It may take only one or two more drinks than you usually have to find yourself facing a DUI conviction. California has strict rules in place regarding what happens to those facing one of these charges. The officer who charged you must file paperwork relating to your case, and you then have 10 days to request a hearing. It’s important that you know what to expect and especially what happens next.
During the Hearing
Prior to attending the court hearing, you should meet with a DUI attorney and go over the facts of your case. You have the right to plead guilty or plead not guilty during the hearing. The judge will look at the paperwork filed by the officer and the blood alcohol concentration you had, which comes from the breathalyzer test you took in the field. A first offense will generally result in a fine and some other penalties.
What Happens Next?
If you had a BAC of .20% or higher, the judge can require that you pay additional fines and attend a three month treatment program. You will also face a minimum fine of $390 and a suspension of your license for up to 90 days. Those convicted may request a 48 hour jail sentence in lieu of a license suspension. Attorneys experienced with California DUI laws may help you get a restriction on your license that lets you drive to work rather than a full suspension.