DUI Sentencing Enhancements
Every law has a minimum and a maximum, and a DUI case is no exception. For a first time violation of Vehicle Code section 23152 (a), or (b) or (e) (drug dui cases), the minimum punishment is a $390 fine, no jail time, an alcohol school, and three years probation, and the maximum punishment is six months in jail, and a fine of $1000 plus probation and an alcohol school.
However, certain factors can increase the punishment even from the minimum – even if there is no prior record.
DUI Sentencing Enhancements Punishment
A DUI is subject to additional punishment, at the discretion of the judge or the prosecutor, if any of the following exist:
- A minor or child in the car (a “child” is considered anyone under the age of 18);
- A high blood alcohol level (which is at double the legal limit or anything above that 0.16% level);
- An accident;
- A prior DUI or related crime;
- Speeding while DUI; or
- Being on probation, even for non DUI related charges.
DUI Sentencing Enhancements Defenses
Since the law allows “discretion” in deciding punishment, an Orange County DUI Lawyer will typically look to see if the behavior alleged actually meets the facts.
Example: If the enhancement is alleged that the person was at or above a .16% alcohol level, but a blood retest, or the maintenance and calibration records from a breath test shows that the machine’s accuracy was in question (that it, it was was testing off by a margin of error enough to show that the person was truly below the limit of the enhancement), then the enhancement can be stricken, or dismissed.
A DUI Defense lawyer will also look at all legal defenses. If there is a defense to the charges overall, the enhancement will disappear. If there is a defense to the specific enhancements, then that will cause them to be striken (by agreement, or by order after motion).
Sentencing enhancements to a DUI are not the end of the world, and can be dealt with.
Contact our firm any time if you have questions about DUI cases, or about DUI sentencing enhancements. We are here to help you.