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What Factors Affect The Length of the Alcohol Program as a Result of my Los Angeles DUI Case?

  • September 1, 2017

    Though many people assume that they face some jail time and maybe even a fine for driving under the influence, the court may also sentence some drivers to time in an alcohol rehab program. These programs are generally best for those who have a hard time with alcohol and those convicted of a DUI at least once in the past. The court will first make certain that the prosecution proved its case and that you are guilty of a DUI. Though you cannot ask that the court sentence you to rehab before the case goes in front of the judge, yo can ask that the judge give you rehab in lieu of jail time or another penalty.

    Unlike inpatient alcohol treatment programs that require you live on-site for a certain length of time, the programs that Los Angeles courts use are education programs that you can complete while living at home. These programs teach you the dangers of alcohol use and what can happen if you keep driving. Courts will typically sentence drivers guilty of a DUI with six months of one of these programs. the court can reduce the length of time that you spend in a program based on mitigating factors. You should check out some of those factors.

    Criminal Record

    One factor that determines how long you spend in an alcohol education program is your criminal record. If you have a clean record and no DUI charges or convictions, you’ll likely receive a lighter sentence. Drivers with a history of driving under the influence and/or a criminal record that shows other charges will spend the full amount of time in the program.

    BAC

    BAC refers to your specific blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest. Your BAC must be above a certain amount for the police to charge you with a DUI. If your BAC is close to the state minimum, you may receive a lighter sentence. Those with a higher BAC face the standard six months.

    Other Circumstances

    The court will look at other circumstances surrounding the case, including the reason why the police pulled you over and how you acted during the arrest. Drivers who act in a belligerent manner, refuse to take a blood alcohol level test or try to flee the scene can face other charges in addition to a full six months of alcohol education. Other factors can also include anyone injured because of your drunk driving and whether you caused any property damage. If you caused an accident that damaged someone’s vehicle or other property, the judge will likely sentence you to a full education program.

    Why Complete a Program?

    Completing one of these programs can help you learn more about alcohol and the impact that it can have on your life. You’ll learn the medical conditions that can arise because of your drinking as well as how your drinking harms your loved ones. Los Angeles DUI attorneys recommend that clients opt for an education program because it sends a clear message to the court that they realize they have a problem and want to seek help.

    If you request that the court sentence you to a rehab or education program, the judge may agree to sentence you to a shorter program because he or she believes that you do not need a longer one. It’s important to keep in mind that this may affect the sentence given to you after a DUI that you get in the future. As you already went through a program, the judge may assume that you would rather spend time in jail. The judge can also sentence you to a longer program after a future conviction.

    Do not assume that you can handle all the aspects of going in front of a judge on your own after receiving a DUI charge. You risk spending some time in jail, paying some high fines and attending an alcohol education program because of your drinking. Los Angeles DUI attorneys can help you learn more about these programs and find out which ones are closest to your home or place of work. Your attorney will help you negotiate for a lighter sentence and a shorter program too.

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