If you face a conviction of driving under the influence, you may be sentenced to jail time. However, there may be sentencing alternatives available for a first DUI offense and misdemeanors. These may include community service, roadside work, house arrest, incarceration in a private jail, or residence in a sober-living environment. A skillful DUI attorney may be able to get jail time and fines replaced with community service hours. However, your ability to get these sentencing alternatives diminishes significantly when you have repeat DUIs. At Travis G. Black & Associates, our Sacramento DUI lawyers can help you defend against these charges.Facing a Repeat DUI Charge
Generally, the penalties for a DUI in California depend on whether you have prior DUIs. Most DUIs are prosecuted as misdemeanors, but a DUI may be charged as a felony if you have four or more priorable offenses on your record or if you injured someone while driving drunk. The penalties are harsher with each priorable offense during a 10-year lookback period, and they are also harsher if anyone was injured because of your DUI.
Priorable offenses include DUIs, wet reckless convictions, driving with too high a blood alcohol content, gross vehicular manslaughter (or negligent vehicular manslaughter), and convictions received out-of-state that would constitute a DUI in California. When aggravating factors are present, you may also face increased DUI penalties, whether or not you have priorables. Aggravating factors include excessive speeding, refusing to submit to a chemical test, and having a blood alcohol content of .15% or higher.
If you have at least three prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years, you may be charged with a felony DUI under California Vehicle Code section 23152 VC. You may also be charged with felony DUI if you have a prior felony DUI within the last 10 years. Even previously expunged convictions for a priorable offense may be used to charge a felony DUI. To establish a felony DUI if priorables are the basis, the prosecutor will need to prove that you drove under the influence and that you were convicted of at least three priorables in the past 10 years. The prosecution may use DMV records, court records, and certificates of completion from any alcohol abuse treatment program that you were required to complete in connection with your priorables.
Felony DUI convictions based on priorables may be punished with 16 months or two or four years of imprisonment, up to $1,000 in fines, the revocation of your driving privileges for four years, and habitual traffic offender status.
However, you should not assume that a conviction is inevitable because you have priorable offenses. We can try to get your charge reduced to a lesser charge and possibly a charge that is not a priorable offense. We can also examine the circumstances surrounding your detention and arrest to see whether there were any errors or constitutional violations in police procedures. Even getting one priorable struck from your record may result in a less severe penalty.Consult an Aggressive DUI Lawyer in Sacramento
Any prior DUI conviction may result in serious consequences. Our principal, Travis G. Black, is a former police officer who now uses his knowledge and insights about law enforcement to assist people accused of drunk driving. It is crucial to consult a Sacramento DUI attorney about any applicable defense strategies if you are arrested. We provide knowledgeable legal counsel to those charged with DUIs from our Folsom office. To obtain a free consultation with a drunk driving lawyer, call Travis G. Black & Associates at 916-962-2896 or contact us online.