You can voluntarily attend a DUI First Offender class and you should. It is a good idea to do so to show the court and the prosecutor that you are taking the case and what happened seriously. In addition, it is a good idea because enrollment in a DUI program and SR-22 is necessary to obtain a restricted license if the DMV suspends your license under the "per se" suspension. Moreover, it is also a good idea because in the event your license is suspended by the court, you may be close to completion or might have completed the course by the time you are sentenced on the case (depending on the course length that the court sentences you to, if at all). In which case you can apply for a restricted license by providing the DMV with SR-22, certification of completion and paying the required fees. If this is your first DUI offense you should enroll in a DUI First Offender program. It is best to enroll in a 3-month course to begin with. If the court later sentences you to a 6 or 9 month program, you can always pay the course provider extra fees to extend your classes (make sure to ask the course provider about this option). An example what you can be expected to do and the amount of time you will spend participating can be found here: http://www.sdsuduip.com/3-or-4-month-program-first-conviction/. You can find providers here. http://www.adp.ca.gov/Criminal_Justice/DUI/pdf/DUI_dir.pdf .You should call the program you wish to enroll in ASAP because most require an enrollment meeting prior to starting classes. Also, the classes fill up quickly. At your first meeting, make sure to bring a government ID, the DS 367 form the officer gave you (the pink sheet), the down payment and any other information the program might require you to bring (some ask you print your 10 year driving history a.k.a. H-6 printout from the DMV to the enrollment meeting). Good luck in your case.
Yes you can go ahead and start the classes. The program is called the first conviction program. It is typically 12 hours of classes over a three-month timeframe. If you do end up with a wet reckless there should not be any community service.
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Consult a local criminal law attorney ASAP - many will provide a free initial consultation. Always best to go to court represented by knowledgeable legal counsel.
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.
You can do it but I would hire counsel first. Hopefully you have reserved the DMV hearing. Often, DUI classes are reluctant to enroll you without a sentence sheet because if you enroll in the AB1176 (wet reckless) class and later plead to a DUI, you'll need a 3-month AB 541 program and that means you'll likely have to start over. Besides a .09 is a lower result, but still well over the legal limit. Just because you have no criminal history doesn't mean that you'll get a wet. Get an attorney ASAP to discuss your case in detail.
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I agree with the advise of my colleagues. But you may want to speak with any attorney first to see what defenses you have and how your case may shape up. That way, you don't duplicate efforts if it turns out a different class will be required.
As a former prosecutor I saw several persons begin a certain DUI class that actually was the wrong one for their situation.
I would consult with an attorney who gives free case evaluation and see what they recommend regarding the class. If you are comfortable with them you should consider retaining them (if at all possible).
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This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply
While I applaud your proactivity here, the best move would be to hire yourself a quality, locally experienced, criminal defense attorney to assist in hopefully avoiding having to do any DUI related classes (i.e. winning the DMV hearing and resolving the case for less than a wet reckless or obtaining not guilty verdicts at trial).
Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555
Being proactive is always a good thing. But, I had a client come to me a few years back wanting to do the same thing - enter the treatment program prior to even being arraigned. I checked with many of my contacts in the treatment community and discovered that most would not allow him to enter the program for "probation credit" until they had received the appropriate paperwork from the court. Of course, that paperwork wasn't going to be forth coming until after his case had been resolved. So - make sure you'll receive credit for the program even if you start it before your criminal case is resolved.
And, like many of my colleagues have pointed out - at least go and get a free consultation and review of your matter from a qualified DUI attorney. 0.09% with solid FSTs is a good start, don't waste it.
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