Many people in California consume alcohol and in many situations there is nothing wrong with drinking. However, people need to make sure that if they consume too much at one time that they make smart decisions. This can be hard to do though after people are intoxicated and people sometimes make poor decisions in that condition. One of these decisions is to get behind the wheel and drive a car.

If people do this, they risk being charged with a DUI, which can have serious consequences if they are convicted. For a first-time DUI, people could be put in jail for 48 hours, have to pay fines up to $2,000 and complete an alcohol education class. It could also result in a six-month license suspension.

The potential penalties increase for people that have multiple DUIs. For a third-time offense within a ten-year span, the penalties increase to potentially 16 months in jail, $18,00 in fines and complete a 30-month alcohol education class. People could also lose their driver’s license for 10 years.

These are just potential consequences though. People need to be convicted of the crime before they will actually realize these consequences. After being charged with a DUI people may have defenses available to them. These may start with whether the police had a valid reason to stop the driver. If there was not a valid reason to stop the driver, any evidence obtained afterwards could be suppressed.

Many people are charged with DUIs each year in California. The consequences could be severe, but everyone is innocent until proven guilty and it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that drivers committed the DUI.  People have rights after being charged with a crime. Experienced attorneys understand these rights and may be able to help protect one’s rights.