Consequences of a DUI Two Decades of Experience On Your Side

Consequences of a DUI

Fighting to Minimize & Dismiss DUI Penalties in Los Angeles

A DUI conviction comes with far more punishments than jail and fines. It can impact every element of your livelihood for a long time, making it crucial to fight your DUI charge with full force and relentlessness. There are few things more important than your freedom, livelihood and ability to take care of yourself and your family, therefore you must champion your rights and future at all costs.

A diligent Los Angeles DUI attorney can aggressively defend your freedom and work to prove your innocence. Retain Sturm Law to represent you and challenge every aspect of your DUI case, beginning from the traffic stop. A lawyer will work to reduce or eradicate your charges so you can move on with your life. Call (323) 395-5221 to get started.

In the meantime, it is in your best interests to learn about the possible DUI consequences you could face if convicted. The following information describes the legal and non-legal penalties associated with a DUI accusation.

Court-Related Consequences

There are several court-issued punishments for a convicted DUI offender.

  • DUI convictions in California can stay on your record for up to 10 years.
  • Mandatory probation for one year minus any days in jail for misdemeanor offenses; five years of probation are required for a fourth felony (or more) offense in 10 years minus any prison time served.
  • Jail for up to 12 months for misdemeanor offenses and up to 5 years for felony offenses.
  • For misdemeanors, fines of up to $ 1,000 plus surcharges (+/- $ 1,650) for a first or second DUI and up to $5,000 plus surcharges (+/- $ 7,000) for a third or fourth DUI.
  • The inability to rent a car (the length of time varies from 3 to 6 years).
  • You must take a 20-hour course at a mandatory DUI school.
  • Ignition Interlock device installation will be required on virtually all repeat offenses and (with some judges) even for a first DUI offense under CA law.
  • A conviction could qualify as a prior offense to be used in future sentencing offenses. California has mandatory minimum sentencing for all guilty convictions.
  • You may lose all vehicle tags titled in your name as a result of a DUI conviction. Thus, your eligible family members must apply with the Commissioner of Revenue for a "special" license plate for any cars they are allowed to drive, assuming your family member(s) that has no other transportation can prove hardship.
  • DUI is the only motor vehicle offense that shows up on the NCIC database (National Crime Information Center) which is kept by the FBI.
  • 40 to 480 community service hours are required, depending on how many DUI offenses you have.
  • Enrollment in a DUI court program: Many courts are imposing long and costly DUI court programs that require weekly court visits and mandate regular attendance, proof of treatment and counseling sessions. Random drug screening may also be required.

Insurance Consequences

Insurance companies are difficult to deal with absent a DUI conviction, so the issues you may experience following a DUI conviction can broaden.

  • Increased insurance costs on auto, life, and possibly health insurance.
  • An SR-22 is required for 3 years (or only eligible for substandard rate policy).
  • Life Insurance companies will typically deny policy issuance or raise rates.
  • Health insurance rates can be increased, or your policy may be denied.
  • If you lose all driving privileges, your car may remain uninsured for over 6 months, causing rates to skyrocket or start from scratch.
  • If an accident takes place that would be covered by worker's compensation law, the claim could be denied if a DUI conviction is proven.

Travel Consequences

Do you love to travel, or travel for work or school? In either case, a DUI conviction can jeopardize your traveling freedoms.

  • You cannot leave the country without checking-in with the court.
  • Business or personal trips to some foreign countries, such as Canada, are blocked or extremely difficult to obtain.
  • Denial of naturalization (not allowed to become U.S. citizen) for 5 years after your DUI case is finished.
  • Possible deportation from the U.S. to your country of origin if you’re not a U.S. citizen.
  • Green card renewal and work visa renewal becomes difficult.
  • International travel becomes difficult, if not prohibited altogether.
  • There will be restrictions on shipping a hunting rifle to some countries for sporting or recreational purposes.
  • A second lifetime DUI triggers provisions of "The Interstate Compact.” See

Financial Consequences

The fines you’ll be forced to pay are steep enough, but you can be looking at more financial challenges if you’re convicted of DUI.

  • Responsibility for damages if there was a DUI-related accident.
  • Alcohol and drug dependency screening may indicate that treatment is needed, which costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to complete.
  • Interest rates for loans, including home loans, may be higher if not denied altogether.
  • The inability to rent an apartment in a "trendy" area, because you’ll be considered a high risk.
  • Your credit score can be negatively affected by a DUI conviction.
  • You cannot buy a new car without a valid license in your possession, per the Homeland Security Act.
  • Restitution: You can be court-ordered to repay DUI-accident related property damages or medical bills to an injured third party as part of your probation.
  • Probation fees typically run $40 to $45 +/- per month or $480 to $540 per year.

Educational Consequences

DUI offenders can face serious penalties affecting their education.

  • A university or college can sanction educational consequences in the form of suspension or dismissal.
  • If you are a recipient of an academic scholarship, it can be revoked if you are convicted of a drug-related crime (including alcohol).

Employment Consequences

Your job and ability to earn a steady income are at risk following a conviction for a DUI.

  • Automotive franchisees have a "morals" clause in their agreements with manufacturers, so a DUI may cause the loss of a multi-million-dollar contract for a dealership.
  • If you’re licensed as a broker under federal or state securities laws, you can lose this position.
  • You must always check the box "yes" when asked about convictions on job applications.
  • Professional license problems: Any of the licensed professions can withhold or delay licensure or initiate revocation proceedings (i.e. State Bar, Medical Board).
  • The employee manual from your job may require disclosure to the Human Resources department, leaving it up to the company to decide if they want to extend employment.
  • The loss of your company vehicle and the associated loss of the financial savings from not having to own and maintain your own vehicle.
  • The loss of company insurance for a company-issued vehicle.
  • If your company has a contract with Avis or Hertz and the license check on the computer shows you have a DUI, the rental company can deny access to their vehicles so you cannot perform your job.
  • Your commercial driver's license may be lost, which can lead to loss of employment.
  • Your concealed weapons permits may be denied, causing you to lose your job.
  • Some industries/employers will terminate you immediately upon conviction, depending on the industry.
  • Security clearance will be denied or revoked at military bases or similar businesses that are contracted with the U.S. government on high-security clearance (i.e. nuclear power plants).
  • Military superior officers may sanction any service member by denying privileges on the base and impose other restrictions on duties.
  • Your military advancement opportunities and career may be over.
  • Personnel in the military who are about to be deployed to combat duty (Iraq or Afghanistan) can be pulled out of deployment and discharged from military service, possibly via general discharge or even dishonorable discharge.
  • The denial of admission to many professional schools, (i.e. law school, medical school, nursing, physical therapy certification, etc.).
  • Your pilot's license can be revoked or withheld for any ALS driver's license suspension or DUI conviction. Failure to make a timely report to the FAA can revoke your pilot's license.
  • Teachers can lose their jobs in certain schools and counties, both private and public.
  • All branches of the military will delay your enlistment until all probation is terminated, and the delay can affect your plans.
  • Doctors or dentists can be suspended from practice until they’re "rehabilitated" for alcohol dependency or drug dependency. Their DEA permits to dispense medications such as anesthesia or hydrocodone can be withdrawn permanently or for a period of time, to be later reconsidered.
  • A bartender’s license can be denied if you have a DUI or are on probation for DUI.
  • Union contracts often call for and require reporting of any DUI convictions. Failure to report can cause the loss of your union membership.
  • CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) working for larger firms are required to report a DUI conviction under the full financial disclosure rules of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Your cosmetologist license can be suspended for repeat DUI offenses.
  • College sports athletes can lose scholarships for repeated alcohol-related offenses.
  • Pro athletes with repeated DUI offenses can be banned from their league until and unless they’re rehabilitated.

Other Legal Consequences

Like it was mentioned earlier, a DUI conviction can impact far more than your freedom and wallet: All areas of your life can suffer.

  • A DUI conviction can be used as leverage in child custody cases.
  • Your concealed weapons permit may be denied or revoked.
  • DUI-related accidents resulting in injury or death can result in the personal injury claim being non-dischargeable in federal bankruptcy courts. This means that your wages can be garnished indefinitely until your full debt is paid. See 11 U.S.C.A. § 523(a) (9).
  • There is no "first offender" status available on DUI; it is prohibited in the state of California. There is also no "youthful offender" statute available under California DUI laws.
  • Repeat offenders face harsh consequences in the form of interlock systems to start their car, increased fines and jail time.
  • If convicted of a felony DUI, you cannot possess any firearms or ammunition under 18 U.S.C.A. § 922(g).

Miscellaneous Consequences

Just when you think the list of punishments has ended, there’s more.

  • The inability to rent a vehicle forces you to rent cabs or utilize ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft.
  • If you are a pilot, you cannot partake in flight.
  • You’ll get constant contact from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and other DUI agencies.
  • Internet access to criminal arrests is accessible from several websites, including your court's docket.
  • Court records are available online (i.e. Google search) so your name will appear on Google.
  • Your peers will judge and gossip about you.
  • Using a U.S. Passport rather than your driver’s license may cause gossip, as well.
  • Repeat offenders in CA will face jail time, increased fines, longer DUI classes and their personal information will be shared online.
  • You may be refused from flying internationally.
  • Churches and other religious institutions perform background checks which may prevent you from volunteering.
  • If you do not have a passport and your driver’s license is revoked, a two-month waiting period may take place to get your passport. This means you cannot travel or enter into mature locations.
  • You must always admit to a previous conviction when asked by an employer, landlord, or other professional and official.
  • If you refuse a BAC test and lose your ALS hearing, the maximum license suspension may be implemented.

Don’t suffer these penalties without putting up a fight. You never know if your sentence may get reduced or dismissed. As such, contact Sturm Law at (323) 395-5221 to retain a proven Los Angeles DUI attorney who can aggressively defend your freedom today!

Former Clients Share Their Stories

Providing Results-Driven Representation
  • “I went from fighting 25 to life to being released from custody asap thanks to this great group.”

    - M.D.
  • “I was so depressed and anxious for months after being arrested. If you need a lawyer, this is the way to go. They did an amazing job and I will forever be grateful.”

    - Former Client
  • “I'm so glad I didn't go with the cheap public defender on this as I am CERTAIN they would not have even TRIED to achieve the results I received!”

    - K.

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