What Is The Standard Sentence on a First Time DUI?

The maximum sentence on a first-time DUI is 6 months and jail and a $1,000 fine (plus penalties and assessments totaling approximately $5,000). This sentence is never imposed, but everyone who accepts a deal is advised of this maximum sentence.

Every DUI conviction is “priorable” for a period of 10 years.  Meaning, if you receive another DUI within 10 years of your first DUI, it will be treated as a “second-time” DUI and the penalties will increase.  If your second DUI is outside of that 10-year period, it will be treated again as a “first-time” offense.

All DUI plea deals come with 36 months of “summary” probation.  This probation is called “summary” because it is informal and does not require anything affirmative on your part other than complying with all of your obligations.  Further, if you pick up a new case during this 36-month period, your penalties on that new case can be increased.

For DUI offenses, the statutory minimum sentence is a fine of $390 + penalties and assessments (approximately $1,800) and a three-month alcohol program (called the “AB 541”).  The higher your blood alcohol level is or more egregious the facts of your case are, the greater the penalties are increased.

Additional penalties that could be added:

  • Jail time (highly unlikely if BAC is under 0.20% and there is no traffic accident)
  • Lengthier alcohol program to 6 or 9 months (18-month program is required on second-time DUIs)
    • 6-month program is required by the court if BAC .15% or greater
    • 9-month program is required by the court if BAC .20% or greater
  • SCRAM Alcohol monitoring – anklet that monitors your blood alcohol level to insure you do not drink
  • Additional AA meetings beyond those required for your alcohol program
  • MADD Program – panel of speakers who have been affected by DUI crashes
  • HAM Program – visit to the hospital and morgue for a tour; 500-word essay required
  • Community Service (feeding the homeless and non-labor intensive volunteer work)
  • Community Labor / Cal Trans (high labor intensive work such as freeway trash pick-up)

If you are convicted of DUI, the DMV will require you to install an ignition interlock device in your car for 5 months.  This is a mandatory requirement for all DUI convictions in LA County.

Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding your DUI case.