from the shit ton of letters I got in the mail or is there a more reliable source?

  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Talk to your parents and your friends. See if anyone knows anyone that has had a DUI or something of the sort and see if they would recommend you someone. I got lucky in that my dad knew someone who had a DUI and his lawyer suggested someone in my area to me.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Word of mouth is the best way to find a good lawyer.

    It's worth noting that a lawyer is a good thing even if you plan on pleading "guilty." In fact, a lawyer is probably more useful if you plan on pleading "guilty" than if you plan on pleading "not guilty."

  • CrazyMexCrazyMex Registered User
    edited May 2008
    What city were you arrested in? What was your blood alcohol content?

    If your BAC was .09 to .14 expect 3 months of DUI class (3 hour meetings once a week, AA once a week, and one MADD meeting) which will run you around $500. If it was .15 or higher it is 6 months of classes and I believe there is one last limit which has 9 months of class.

    The court fees come out to around $2100 to $2200 and they usually let you pay installments. If you want you can ask the judge for community service but be prepared to spend most of your weekends with CalTrans.

    If you are over 21 and this is your first offense you can get a restricted license one month from your DMV conviction once you provide an SR 22 and proof of enrollment in the aforementioned DUI class plus $140 to get the license.

    I have heard both sides about lawyers. My friend had the same BAC as me .15 and all his $2000 in lawyer fees bought him was 3 months of DUI class instead of 6. I opted not to get a lawyer (as the evidence was clear cut and not in my favor) and I was able to get the judge to offer me the same deal. But your situation may vary.

  • Filler Inc.Filler Inc. Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Hey Jay, I have experience with this, I got arresseted for drinking and driving last august, and last month finally got everything back to order in my life, to an extent. Where are you in CA, this is needed.

    First things first, if you can afford it, get a lawyer. They help a ton.

    Second, you're looking at somewhere around 1,500 in court fines and fees.

    Third, possible punishments you're looking to face; up to 90 days in jail, (It's almost always waved for time served and 3 year probation), a 3 to 6 month court ordered DUI classes. These suck, but you have to do them. 56 hours of unpaid work for someone. Up here in walnut creek, that means cal trans. Possible breathalyzer.

    As for my experiences, my lawyer helped a ton. Reduced my class time from 6 to 3 months, avoided a week in jail and work experience by pleading no contest and accepting a breathalyzer in favor of working and jail.

    My lawyer fees were something like 3,000 bucks though.

    So over all, I spent about 4,600 on this.

    You'll most likely lose your liscense for 6 months, starting from your conviction. I lost mine for roughly 9 months, it took three months to get convicted, and in those three months I assumed my license was suspended even though it was not. During those nine months, I did 3 months of dui school which is boring, but needed. They cost something like $170 a month. You'll be on probation for 3 years, meaning that if you get pulled over for any reason, they will automatically breath test you. If you have anything abouve .01, you'll lose your license for a year. After 3 years you can have it removed from your record, but that doesn't really mean much of anything. I think most people can still see your offense. You are pretty much banned from canada.

    If you get the breathalyzer, I suggest you do this if you're paranoid like me and are afraid of losing your license for a year because you drank a beer with dinner and had a tail light out. They're embarassing, annoying, and a pain in the ass, but if it keeps me and others safe, while allowing me the priviledge to drive, I'll take it.

    The way that works is, you pay 60 dollars to any number of companies that make the devices and they send you to some where in your area that installs and services them. You pay 60 a month to rent it, and report to the install center for calibration monthly.

    I have to have mine for a year.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I can relate my personal experiences with them.

  • variantvariant Registered User
    edited May 2008
    Also, you can never work for a federal agency again.

  • Filler Inc.Filler Inc. Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    variant wrote: »
    Also, you can never work for a federal agency again.

    I don't think this is true.

    I'm pretty sure there was a guy in my class who was working IT for the feds.

  • variantvariant Registered User
    edited May 2008
    variant wrote: »
    Also, you can never work for a federal agency again.

    I don't think this is true.

    I'm pretty sure there was a guy in my class who was working IT for the feds.


    O, it might just be FBI then.

  • JayvohJayvoh Registered User
    edited May 2008
    variant wrote: »
    Also, you can never work for a federal agency again.

    Although it seems I can still be President.

    It's good to hear that you can "some what" get by without a lawyer. Bad credit, a new job, and having recently moved has put a rather hefty limit on my avialable funds. I understand why the repercussions are so bad, drunk driving isn't to be fucked with, but it still sucks when you have to go through it.

  • kingmetalkingmetal Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Jayvoh wrote: »
    variant wrote: »
    Also, you can never work for a federal agency again.

    Although it seems I can still be President.

    It's good to hear that you can "some what" get by without a lawyer. Bad credit, a new job, and having recently moved has put a rather hefty limit on my avialable funds. I understand why the repercussions are so bad, drunk driving isn't to be fucked with, but it still sucks when you have to go through it.

    There really was only one example of why getting a lawyer might only help a little bit, and there are several examples here of how lawyers can help you a LOT and are a good idea. I think maybe you should get a lawyer - paying a lawyer now may be tough on your bank account, but paying court fees and not having a license for the next year is going to suck a lot worse unless you can walk to work. This shit is pretty serious and you should do everything you can to defend yourself.

    Also, tell all your friends how much it sucks to get caught drinking and driving so that hopefully they'll never do it again. It's hard enough not getting murdered by sober people on the road these days.

  • JayvohJayvoh Registered User
    edited May 2008
    kingmetal wrote: »
    There really was only one example of why getting a lawyer might only help a little bit, and there are several examples here of how lawyers can help you a LOT and are a good idea. I think maybe you should get a lawyer - paying a lawyer now may be tough on your bank account, but paying court fees and not having a license for the next year is going to suck a lot worse unless you can walk to work. This shit is pretty serious and you should do everything you can to defend yourself.

    Well shit... You're right

    In response to the question above I was pulled over in bumfuck Gilroy and I'm not entirely sure what my BAC was but I do know it was above .15 We practice drinking in Gilroy as there is little else to do. Only once was I an irresponsible driver though and it fucking bit me in the ass.

    Thanks for all the advice. Helped to put things in perspective.

  • Filler Inc.Filler Inc. Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Jayvoh wrote: »
    kingmetal wrote: »
    There really was only one example of why getting a lawyer might only help a little bit, and there are several examples here of how lawyers can help you a LOT and are a good idea. I think maybe you should get a lawyer - paying a lawyer now may be tough on your bank account, but paying court fees and not having a license for the next year is going to suck a lot worse unless you can walk to work. This shit is pretty serious and you should do everything you can to defend yourself.

    Well shit... You're right

    In response to the question above I was pulled over in bumfuck Gilroy and I'm not entirely sure what my BAC was but I do know it was above .15 We practice drinking in Gilroy as there is little else to do. Only once was I an irresponsible driver though and it fucking bit me in the ass.

    Thanks for all the advice. Helped to put things in perspective.

    No offense, but one thing that you really learn and accept from the school is that nobody is ever a first time drunk driver.

    It's just the first time you've been caught. That's not to say that you regularly go get hammered and drive around, but there are most likely multiple times that you've been drunk and drove and didn't fully realize it.

    .08 isn't like falling over, slurring words. It's drunk, but you can still be there without knowing it.

    Most drunk drivers are never caught, most don't crash and kill people, but they're still out there and they're still putting peoples lives at risk.

    As aneccdotal evidence, I was drunk the other night. Woke up after 8 hours of sleep, tried to start my car and was told I had a BAC of .04. Thing is, I didn't feel drunk, and thought I was just a little hungover. Thankfully my car has the device so I knew and didn't get out there and do something stupid.

  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    OK, so I generally try to avoid repeating what's already been said, but in this case, I'll diverge from that path...

    GET A LAWYER.

    Like, yesterday.

    If reading this thread hasn't sent you to (A) the Yellowpages (B) FindLaw.com or (C) friends/family/et cetera, get on it.

    Here's a shitty analogy - would you attempt Everest without a sherpa?

    Get representation.

    PSN: TheMakersMark
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Also, I realise this is a bit sketchy, but I did hear about some loophole where if you insisted that they explain how a breathalyzer works, which they won't because it is some industry secret, they have to let you off. Use this information at your own risk, but I do remember hearing something about it a few years ago. Again, if you brought this up with your lawyer they'd probably know better as to whether it is actually true or just some myth, and what the likelihood of it working would be.

  • Distant LoverDistant Lover Registered User
    edited May 2008
    I was arrested for DUI on a bicycle once. I did not know that offense even existed, but ignorance of the law is no defense. I started attending AA (Alcoholics Anynomous) meetings. At one meeting I told about what happened to me, and asked for advice. One member gave me a business card for his lawyer. For $750 the lawyer got the charge reduced to public intoxication. I did not need to appear in court. I did need to pay a $100 fine. It did not effect my driving record at all.

    My advice:
    (1) Get a lawyer.
    (2) NEVER again drink and drive. Walk home. Take public transportation. Call a taxi.
    (3) Think seriously about quitting entirely.

  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Also, I realise this is a bit sketchy, but I did hear about some loophole where if you insisted that they explain how a breathalyzer works, which they won't because it is some industry secret, they have to let you off. Use this information at your own risk, but I do remember hearing something about it a few years ago. Again, if you brought this up with your lawyer they'd probably know better as to whether it is actually true or just some myth, and what the likelihood of it working would be.
    Thats an urban legend, bring it up in front of a judge and he or she'll think your an idiot.

  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    get this guy also read this website.

    http://www.duiblog.com/2005/05/09

    he is california dui attorney lawrence taylor. I think he could get you off. The above is his blog.

  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Neaden wrote: »
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Also, I realise this is a bit sketchy, but I did hear about some loophole where if you insisted that they explain how a breathalyzer works, which they won't because it is some industry secret, they have to let you off. Use this information at your own risk, but I do remember hearing something about it a few years ago. Again, if you brought this up with your lawyer they'd probably know better as to whether it is actually true or just some myth, and what the likelihood of it working would be.
    Thats an urban legend, bring it up in front of a judge and he or she'll think your an idiot.

    They changed the law so that if you even try that defence you can be held in contempt of court. DUI laws are some of the most unconstitutional laws on the books. YOU DEF WANT A LAWYER. or you will be fucked. Hard.

  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Limp moose wrote: »
    Neaden wrote: »
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Also, I realise this is a bit sketchy, but I did hear about some loophole where if you insisted that they explain how a breathalyzer works, which they won't because it is some industry secret, they have to let you off. Use this information at your own risk, but I do remember hearing something about it a few years ago. Again, if you brought this up with your lawyer they'd probably know better as to whether it is actually true or just some myth, and what the likelihood of it working would be.
    Thats an urban legend, bring it up in front of a judge and he or she'll think your an idiot.

    They changed the law so that if you even try that defence you can be held in contempt of court. DUI laws are some of the most unconstitutional laws on the books. YOU DEF WANT A LAWYER. or you will be fucked. Hard.
    Man what? Besides the get a lawyer part everything else is insane here. 1. Contempt of court is not a matter of law, it is up to judicial discretion and comes from you violating court orders or being disrespectful to the judge. 2. There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about DUI laws, I'm not even sure where that is coming from.

  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Neaden wrote: »
    2. There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about DUI laws, I'm not even sure where that is coming from.
    "The DUI Exception to the Constitution"

    The main points are:
    DUI-roadblocks violate the 4th Amendment's guarantee to unreasonable searches.

    Being detained, handcuffed, and questioned by law-enforcement (effectively being 'under arrest') for suspicion of DUI does not get you the right to an attorney and notification of your Miranda Rights.

    The pseudo-arrest that you're now involved in requires you to breathe into a machine thereby possibly incriminating yourself. You're forced to give up your 5th Amendment right to not provide incriminating evidence against yourself.

    In some states (not sure of the #) DUI cases do not provide one the right to a jury-trial.

    When the goverment originally went to the AMA to get an idea of what percentage of alcohol in a human could cause impairment the AMA said 0.15%. A couple of years later they changed their original number for "being drunken" from 0.15% to 0.10% BAC because prosecutors weren't getting enough convictions with the higher number. So they were wasting time on these people that they just goddamnit *knew* were too drunk to drive. Then there were still acquittals, so further pressure drove the limit down to 0.08%. At this point, if you're in a jury trial, you still have to convince the jury that the defendant was impaired or intoxicated at the 0.08%. Again, MADD pressures the right people that acquittals==baaaad. So the law is changed so that just driving at 0.08% itself is a crime. Your impairment does not matter.

    There's quite a bit more in the article. It is a little long, but it's a very informative read. I'm sure a lot of it is stuff some people don't want to hear, but I found it very interesting and a bit scary WRT what large groups with a lot of free-time can get done.

  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Regarding the unreasonable search bit - from what I remember, in California, having a drivers license means you've basically consented to any and all "requested" BAC checks before you even get behind the wheel for the first time.

    Not sure how that works in re: State v Federal laws (been awhile since pre-law).

    PSN: TheMakersMark
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Regarding the unreasonable search bit - from what I remember, in California, having a drivers license means you've basically consented to any and all "requested" BAC checks before you even get behind the wheel for the first time.

    Not sure how that works in re: State v Federal laws (been awhile since pre-law).
    Thats the way it works in most states. They require you to consent to giving up your constitutional rights for the privilege of driving. :|

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2008
    A debate on the constitutionality of DUI laws and checkpoints would be something for D&D, it doesn't really help a person to handle the consequences of a DUI. So no more of that.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • JayvohJayvoh Registered User
    edited May 2008
    So despite all the advice I procrastinated to the point where I didn't have the time to grab a lawyer. I found out at court that I was pulled over with a .19 BAC. Ended up with 3 years of probation, 3 months of class, 8 days of community service, and a 1600 dollar fine. All of which I'm ok with as long as I don't have to spend any time in jail.

    Even though I didn't follow the advice posted here it definately helped to talk about it. Thanks.

  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    That's not bad, but a lawyer could have gotten you a better deal. A lawyer probably would have requested a whithheld judgement, meaning that once your probation is up, the DUI is wiped from your record.

    Just out of curiosity is your probation supervised or unsupervised?

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
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