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Probation is an acceptable alternative to the most severe punishments issued by a court of law in a California DUI case. Drivers convicted of a DUI are given a chance to follow a strict and specific set of rules outlined in their probation terms that allow them to forgo maximum punishments issued by a court of law. The probation period must be successfully completed unless the person under probation wants to face the maximum punishment. If you are given probation following your DUI arrest and you fail to adhere to even the smallest terms of your probation, it’s considered probation violation.
There is no way to predict the terms of any probation, as all defendants are different. The terms might change based on the type of person you are, the kind of blood alcohol level you were pulled over with, and your prior criminal record. The absence of any criminal convictions and past criminal activity is good news for anyone who is pulled over and hopes to leave court with a probation term rather than a jail term. Judges often view those who are first-time offenders as more likely to learn from their mistakes and abide by the law from that point forward.
What Might Probation Entail?
A Los Angeles DUI attorney might ask for many different things when asking for probation for a client after a DUI arrest. Most probation periods last anywhere from three to five years and might include anything from no longer drinking and driving to undergoing community service and mandatory alcohol classes. It can also mean the person who is on probation cannot drink at all for many years. If you are on probation and are pulled over, you cannot have any alcohol in your system even if it’s an amount so low it doesn’t put you over the legal limit.
You’ll have a probation officer you’re required to check in with at specific times, and there are many rules you might have to follow while on probation. Not adhering to the terms is called probation violation, and it can end in an appearance before the judge where your probation is revoked and jail time is issued. It’s dangerous to violate probation, as it’s a gift given to you to avoid jail time.
If you have any alcohol in your system while driving, if you do not meet with your probation officer when you are required, or if you are arrested or charged with any other crime while on probation, you might be arrested. Violating probation means an arrest warrant is issued, you’re brought to court to face the judge, and more serious penalties are added to your sentence. It’s not a place you want to find yourself. You want probation over jail time, but it’s a mistake to believe it’s a less serious offense. Some violations are easily cleared up, such as a missed meeting or forgetting to submit paperwork when required. Others are not so easily cleared up, and your entire future is in jeopardy at this point.
If you are arrested and accused of a DUI, it’s time to call an attorney. An attorney can help you fight your charges, reduce your sentence, and they can fight for a probation term rather than jail time. Your attorney can help you prove your case, and you can go back to work, get your license back, and live a relatively normal life for a while. It’s a good way for you to face a brighter future when you hire an attorney with experience helping those being charged with a DUI.