You may have heard the widespread myth that incurring a first-time driving while under the influence (DUI) conviction is “no big deal.” And perhaps, to people who grew up in tough areas, incurring up to $1,000 in fines, mandatory DUI school, 3-to-5 years of probation, a suspension of one’s driver’s license for six months and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device doesn’t seem like a particularly severe set of consequences for a criminal conviction.
However, most people would view these sentencing terms – in addition to collateral consequences, like hikes in their auto insurance premiums – as a relatively “big deal.” A first-time DUI offender in California will face even more significant consequences in the event that they are transporting a minor under the age of 14 at the time of their offense.
There’s no “get out of jail free” card for this offense
In addition to any penalties that may be sentenced for a conviction of an underlying first-time DUI offense, being convicted of “DUI with a child under 14 in the car” will result in a minimum of 48 hours in jail. None of this time – per state law – can be stayed. This means that if you’re convicted of this offense, there is a 100% certainty that you’ll spend that time in jail. That’s a big deal to anybody.
However, if the idea of spending time in jail, being compelled to attend DUI school, paying fines, losing your right to drive for months on end, etc. are realities that you believe are worth fighting back against, you can seek legal guidance at any time.