DUI Probation and Its Terms and Conditions

February 23, 2016

DUI ProbationDUI Probation is a very common sentence in many DUI cases. A conviction for a DUI does not have to involve probation, some dispositions are terminal, meaning, there is no obligations attached to the court because after the sentence is complete, the case is over.

Often, defendants want to be on DUI probation because the alternative is jail time.

Some defendants are not eligible for DUI probation because of the record or nature of the offense.

Most misdemeanors offenders can be sentences to summary probation and many felony offenders will be sentences to felony probation.  A felony probation requires supervision, whereas a misdemeanor probation does not require supervision.  If a defendant is found guilty and the court decides that probation is appropriate, the court has a broad discretion in determining what condition of probation should be imposed (California Rule of Court 4.414).  For example, some sentencing courts will impose as a condition of DUI probation that the defendant completely abstains from drinking alcohol and does not visit any locations where alcohol is sold.  Other DUI probation conditions can be equally harsh and you might want to hire an attorney to convince the court that your DUI probation conditions are not just.  (California Penal Code section 1203.1(j)).  The California Supreme Court in People v. Lent 124 Cal 3d 481 provided a rule for imposition of terms and condition of probation:

“…a condition of probation will not be held invalid unless it

(1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted

(2) related to conduct which is not in itself criminal

(3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality…”

The Lent‘s court determined that “conditions which regulate conduct not itself criminal must be reasonably related to the crime of which the defendant was convicted or to future criminality”.  But, while the sentencing court can not make conditions of DUI probation that “exceed the bounds of reason”, if an objection to the term of probation is not raised at the time of sentencing, such objection is waived for appeal (People v. Welch 5 Cal 4th 228 (1993)).  That is, you or your attorney have to speak up and object to a condition of probation in open court at the time of sentencing and argue that such condition is overbroad and unreasonable because is has little bearing on factors contributing to the particular crime.  Sometimes, you can request that the court orders a probation report, (although it is very uncommon in Los Angeles County).  Yet, if the probation department prepare a probation report, the recommendation of the probation department can be very convincing to the court.  Typically, a probation report have to be prepared in felony cases but is completely discretionary in misdemeanor cases.  Note: Ventura county places DUI offenders on Formal DUI probation, a very unusual sentence by Los Angeles county standards.

If you believe that the condition of DUI probation imposed on you are not fair and are not reflective of the facts of the conviction, call us so that we can discuss with you modification of your DUI probation.  Also, if you are in violation of your DUI probation, call Los Angeles DUI lawyer.  We can help avoid a probation violation and save you from a possible jail sentence.  Keep in mind, the new law in California allows the judges to deny expunugments when defendant were found in violation of probation.  Call (818) 921 7744 to get a free consultation from best DUI attorney in Los Angeles.  We are here to provide you with a quality defense at affordable price.

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