When you hire a DUI lawyer you want to make sure it is someone you are comfortable with. That means you should feel like you can e-mail him or her or call with questions like the one you are asking here. If the attorney makes you feel like they do not have the time to answer your questions, or tell you they are too busy, then you have hired the wrong attorney.
If this is a first DUI arrest and you have not been arrested within 10 years for a DUI that resulted in a conviction of a DUI or Wet Reckless, then you are looking at standard DUI charges with a possible high BA allegation for being over 0.15%.
If you are wondering about the penalty, the maximum for a first DUI is 6 months in county jail, 3-5 years probation, fine, DUI School, and other probation conditions that include no alcohol in your system while driving for the period of probation.
The local attorney you retained is in the best position to advise you of your options. Consult with him or her immediately, and get the answers you seek. That being said, here are the possibilities, any one or combination of all:
California First Offense DUI Penalties
Jail Time - A person who is granted probation and accepts the courts probationary period can face anywhere from no jail time up to 6 months in jail. Any jail time that is assigned is at the judge’s discretion. A person who is not granted probation will face between 96 hours up to 6 months in jail.
Fines - The fines for a first offense DUI will be between $390 and $1,000
Alcohol Treatment Program - A person convicted of a first time DUI offense who had a BAC reading under .20% will be required to attend a state-licensed and approved 30-hour alcohol and drug program. If a person’s BAC was above .20% they must attend a state-licensed and approved 60-hour alcohol and drug program.
Driver’s License Info - The DMV will suspend a person’s driving privileges for 4 months if the person submitted to a breath, blood or urine test. This can be reduced to a 1-month suspension followed by 5 months of restricted driving privileges if the individual provides the DMV with proof of enrollment in DUI School. If the person refused to submit to testing, their license will be suspended for 1-year with no chance of gaining a restricted license. A person will be required to show proof of CA SR22 insurance in order to have their license reinstated.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
I don't get the metamorphosis from .18 to .21 - I haven't a lcue what you mean by that. You have hired counsel, so you should consult with him about this stuff. But the comments here are largely accurate.
Generally speaking, the breath test you did at the station after you were arrested are the results that will be used during plea negotiations. So even though the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test results were a .21, the evidential breath results (at the station) were .18 based on what you wrote. It is possible for the prosecutor to get the PAS results in at trial if the case were to go that far(and potentially in the DMV hearing if they deemed necessary and were able to jump through some hoops to lay the foundation), but that is a whole different story. Talk to your attorney about it. He or she should be able to answer these and other questions you may have. That (and to defend you) is what you are paying them for. Good luck with your case.
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The .21 to a .18 means your blood alcohol was declining at the time of the second test. You are fortunate to be under a .20 as there are added enhancements at that level. If you hired a competent lawyer you should be treated as any other first time DUI offender although the DA in Malibu might ask for something above the minimum punishment required by law because of your high BAC. Call with questions.
colleagues have each provided solid responses to your questions. However, your questions should properly be addressed to your attorney. Good luck to you.
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