With most misdemeanor or felony criminal offenses in California, your punishment may include a period of probation. Probation is a period of time when you are held to high standards by the criminal justice system. During this time, you may have any number of restrictions set on you. You may have a curfew, have to relinquish any firearms or ammunition, have regular check ins with probation officers, complete any community service ordered or complete a series of therapy or counseling. DUI probation is not much different than probation for other offenses. Possible additional terms of a DUI specific probation are the installation of an ignition interlock device, or IID, or completion of an alcohol education course. The terms and conditions of your probationary period for your DUI will depend on the circumstance of your case and your prior criminal history. Regardless of your offense, all probation terms will come with the stipulation that you do not have any further "run ins" with the law while on probation. If you violate your probation terms, you could face serious consequences. It is important to understand your probation terms because violating them can result in having to serve additional jail time, paying for more fines and even being charged with an additional offense. As with most other crimes, all California DUI offenders will be given a probation period. DUI probation usually is set for a period of three to five years. During this time, you have to be extremely careful about your actions.
Keep in mind; traffic citations do not count as runs ins with the law. Getting a traffic ticket does not mean you violated your probation however committed any criminal driving offenses will. Examples of criminal driving charges include reckless driving, driving with an open container of alcohol while less than 21 years of age or wet reckless driving. Another thing that is important to note is that while on probation for a DUI, you cannot drive while under the influence of any alcohol. While the legal limit for first time, over 21 DUI offenders is 08%, the legal limit for those on probation for a prior DUI is just .01%, which is essentially no alcohol at all. If you are caught driving while over this legal limit, the California DMV will automatically suspend your license for one whole year. As you can see, those on probation for a prior DUI are given zero tolerance when it comes to driving under the influence. This essentially means you cannot drink and drive at all, while before you may have been able to get away with having one drink with dinner and driving home. If you are on probation for a DUI and are facing subsequent DUI charges, consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. A DUI while on DUI probation is more complex than a first offense DUI case and you may be best prepare dot handle your case with a skilled DUI defense attorney by your side. On DUI probation, you also have implicitly agreed to submit to any BAC test when requested by an officer. If you still refuse to take a BAC test while on probation for a DUI, the DMV will automatically suspend your license for two years. Probation usually allows you to walk away from your DUI with less or no jail time however it forces you to follow strict guidelines and relinquish certain rights. Probation can also be granted to allow all or some of a jail sentence to be stayed. For example, you could be given a year in jail, with all or some of the term stayed while on probation. Probation isn't an alternative to a jail sentence but rather a way the criminal justice system can be ensured you will not get into any more legal trouble if you are not incarcerated. In an overcrowded Department of Corrections, California offenders may be given probation in lieu of jail time to avoid any unnecessary burdens on the system.
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI and have violated your probation terms? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for legal help in Tulare, Fresno or Kings County. Experienced in criminal and DUI defense, our Visalia area legal team can ensure you take the right steps towards overcoming your probation violation and fulfilling the terms of your probation. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.