Is Jail Time Mandatory for a DUI in CA?

March 30, 2023

While jail time is one of the basic penalties for a DUI in CA, it is not always mandatory. The maximum jail time for a first-time DUI offense under federal and California law is six months. But it is uncommon for first-time DUI offenders to serve jail time as long as they complete the other terms of their sentence. Take note, however, that some counties and cities may require mandatory jail time, even for first-time DUI offenders.

What Alternative Sentencing Options Are Available in DUI Cases?

You may qualify for an intensive alcohol or drug treatment program to avoid jail time in California. Some programs may require outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, living in a sober living home, or a combination of these options. Once you have completed the program, your DUI charge may be reduced to reckless driving or dismissed altogether.

You may also avoid jail time via a work furlough or work release program. With a work furlough program, you will be living in a supervised facility and assigned a manual labor job. With a work release program, you get to live in your house instead of a supervised facility.

Another alternative sentencing option to jail time is house arrest or home confinement. When you’re under house arrest, you must wear a GPS anklet that lets the police know where you are at all times. You may also be required to wear a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor (SCRAM) device that will constantly keep track of your body’s alcohol level.

What If I Violate The Conditions of My Alternative Sentence?

Violating the conditions of an alternative sentence will lead to the revocation of your probation. This means that you will be required to serve the remainder of your jail sentence:

Speak to a Ventura DUI Defense Lawyer Now

If you are facing a DUI charge in CA, get in touch with the Ventura DUI defense lawyer at Bamieh & De Smeth as soon as possible. Complete our online form or call our office at 805-643-5555 to set up your free consultation with our Ventura DUI defense lawyer.