When convicted of a DUI, depending on the type of case, and the facts of the case, the penalties can vary. Sometimes the evidence is just in favor of the prosecution and it is our job to get the best possible deal with the lowest possible penalties. Below is a list of the penalties that can be given for a DUI.




Custody also known as jail time is the worst possible penalty that one can receive for a DUI. On a misdemeanor DUI the maximum penalty is 6 months in jail and on the felony DUI the range can be up to years in prison. If the custody is jail time then that will be served at one of the local San Diego jails, if it is prison time then the California Department of Corrections will decide where the inmate will be housed.




SCRAM, also known as Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring is a private company that provides an ankle bracelet to the defendant on a DUI case in order to detect alcohol. The way it works is that it is able to detect alcohol from the skin on your leg when you have it on. SCRAM boasts that their devices almost never make mistakes but that is not always the case and we have seen situations where there are false positive readings. A judge could order scram after the plea is taken or during the duration of the case.


CPAC and Soberlink


CPAC is an ankle bracelet run by the sheriff’s department that is commonly used on DUI cases. Unlike SCRAM, CPAC is able to give someone custody credits and is seen as an actual custodial sanction. PC 4019 allows one to get two for one credit while on CPAC. Soberlink is a device that is linked with CPAC where you blow into the device every couple hours to show that you are not drinking alcohol.


AA Meetings


AA meetings also known as Alcoholic Anonymous meetings are meetings that are done sometimes after the plea and sometimes during the duration of the case. AA meetings often have a religious connotation to them and that is why a small minority of judges do not think it is right to order them. In certain courthouses like in El Cajon, if you are accused of having a blood alcohol content of over a .15 then the judges are currently ordering AA meetings during the duration of your case, that may change in the near future.




Probation can be informal or formal probation. Depending on whether the crime is a misdemeanor DUI or a Felony will determine what type of probation is ordered. Informal probation means that it is probation to the court. There is no probation officer, there is no curfew or drug testing and the person can leave the county or state as they please. Formal probation means that there is a probation officer and the probation officer and court determine what conditions are fair for that given scenario.


DUI classes


DUI classes are standard in California on a DUI. There are three different time periods for the classes. The first two are the three month and nine month classes. These are grouped into what is called the first conviction program. These classes take place once a week and they can be done during the day or at night. The second group of classes is called the multiple conviction program. The multiple conviction program is generally reserved for individuals with second or third DUIs and this is an 18 month program that is attended once a week. The cost for the first conviction program can range from $500 to $1000 and the cost for the multiple conviction program is around $1500.


Interlock Ignition Device


An Interlock ignition device is something that is put into cars in order to deter drunk driving. They work by making the driver blow in the device when they start the car and blow in the device after certain intervals of time while driving. In certain counties around California they are making this a requirement for even a first time DUI. At the current time the City Attorney’s office has a requirement that anyone who has a BAC at or above a .15 must put an interlock ignition device in their car.


Public Work Service


Public Work service is a program that has been developed by the San Diego Sheriff’s department so that people can have punishment on a DUI but they do not have to go to jail. It basically consists of picking up trash for eight hours a day with people in the program. You cannot wear shorts to public work service and you need to bring your own lunch. If you have an injury then they will kick you out of the program and a judge will give you an alternative option so you can move forward with the punishment in the case.

The most important thing to do is to call a lawyer immediately. Most lawyers, like us at San Diego DUI Lawyers, will offer a free consultation, which can educate you about the process. We allow you to speak to an actual attorney about your case. You wouldn’t go into a job interview without researching the company, why go into your DUI without researching the law and the penalties. Take advantage of the free consultation process, learn more about the DUI and see what an attorney can do for you.

You can do a DMV hearing without an attorney and that is an option that some people take. Keep in consideration though that whatever you say at a DMV hearing can be used against you in a later court process so if you are going to do the hearing by yourself, you may at least want to consult with an attorney before the hearing begins.

You can get your license back after a DUI. Generally the DMV will suspend your license, on a first time DUI for 4 months. After 30 days you can get what is called a restricted license if you follow certain requirements for example enrolling in DUI classes and getting SR-22 insurance. If this is a second time DUI then after 90 days you can get a restricted license if you put an interlock ignition device in your car. If it is a refusal case then you will not be eligible for a restricted license and will have to serve out the one-year suspension.

The limitations on a restricted license are driving within the course and scope of your employment. Now this is a general term so what does it really mean. The legislature basically meant that you can drive to and from work and any activity that is directly related to work. On a restricted license you can also drive to and from court ordered DUI classes.

The first court date for a DUI is the arraignment. The arraignment is generally a place where you just plead not guilty in order to get the police reports and further examine the facts of your case. At the arraignment if it is a serious DUI case, then the judge can order conditions of bail throughout the duration of your case.

It is certainly possible to beat a DUI in San Diego. There are several different ways to attack DUIs. First looking at whether or not the stop was legal, second looking at whether or not the driver was actually under the influence of alcohol or a drug. If you have a good case then there is always the option to go to trial. If it seems like all of the facts are against you then it is the job of your lawyers to show that there are some good facts and to negotiate you the best possible deal under your circumstances.

TNo one needs a lawyer for his or her DUI, but it is always recommended. When looking at fines, fees, penalties and taking time off work, a DUI conviction can certainly add up. Remember, on a misdemeanor DUI, if you have a private lawyer that means you do not need to show up to court. You can continue to go to work, and not worry about the process.

There are two types of costs for a DUI, the cost of a lawyer and the cost of the process. The cost of a lawyer can range depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case and your prior criminal history. The cost of the process can be several thousands of dollars. The current fines for a fist time DUI right now in San Diego are approximately $2300. One thing to consider though is that if you hire a lawyer, they can generally save you money on the cost of the process, including a referral to an insurance agent, setting payments at $50 a month and getting the statutory minimum amount of fines determined by the courts.

The current fines on a first time DUI in San Diego are around $2300, for a second time DUI around $2500. DUI classes can range form $500-$1500. Fines can be paid on a payment plan as long as that plan is pre arranged by the courts.