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Los Angeles law is pursuant to California law regarding DUI arrests and convictions. The law in California dictates how you are penalized if you are pulled over and arrested for DUI in any city including Chicago. If you’re worried about what might happen if you are arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, knowing the law can help. If you’ve been arrested once for a DUI already, you should know what kind of penalties you’re facing if you are arrested a second time for driving under the influence inLos Angeles.
Los Angeles DUI Penalties
California DUI laws are strict, but first and second offenses are similar in many areas. The first time you’re arrested and charged with a basic DUI, you face up to one year in jail, fines up to $2,500, a minimum license suspension of one year, and you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This device requires you test your blood alcohol content prior to starting your car every time you – or anyone else – gets behind the wheel of your vehicle. If you don’t pass, your car doesn’t start.
If you are arrested for DUI a second time, you face similar consequences. You spend up to a year in jail, and you pay fines as high as $2,500. While this might not sound so bad for a second offense, you can guarantee you’re spending more time in jail and paying the higher end of the fines than you did following your first arrest.
Additionally, your license is suspended for a minimum of five years for a second offense. You’re also having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, and this time it will be in there much longer. If your first arrest included refusal, your second time is more severe. Refusal occurs when you do not take the BAC test at the scene. Your license is automatically suspended for one year without any chance of appeal or a trial when you refuse the test under implied consent laws. Your second refusal means your license is suspended at least 3 years.
Additional Second-Offense DUI Penalties
As if losing your license for three years and spending thousands of dollars paying fines doesn’t seem like punishment enough, Chicago DUI penalties get worse depending on the circumstances of your arrest. The above-mentioned penalties are for a basic DUI arrest. When the word basic is used, it means your arrest did not include any car accidents, injuries, exceptionally high BAC levels, or any other special circumstances.
If someone is hurt or killed because you decided to drive under the influence, the arrest is no longer a misdemeanor. It becomes a felony arrest, and the penalties become much worse. Having a felony record also makes your life more difficult in the future. You’ll find it more difficult to find a job with a felony charge. A felony record changes your life forever.
If you have a minor child in the car with you when you are pulled over and charged with a DUI, the penalties are harsher. If your blood-alcohol content is especially high, you will find there are more serious penalties. The legal limit in California is .08 percent. If your BAC is .16 percent or higher, it’s considered excessive and more serious penalties are handed out.
California is a zero-tolerance policy state for all drivers younger than 21. If you are driving under the influence while underage, you face more serious consequences. In the same manner, you also face serious penalties if you have a CDL.
Don’t Drink and Drive
If you have been arrested once for DUI in Chicago, don’t make the same mistake a second time. The court does not look kindly upon people who break the same laws a second time, and they are more serious about issues the full extent of the penalties allowed. Call a friend, get a cab, or walk home. You can also stay where you are, but don’t get into your car with the keys in the ignition if you plan on sleeping it out in the vehicle.
If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles a second time, call an experienced DUI attorney for assistance. You’re facing serious charges this time, and your attorney can work for you to help prove you shouldn’t face the most serious consequences. An experienced attorney will work to ensure your case is being handled correctly and the letter of the law was followed during your arrest. If it was not, the charges might be dropped. You have the right to an attorney, and you should utilize that right if you are pulled over and accused of driving under the influence in Chicago.