Friday, September 19, 2014

Surviving A DUI Conviction In California

The aftermath of a guilty or no contest plea to a VC 23152 driving under the influence charge should not be viewed as the end of the world or a "my life is over" kind of a moment.  Indeed, a criminal conviction is in fact serious and no one can say it is a trivial matter however it is not as life changing as many folks make it out to be.  First of all the crime is a misdemeanor, not a felony, and under CA law this has major ramifications.

  1. You DO NOT lose your right to vote for a misdemeanor. 
  2. You DO NOT lose your right to own or possess a firearm.
  3. You DO NOT automatically lose your right to get governmental benefits such as social security, student loans, welfare and the like.
  4. A misdemeanor can be dismissed and expunged after successfully completing probation.
In most cases, a plea to a DUI results in the imposition of sentence being suspended and the defendant given informal probation.  This means that they can return to Court once probation has ended, ask the judge to withdraw the plea and have the case dismissed.

At the end of the day the disposition can often be written off as youthful indiscretion and will not be given any significant weight if the person has otherwise lead a law abiding life.