The threat of incarceration is enough to dissuade many people from ever driving drunk. But as many Californians are no doubt aware, the exact amount of prison time depends on a number of different factors. If you’re a first-time DUI offender, you might not receive any jail time at all. You might simply face community service, fines, or probation. But if you’re a serial offender and there are certain aggravating factors present, you might be going to prison for a long time.

If you have been accused of a DUI, you need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney right away. Because while your potential prison sentence can vary based on a number of factors, your choice of defense attorney also matters. Your goal should be to work with the best possible lawyer you can find. But we know what you’re thinking: “Where can I find attorneys near me?” The answer is simple: There are California accident lawyers all around you who can help.

Fourth Offense DUIs

If you commit a fourth DUI within 10 years (1), you will face felony charges. Things can get pretty bad in this situation, and you could face as many as 4 years in prison. You may also be fined $1,000. The key thing to remember here is that even if you didn’t commit any prior felony DUIs within those past 10 years, you will still face a felony charge purely based on the fact that you’ve committed three previous DUIs.

Aggravating Factors

While a fourth DUI within four years is pretty serious, things get even dicier if there are aggravating factors. In the context of a DUI, this usually means that you’ve injured or killed someone due to your drunk driving.

In California, a DUI with injuries can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the injuries are severe, you will almost certainly face a felony. This could result in up to four years of prison time. You may also face a fine of up to $5,000.

If you’ve committed a DUI that led to fatalities, penalties become even more severe. You may face a misdemeanor manslaughter charge, which comes with up to 12 months in prison and $1,000 in fines. But you could also face a second-degree murder conviction (2), which would put you behind bars for the next 15 years.

A murder conviction is probably the worst possible consequence of a DUI — although you might spend even more time in prison if you committed other offenses in connection to your DUI, such as assaulting a police officer, refusing a breathalyzer test, or carrying drugs inside your vehicle.

Where Can I Find Attorneys Near Me?

If you’ve been searching for California DUI accident lawyers, there are many legal professionals available. These legal professionals can help you avoid not only incarceration, but also fines, community service, suspended licenses, and all kinds of other legal consequences. It’s best to get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney as soon as possible if you’re serious about achieving results. Reach out now to get started with an effective defense strategy.

Sources

  1. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/california-driver-handbook/alcohol-and-drugs/
  2. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB3104#:~:text=Existing%20law%20defines%202nd%20degree,of%2015%20years%20to%20life.

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