As part of your DUI conviction, as well as most criminal charges, you will be put on probation for a period of time after you are charged. Your probation will set forth a series of terms and conditions, appropriate to your offense and your prior criminal activity, if any. DUI probation is geared towards significantly reducing the chance you will become a repeat offender. For first time DUI offenders, you will be on probation for a minimum of three years. During your probation, you will have certain limitations on what you can do and will have to follow certain terms as set forth by the courts. These restrictions and terms are meant to reduce the likely hood you will be a recidivist and get another DUI. Probation is somewhat like being under supervision by the criminal justice system but you don't have to be in a jail or prison. You will, however, be held accountable for your actions and suffer harsher consequences for subsequent DUIs. When on probation for a DUI, you cannot drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, higher than .01%. This is significantly below the usual state limit of .08%. While on probation, you also have to consent to any BAC or preliminary alcohol-screening test if pulled over and asked by an officer. While someone with no DUI offenses can politely decline any roadside tests, you as an offender have given away your right, so to speak, to do so. If you are on probation for a DUI and you still refuse to submit to a BAC test or other preliminary screening, you will automatically lose your driver's license for one to three years, depending on whether or not you have any prior DUI or wet reckless offenses. With one DUI offense, it will be one year, with two prior DUI offenses it will be two years and with three or more prior DUI offenses, it will be three years. There are many aspects to your probation that can be hard to keep track of. You can violate your probation if you drive with a suspended license or outside the terms and conditions of your restricted suspended license, fail to pay any fees or penalties imposed by the court for your conviction, fail to enroll and complete a DUI education program, fail to install and submit proof of installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, fail to submit to any requested drug or alcohol screenings or fail to meet any of the other terms and requirements of your sentencing. Your probation period should be taken seriously. Know and understand all the components of your probation and be sure to not violate any of them. Consult with an experienced California DUI defense attorney if you have any questions or concerns about your case. Violating your probation terms can result in jail time, fees and penalties, longer license suspensions and, if caught drinking and driving again, harsher sentencing. If caught violating the terms of your probation, you will be required to appear in court at a hearing where the judge will rule on the consequences of your violation. At the hearing, the judge may change the terms of your probation, require you to fulfill the original suspended sentence you avoided by being on probation or impose jail time and more fines and penalties on you. If you have violated your probation terms, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. You may have a possible defense in court if you feel you were wrongfully accused of violating the terms of your probation. California law enforcement officers are cracking down on probation violations for DUI offenders; don't take a chance on their leniency. Probation is one of the most cumbersome things to deal with after a DUI conviction. It can increase your sentencing for any crimes committed during that time, holds you accountable for your actions and takes away some of your freedom and privacy. However, following your probation terms and not violating them will result in your term being as short as possible and help you be treated respectfully and fairly by any law enforcement officials.
Have you been charged with a DUI and are on probation? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team. Experienced in DUI and drug laws, our Visalia area legal team can ensure you avoid violating your probation and can expertly defend you if you do. Call our offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.