If you are convicted for a DUI in Los Angeles, the court will sentence you to Probation or Terminal disposition.
Terminal disposition will carry a harsher punishment, usually imposed when a defendant refuses probation or when a defendant is not a good candidate for rehabilitation. An ability to rehabilitate is determined by your judge who usually will look at previous convictions to decide if you are a good candidate for probation. For example, if a defendant has several previous convictions close in time, then a judge can decide that a grant of probation will not be appropriate because the defendant will likely violate the probation or re-offend by getting rearrested for another DUI. In a situation like that, a Los Angeles DUI offender can expect a harsher punishment – even with a maximum jail sentence. You will need the help of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer in a situation like that. You don’t want to go to jail or be maxed out on your case. Prior DUI cases are a big no-no and judges and DA’s hate them.
A probationary sentence will be typically less serious than a “terminal disposition“. With a probationary sentence, the judge will place a defendant on probation and order that he or she completes an alcohol educational program, do jail time, pay fines and, do community service or community labor, do Mother Against Drunk Driving class (also called Victim Impact Program (VIP), and complete Hospital and Morgue (HAMM) program. DUI attorney will help you avoid jail time and get the smallest fines and other punishments.
If you don’t finish your classes or community service or labor or even pay the fines, the court can punish you for the probation violation and you need a Los Angeles DUI attorney to defend Los Angeles DUI probation violation. Having a good lawyer will help you avoid jail time or receive any other harsh punishment.
For example, a first offender time DUI case in Los Angeles will get three years of summary probation. If during the three years you pick up another Los Angeles DUI, or any other Los Angeles crime, not only you will be fighting the new case, but you will also fight a probation violation. The prosecutor will most likely request that the judge revokes your probation and hold a probation violation hearing. After this hearing, you can be punished even if he is found not guilty of the new case. Indeed, the prosecutor has full discretion to file a probation violation in lieu of filing a new case and proceed on the probation violation only.
A Los Angeles DUI probation violation hearing will usually involve testimony from police officers who observed the violation.
If the reason for the violation is a new arrest for a DUI, a police officer who arrested you for a DUI in Los Angeles will be subpoenaed to court to tell the judge why he arrested you for drunk driving in Los Angeles. He will tell the court everything that he saw including how well you drove, did you look drunk, did you admit to drinking, how did you do during the field sobriety tests and what was the result of breath or blood test. Your DUI Defense Attorney can cross-examine the officer and call witnesses in defense of your Los Angeles DUI. After the hearing, the DA or CA will request that the court find you guilty of the probation violation and that the judge gives you jail time or another way of punishment. The punishment can not exceed the maximum jail time for the original DUI minus any jail time already served.
Is it even possible to have a Los Angeles DUI probation violation with a harsher punishment than the punishment for a new case. For example, if the defendant was recently placed on probation and gets arrested for a new DUI with a low blood alcohol level, the prosecutor might offer a wet reckless for the new case but will request jail time for the old case.
If a driver is arrested for a DUI but his blood alcohol level is below .08%, he is unlikely to be prosecuted for a DUI in Los Angeles. However, a low blood alcohol level will not be an excuse for a probation violation and the driver will face a Los Angeles probation violation hearing because when a person is on DUI probation, he can not have any alcohol in his bloodstream during driving.
Also, under California Vehicle Code 23154, you would be required to submit to a PAS device when on DUI probation. Failure to do so can result in jail time. A finding of drinking while on a probation violation can result in loss of license for 1 year.