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What are the penalties for a DUI in California?

Californian drivers who are arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, or DUI, could have some hefty consequences in store if convicted. If you're facing a DUI charge, you could be in for harsher penalties than you expect if convicted.

The California State Department of Motorized Vehicles highlights that license suspension or revocation can be a big issue. While it isn't likely going to be permanent, especially on a first conviction, it can still be one of the most inconvenient penalties. This is especially true if you rely on a vehicle for your daily work, or if an emergency crops up which would require you to drive.

In addition, jail time and fees are common. First time offenses can net you up to 48 hours in jail. Your license may be restricted for a period of time, and you may be required to attend a rehabilitation program. Additionally, you will pay around $1800 for penalties and fees.

As the DUI count rises, the penalties get harsher as well. For example, a third time conviction will net 120 days of jail time. Your license will also be revoked entirely for 3 years, and face thousands of dollars in penalties and fees. You may even have to participate in multi-offender programs to get your license back.

California in particular is a state that takes DUI charges very seriously, and has strict penalties for DUI convictions. If you are faced with a DUI charge, it's important to understand the potential serious consequences that might wait for you if you're convicted, as they can severely impact your life.

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