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I Violated my DUI probation the morning after being sentenced, and charged with Petty theft. Please help.

Walnut Creek, CA |

I received a DUI and was put on informal probation in February, I violated it the next morning and was charged with Petty Theft (nearly 7 months later). The item was less than $3.00. Before being filed for Petty theft, i finished my community service, DUI classes, and have paid of nearly all my fines. My court date is in a month, are there any chances that i can get this:

1. Reduced to an Infraction? (under these violated conditions)
2. Not to interfere with me still receiving my drivers license back after my year is up?
3. Settled with just a public defender?

If not, will this mean i must repeat everything i have already done for my DUI punishment?

I'm very concerned and any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Attorney answers 3


Usually amounts under $50 are prosecuted as infractions even though they can be prosecuted as misdemeanors. You should work with your PD to have this one dismissed or reduced. Technically you have still violated your probation but you should not have to repeat classes and community service or pay fines all over again. A really mean judge could give you some jail time for violating the DUI probation but even that is unlikely. Not for $3.00.


The maximum jail time for a first offense DUI is six months. For a probation violation, the judge can give you anything up to that six months, minus credit for any time you already served, in addition to any time on the new case.

There's no way to predict how the case might resolve, or whether you can get a misdemeanor. It shouldn't affect getting your drivers license back (and the suspension should have been six months, not a year, unless you have prior convictions or were under 21 when you were arrested).

You need a real life lawyer, not advice from a stranger on the Internet who knows little about your case. Most public defenders are pretty good lawyers, but those who do petty theft cases tend to be the newest attorneys in the office and usually have huge caseloads. Since a theft conviction can screw up your future, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney if you can afford it.


You will need an attorney to assist you in both these matters. You have 6 months jail time hanging over your head as well as a potential new crime.
Robert Driessen

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