October 10, 2012

Will a California DUI Arrest Trigger Jail Time?

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When people get arrested for drunk driving, usually their most immediate and pressing question is whether they will have to do jail time for a California DUI. That is, additional jail time beyond the night they spend in jail upon getting arrested.

The answer is usually no. California law imposes no mandatory jail time for a simple first-time DUI. By this we mean a situation where there are no injuries, no refusal to take a blood or breath test, no young children in the car, and no prior DUI convictions.


That said, although California law doesn’t impose jail time for a simple first DUI, some county district attorney officers seek jail time nonetheless. Ventura County courts, for example, routinely impose 2 days jail or 5 days work release on every first time DUI. Riverside County courts impose 6 to 10 days jail.

Most counties don’t doll out jail on first time DUI cases, however. Los Angeles county generally doesn’t impose jail time unless, again, there are aggravating circumstances such as those listed above.

The consequences of a DUI conviction are no picnic, to be sure. But luckily most people get a pass on jail time. But just one pass. If they pick up another DUI, some jail time becomes almost certain.

View the original article here


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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