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What Are the Consequences of a First-Offense DUI in California?

When a driver is charged with a DUI in the state of California, it is treated as a serious crime. A driver may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than 0.08%. If convicted, the individual could face significant fines, fees, and surcharges in addition to jail time, a suspended license, and community service. If you are facing a DUI charge, it is important that you hire an experienced Tehama County DUI lawyer to effectively represent your case. Read on to learn more about the potential penalties you may face for a first-offense DUI conviction in California.

What are the penalties for a first-offense DUI charge in the state of California?

It is important to know that even if it is a driver’s first offense, law enforcement and courts still take the offense very seriously. There are a number of consequences an individual can face in the state of California if they are convicted of a DUI. This can depend on the driver’s age and driving record. Drivers who are over the age of 21 in the state of California can face the following penalties for a DUI:

  • A 6-month driver’s license suspension
  • Between 48 hours and 6 months in jail
  • Court-approved DUI school, at your own cost
  • 3 years of probation
  • A $1,600 fine
  • You’ll lose the right to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system (even 0.01%)

What are some potential defenses against a DUI charge in California?

When a driver is stopped by law enforcement on the road for a suspected DUI, it is important to remain calm and respectful. During the stop, an officer may implement a breath test or field sobriety tests to determine their level of intoxication. There are some circumstances in which these tests are not administered correctly. In the event of this, the evidence may be thrown out in court. It is important to have an experienced attorney at your side that can determine if you were stopped unlawfully. Some defenses for field sobriety tests can include:

  • The officer failed to explain the instructions correctly
  • The officer failed to demonstrate the test for the driver
  • The officer failed to inform the driver that they were allowed to remove their high heels during the test
  • The driver has a health issue that makes it difficult or impossible to take the breath test

If you’d like to learn more about first-offense DUI charges in California or you need a competent Red Bluff criminal lawyer to shield you from these charges, look no further than Cohen Criminal Law.


Attorney Cohen has fought on behalf of those charged with crimes and traffic violations for over 30 years, and he is ready to fight for you, too. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with our firm.