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I got a DUI now what do I do?

I got a DUI last night and spent 15 hours in the drunk tank. Now what should I do? Do I need to hire a lawyer? Can you get out of a DUI? This is the first time I've ever been in trouble. What are the penalties for getting a DUI in California?

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    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    39300 Civic Center Drive #110
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 792-5110
    If you have not already done so hire a lawyer. You need to discuss the facts and circumstances with that lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 3/4/2013
    Francis John Cowhig | Universal Law Group, Inc.
    430 S. Garfield Avenue
    Alhambra, CA 91801
    (626) 308-9936
    For a 1st time DUI, the penalties are usually a 4 to 6 months license suspension, but you may be eligible for a restricted license (to and from school and/or work). If your blood alcohol level is above .20 then there is a 10 month restriction, as well as other enhancements for excessive alcohol. Fines from $390 to $1,000 plus penalty assessments and court costs which beings to the total to about $2,000.00. Your car may be impounded for up to 6 months. Up to 3 year optional ignition interlock device installed on your car. 96 hours to 6 months jail sentence, at least 48 hours of which must be continuance. If you have had a prior DUI within the preceding 10 years, it could be charged as felony with between 1 year and 3 year jail sentence. Depending on the County where the arrest occurred, generally a 1st time DUI offender, with a good attorney, will do little, if any, jail time. However, the defendant will need to jump through some hoops and will be on informal probation from 3 to 5 years. The courts usually order that the defendant pay a fine and penalty assessments which amounts to approximately $1,800.00 plus various other court costs and fees, and either community service or community labor. In addition the defendant must enroll and complete a DUI program. Some courts also require that the defendant participate in a HAM (Hospital and Morgue) Program, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Program and have their license suspended. Some courts also require an interlocking device be placed on the Defendant's car, although they can, and sometimes do, defer this to DMV. Considering the possible consequences, I suggest that you retain an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 2/27/2013
    Terry Nelson | Nelson & Lawless
    2134 Main St., #130
    Huntington Beach, CA 92648
    (714) 960-7584
    DUI carries up to one year in jail and fines. You are always entitled to represent yourself in court. Whether you should is a different issue. The conventional wisdom is that an attorney will be able to do a better job and get a better outcome. Prosecutors and judges don't like dealing with Prospers, unless you are simply pleading guilty, not defending the case.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 2/27/2013
    Peter Goldscheider | Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    438 Cambridge Ave. Suite 250
    Palo Alto, CA 94306
    (650) 323-8296
    It is a complex and important matter. You should make an appointment or two with several certified criminal law specialists and get the benefit of their advice. You also need to request and reserve a DMV hearing as described on the pink form you were given ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 2/27/2013
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