Do first time DUI offenders ever go to jail? 88 Answers as of June 14, 2013

Do first time DUI offenders ever go to jail?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public's expense. You have a right to counsel. Yes, if convicted, they may go to jail. Some judges routinely sentence first-time offenders to jail for "impact purposes," i.e., to deter them from committing the act again. It depends on the court, county, and alleged facts of the case.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/20/2012
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
It depends on all the facts and circumstances, such as was there an accident, was anyone hurt etc.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/21/2012
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
Possibly, it depends on the Judge.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/12/2012
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Yes, not often but it can happen.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 6/7/2012
Conway Law Pllc.
Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
Yes, You can get up to a year with a $2500 fine and license suspension.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/5/2012
    Benjamin D Gordon, Attorney at Law
    Benjamin D Gordon, Attorney at Law | Benjamin D Gordon
    Yes. In Utah, a first time DUI carries a mandatory 48 hours in jail, which the judge can, at his or her option, convert to home confinement or community service. It is not uncommon for first time DUI offenders to serve those 48 hours in jail. It is rare, in my experience, for a first time DUI offender to serve more than that.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    Yes, a first time DUI offender can get 364 days of jail time. If something merits a felony charge (such as serious bodily injury involved), then a felony conviction can result.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    For DUI first offense DUI (no priors within 10-years) your punishment would be; Probation: 3-to-5 Years Informal Probation JAIL: 48-hours and up to 6 months jail time may be imposed COURT FINES: Minimum $390.00 fine to maximum of $1000.00 Note, however that the $390.00 minimum fine, after adding penalty assessments and miscellaneous court fees, results in a total amount due of approximately $1400.00-to-$1800.00. DUI SCHOOL: Attendance at First Offender Program (FOP) Required BAC = .15 3-month FOP BAC .15 to .19 6-month FOP BAC = .20 9-month FOP COURT MAY ALSO ORDER: Impound Vehicle up to 30-days if owned by defendant Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to 3-years INCREASED PENALTIES FOR DUI ENHANCEMENTS: Refusal an additional 48-hours of Jail Passenger in Vehicle under Age 14 Additional 48-hours of Jail Speeding = 30 mph on Freeway or = 20 mph on Street or Highway Additional 60-days Jail If you do not have any enhancements and were caught before midnight and released after midnight you have credit for the two days and will not serve more time in jail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Offices of Pamela R. Lawson | Pamela R. Lawson, Esq.
    Yes, there is a mandatory two day sentence; unless there are other facts not disclosed here, it is highly unlikely the sentence will include jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Michael E. Jones, P.S. | Michael E. Jones
    Everyone convicted of DUI in Washington receives at least a mandatory minimum sentence . First time offenders are required to be sentenced to at least one or two days in total confinement. First time offender may request that the 1-2 days be converted to 15 or 30 days of electronic home monitoring (ankle bracelet). EHM carriess a substantial daily charge for the equipment, increasing your financial penalties by as much as $750. Jail, on the other hand is usually free.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    Yes. The statutory minimum for a first DUI is two days of jail. Many people have already served this when they were arrested (e.g., the were arrested at 11:00 pm and released 2:00 am, that's considered 2 days because they crossed a midnight). If you haven't already served your two days, every court that I've ever dealt with has allowed the person to do the two days in work release (sometimes called work furlough, work alternative program, etc.). You should also know that sometimes cases with especially high BACs will not settle for the statutory minimum. The best thing you can do is to contact a criminal defense attorney for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    Depending on the County where the arrest occurred, generally a 1st time DUI offender will not do any jail time. However, the defendant will need to jump through some hoops and will be on informal probation from 3 to 5 years. The courts usually orders that the defendant pay a fine and penalty assessments which amounts to approximately $1,800.00 plus various other court costs and fees, and either community service or community labor. In addition the defendant must enroll and complete a DUI program. Some courts also require that the defendant participate in a HAM (Hospital and Morgue) Program, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Program and have their license suspended. Some courts also require an interlocking device be placed on the Defendant's car, although they can, and sometimes do, defer this to the Department of Motor Vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    I have seen it happen. Court looks at circumstances of offense, defender attitude, past arrest history.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Ever? Of course. The penalty for first time misdemeanor DUI is up to a year in jail, plus fines. Whether you WILL go to jail on your first offense is up to your attorney, the DA and Judge to work out in a plea bargain, or up to the jury and judge if you go to trial and lose. You are much more likely to get jail after conviction at trial. I can help you fight the criminal charges and get the best outcome possible. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly reduce the potential time and other penalties you face. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, program, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. A little free advice: When arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Actually most end up doing two days in jail. While some might get credit for the time spent in jail after their arrest, most of the others end up spending a minimum of two days jail time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If said first timer killed someone in an accident, or was involved in a hit and run accident, he would possibly be facing jail time, but in the vast majority of cases, a first timer is given some kind of probationary sentence with alcohol or drug counselling. If you violate the conditions of probation, then you stand a good chance of going to jail.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    2 days is mandatory but it can be done through Sheriffs Work Program (picking up trash). If you were in jail for any amount of time less than one day you still get one day's credit. If you were really lucky and got put in custody at 11:30 p.m. and were not released until 1:00 a.m. the next day you have your two days served.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    It is possible if the facts are egregious. This could include injury, damage to property or an exceptionally high blood alcohol content.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Chaudhary Law Office, PLLC
    Chaudhary Law Office, PLLC | Satveer S. Chaudhary
    Yes it can happen depending on the severity of the offense. Typical reasons for jail time on a first offense might include a high level of alcohol in the blood, aggravating factors such as children being involved, or simply an aggressive prosecutor or judge. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, especially if there was an accident or a high BAC.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of Steven R. Hunter | Steven Hunter
    It has happened. There are many variable, like who the judge is, whether there was an accident, were there children in the car, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Not usually but you may have to enroll in an intensive sobriety class.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Yes. Jail time is mandatory. The mandatory minimum is one day in jail. It could be more depending upon the particular facts of your case. My advice: hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    It's possible. Every case is different and depending on the county or judge.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Mesiti Law | Benjamin Mesiti
    In Rhode Island, a DUI is punishable by up to one year in jail. That does not mean, however, that you will serve jail time for a first offense DUI. Everyones' case is different, and the facts of some cases are more severe than others, however, it is very rare for someone to be sentenced to jail on a first offense misdemeanor DUI. Charges such as DUI Death Resulting, or Injury resulting, could very well put you at risk for jail, even if you have absolutely no record at all. If you are charged with any of these crimes, a qualified Rhode Island DUI lawyer can assess you particular case and give you a more accurate opinion as to the possible sentences.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    Yes. It depends upon the circumstances surrounding the charge and it especially depends upon what court and what judge your matter is before. Several judges in Michigan are known for sentencing first time offenders to jail. Most others sentence first time offenders to probation, with many conditions and the threat of jail if the convicted person violates those terms.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. Judges may impose jail sentences on a DWI, even a first offense.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Michael S. Edwards, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Mike Edwards
    Yes. In fact, Utah law requires a minimum of 48 hours in jail, for a first-offense DUI conviction. However, judges often allow people convicted of DUI for the first time to provide 48 hours of community service, in lieu of the 48 hours in jail, if the facts of the case are not too egregious. I would recommend that you hire a good, competent DUI attorney to help you through the process, because there are some things that can be done to minimize the damage you will experience because of this arrest. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Short Law Group, P.C.
    The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
    A DUI conviction in Oregon carries a maximum penalty if 1 year in custody and a $6,250 fine. A first time DUI conviction also has a minimum of 2 days in custody and a $1,000 fine. It is important to work with a DUI Lawyer who can help you wade through these complex issues to help reduce any punishment to the minimum, or determine your eligibility for the Diversion Program.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Yes. It depends on the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    It's rare, but if the facts are egregious enough or there are injuries it is certainly possible.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Yes. There are many factors that determine jail time, like the judge, the prosecutor, the facts of the case, the alcohol reading, whether there was an accident, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of Eric J. Bell | Eric J. Bell
    If there are aggravating circumstances - accident, death, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of John T Doyle
    Law Offices of John T Doyle | John T. Doyle, Esq.
    It is rare but it is possible depending on the alcotest reading and other factors. It has never happened to one of my clients. By statute you can receive up to 30 days.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    I have never seen a first offense DWI conviction result in jail time unless there was a serious injury. You may have to pay $10,000 a year in insurance and you may not be able to get a good job with any criminal record, especially DWI, but you will not get a jail sentence for a first offense unless you have an extensive criminal record for DWI or other crimes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    Yes. A person convicted of first offense DUI can be sentenced to jail for up to 48 hours.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    You will be arrested the night of the offense, you will go to jail. Everything else depends on the judge as to whether you serve any more time than day one or two after your arrest. Depends on your criminal history and the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    Yes, and quite often. Most of the time it depends upon your BAC, anything greater than a 0.15 has a mandatory 48 hour jail sentence. It also depends upon which county you were arrested in. ome counties, Upshur for instance, routinely pushes for 5 days in jail on a standard first offense case. Talk to an attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    No. First time offenders usually lose their license for about 3 months, pay fine, may have to get alcohol counselling.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    Not very often, but it is possible, depending upon the specific facts of the case - accident, BAC, age of defendant, other criminal history, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    A person charged with DWI, 1st Offense in NH is a Class B Misdemeanor (a criminal offense) and is facing the following minimum penalties if a person pleads guilty or is convicted after trial: $500 fine + $120 penalty assessment, 9 month loss of license, with the ability to reduce the loss of license to 90 days if the person enters into the relevant Impaired Driver Intervention Program (IDIP) and successful completion of IDIP. If you are under the age of 21, you face a minimum loss of license of 1 year and must petition the Department of Safety for a hearing at the Bureau of Hearings to get your license restored prior to your 21st birthday. You would not be facing any jail time. However, if you are charged with Aggravated DWI (Class A Misdemeanor or Class B Felony if there were serious bodily injuries), you will face a mandatory jail sentence if convicted. The maximum penalty is $1,200 fine + 24% penalty assessment, 2 year loss of license. This does not include any administrative license suspension that could be imposed by the NH Department of Safety which is separate from any court penalties. I suggest that you consult with an experienced NH DWI/DUI attorney to review your case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Yes. In Utah, there is a mandatory sentence of 48 hours in jail for the first offense. The judge can impose a longer sentence if they feel there are aggravating factors the call for it.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    Depends. An example would be if you have minor children in the vehicle when you were cited for the DUI, If there were children in the vehicle this would require mandatory jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes they do.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Minimum jail time for a first DUI offense in Georgia is 24 hours.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Yes- depending on the circumstances a first time DUI conviction could result in a jail sentence that requires actual jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Yes, if there are aggravating circumstances, like speeding, passing a roadblock, having a person under 21 in the vehicle, having a breath test above 0.15, or refusing to take a breath or blood test after you are arrested, and other circumstances, but with a good attorney he or she might be able to negotiate a "no jail" DUI for you. That is why people hire attorneys to defend them.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM | A. Wade Leathers, Sr.
    You will probably receive a suspended jail sentence and be placed on probation, with a fine, court cost and suspension of driver's license.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Glojek Ltd | Joseph E. Redding
    In Wisconsin no, assuming there was not a minor in the car or an accident and you pay your fine in a timely matter. Other States the answer may be yes.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Law Offices of Mark A. Berg
    Law Offices of Mark A. Berg | David G Cohen
    Sure. The court in California must impose a disciplinary sentence of 2-180 days. The court will normally authorize alternative sentencing including work project and electronic home monitoring, but is not required too. If an offender fails to apply for the alternative program, doesn't qualify, or the court won't allow it, then they must serve the sentence in custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    In some counties in Colorado people do go to jail on a first DUI/ DWAI offense. If the alcohol level is over .2 even on a first offense a person must get some jail time. Hire a local lawyer, and they can advise you on more specifics.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    While it's the exception rather than the rule, first time dui offenders have been known to have been sentenced to jail. A judge has the discretion to sentence a first time offender anywhere from 48 hours of community service up to 6 months in jail. A judge considers "aggravating factors" such as the blood alcohol level, whether there was an accident, a person's prior criminal history and the offenders conduct at the time of the arrest, to name a few "aggravating factors".
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It depends on the circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction in which you were cited for the drinking and driving. There is no firm answer. This is a very serious charge and has great future ramifications, you should engage and attorney now.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes, the penalty for a first offense is 7 to 60 days in jail.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    Sure. Depending on the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Yes. First time offenders go to jail upon arrest, and if there was a serious accident, may be required to spend more time in jail.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES
    SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES | SAMUEL SPITAL
    There are so many facts and circumstances that are relevant to whether a first time DUI offender will be sentenced to jail, including but not limited to the following.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
    Yes they can.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    In life, anything is possible. Generally NO. But there are exceptions. It all depends on the judge, city attorney/prosecutor, what if any damage you caused, were you cooperative with the cops, etc. Get yourself an attorney. DUI is not like defending yourself from a traffic ticket. An experienced attorney can look for loopholes or mistakes that the cops/prosecution have made. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    It is possible. The higher your BAC and/or if there was any property damage or injury your chances go up. However, a good DUI attorney can usually keep you out of jail your first time.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, without a good attorney bad sentencings happen all the time. Hire a good local attorney to avoid this issue.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    It depends on the court and the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, there is a mandatory minimum 48 hours in jail to be served on a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    Yes, first time offenders who don't get ARD and are convicted of a DUI charge higher than .10 BAC or General Impairment are required by law to do jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/30/2012
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