If you are convicted of a DUI in California you will be ordered to complete a course of DUI classes. This is just one of the many mandatory punishments for driving under the influence. You must complete your DUI classes to fulfill the requirements of your sentencing and to get your license fully reinstated. DUI offenders may have to take classes from anywhere between three and 30 months, regardless of whether or not they can get a restricted license to drive to their classes. And, to make mattes worse, online DUI classes do not satisfy the state requirements. Completing your DUI classes will be a large investment of your time and will come at a cost to you, but failing to attend your DUI classes will have harsh consequences.
The State of California requires all DUI and wet reckless offenders to complete a program of DUI/alcohol education classes. The purpose of these classes is to reduce recidivism and give the offenders a space in which to explore problems related to alcohol and/or drug use. There are several different programs you can take, which will vary based on your conviction and your history of offenses. DUI classes are taken seriously and you must complete them to satisfy the requirements of your sentencing. Generally, if you show up to all your classes and participate respectfully and in good faith, you can easily complete the requirement. You may run into trouble, however, if you miss more than a few classes.
Each DUI class program will have its own requirements for completion. These requirements will be reviewed during a required orientation meeting you have to attend before you begin your classes. Each program will have a maximum number of classes you can miss before being dispelled from the program, based off of how long your specific program is. Typically, you can miss a few classes if you make them up. If you miss too many classes or don't make up the classes you have missed, you could be dispelled from your program. You can also be dispelled from the program if you show up intoxicated, do not comply with the in-class requirements, or do not respect the instructor, your classmates, or the classroom environment.
So, what happens if you are kicked out of your program? This is a good question to ask because several things can happen in this situation. Successful participation in and completion of the program is required to get your license back after it has been suspended or to get a restricted license to drive to and from the classes. So, if you do not fulfill this requirement, the California DMV can suspend or revoke your restricted license, if you have one, and refuse to reinstate your license. For many people, this is enough motivation to make it to every class. But, without a license, many people struggle to get to their classes consistently and on time.
Going to your DUI classes is also a requirement of your probation. If you skip too many classes and are dispelled from the program, you will have violated the terms of your probation. Violating your probation is a serious offense. You could be taken back to court, by warrant in some cases, and your original sentence can be imposed. In many cases, this will mean a jail sentence.
It is important to remember that on top of having to attend DUI classes for a certain period of time, the court will also require you enroll in a program within 21 days of your sentence and complete it by a certain date. You must file proof of completion of the program by that date to be in accordance with the order. Failing to meet any of the above requirements can result in losing your license and having to serve jail time.
If you have been ordered to attend DUI classes and have questions about the requirements, consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney. It is crucial you understand and complete the requirements of your sentencing to avoid any unintended consequences.
Are you facing DUI charges or have been convicted of a DUI? Contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for help in Tulare, Fresno or Kings County. Experienced in DUI law, our Visalia area legal team can ensure you take all the right steps in your case to ensure you fulfill the requirements of your sentencing. Attorney Martens has over ten years experience in criminal defense and has taken over 50 cases to trial; he has the experienced needed to skillfully handle DUI trials. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.