Do I have to go to jail for a DUI? 40 Answers as of May 30, 2013

Will I go to jail for DUI? What grounds will force a person to go to jail for DUI?

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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. Sentences for convictions vary significantly depending on the court, charge, alleged facts, and other issues. Generally speaking, judges have a lot of discretion. If the person is first-time offender, most judges won't impose a jail sentence if there is no injury, but some do for "impact purposes," i.e., to get the message across. It depends on your circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/20/2012
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 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.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 4/20/2012
The Jordan Law Firm
The Jordan Law Firm | John Paul Jordan
You do not have to go to jail for a DUI but that is always a possibility. The severity of your conviction and the number of priors you have will impact what type of punishment you have. First time offense will probably not see jail time, several offenses in you can end up seeing the inside of a prison cell.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 4/10/2012
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Usually all DUI cases have a minimum jail term which under some circumstances a judge can modify to other forms of confinement such as house arrest.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 4/9/2012
Law Office of Michael R. Garber
Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
If you read over .15 you'll have some jail time. If it's a second, third or fourth offense you'll jail time.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 4/9/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    You can only be forced to do jail time for any crime if you are convicted by a jury of your peers in a proper court trial or if you plead guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/9/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    When arrested, you almost always go to jail to be booked and placed on docket. Usually you are required to remain in jail for up to 8 hours. At trial, if convicted of a first time DUI you could be facing a sentence of not less than one year to serve in jail. The sentence is ususally suspended unless there are circumstances that may cause the Court to impose a custoduial sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/9/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Yes, you will go to jail for a DUI. There are mandatory minimum sentences for DUI conviction. First time conviction is one full day in jail if you BAC is less than .15; 2 days in jail if your BAC is .15 or greater. A judge cannot waive this. What grounds will force a person to jail?.... a conviction or noncompliance with whatever the judge may order you to do.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/9/2012
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Probably not, but some juristictions require 3 days. There are ways to get around that, like going to a MADD meeting and the Hospital-Morgue program in LA county. But a second or third DUI within ten years carries a minimum jail sentence. The fourth one is a felony which means probable state prison.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Normally jail is dependent on the testing level your history and who arrested you. Hard to get more specific at this point.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    It depends on whether its a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd or more DUI offense. The Judge can sentence you to 48 hours in jail on a first offense DUI, but most people just get a fine on a first offense. On a second or third offense DUI there is a very good chance you will go to jail.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    For a first time DUI 48-hours and up to 6 months jail time may be imposed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    It varies county to county. Sometimes the level of the BAC determines if any jail time is served. Some counties require mandatory jail on any DUI offense, some do not.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    A first dui conviction carries a minimum penalty of two days in jail or 48 hours of community service, up to 6 months in jail. A judge considers "aggravating factors" in determining when to impose jail such as the blood/alcohol level, prior criminal history and if there were young children in the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    For a typical DWI the penalties are a fine up to $1,000.00, a $460.00 surcharge, a one year Conditional Discharge, license revoked for six months and installation of an alcohol sensing ignition interlock usually for one year. Also attendance may be required at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel ($50.00) and one must usually complete the DMV Drinking Driving Program ($300.00). There is also a $750.00 DMV Driver Safety Assessment and there are costs for all medical evaluation and treatment that may be required.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Aaron Black Law
    Aaron Black Law | Aaron Black
    In AZ jail is mandatory for a DUI. Contact a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Getting a DWI conviction is very costly because your insurance can go to $10,000 a year and you will find it very hard to get a good job for the rest of your life as employers are liable for your actions. Unless there was an injury accident you will almost never get a jail sentence for a first offense, but you will pay a $500n fine and your legal fees will be around $1,500 for a plea. You will go to the Drinking and Driving Program and your license will be suspended for 90 days on a DWUI and 6 months for a DWI or a refusal of the breath test. It would have been much cheaper and safer to take a taxi home if you were intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates | George Woodworth
    You may or may not have to go to jail. First off, you may have enough time in custody from when you were arrested to equal any ordered jail time. Next, your best chance to avoid any additional jail time is to get an experienced criminal defense Attorney. Do yourself a favor and do this right away.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    In a typical first offense, assuming there was no accident or other aggravating factors (excessive speed, minor passengers, etc.) there is usually no jail time imposed. There are huge fines and various conditions of probation, but no jail time on first offenses. There are mandatory jail sentences for second and higher offenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    It depends on the judge and what level of DUI that you have. If it is not your first one the odds are very good that you will go to jail. OUIL mandates at least jail, if you are not sent to prison.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Conviction for first offense carries a 5 month jail sentence max. Second offense is a year. The actual outcome is up to your attorney, the DA and judge to determine. First offense with no prior record generally won't end up in jail if handled right. Of course you can fight the criminal charges. 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. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. 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 that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, charge reduction, 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 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: 4/6/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Prior record and the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Will there be custody time involved for sentencing? Yes. Is it possible to negotiate a sentence so that you can do community labor instead of jail? Absolutely. Jail is not automatic, but it is a possibility. Talk to some local attorneys and see what they can do for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While no one can predict what a court will do, because it is a sentencing option, particularly after the first offense, we recommend that you retain a criminal lawyer ASAP. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Depends on criminal history, especially prior DWIs and underlying facts of case. Generic first offender - very unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC
    VANJOHNSON LAW FIRM, LLC | Anthony Overton Van Johnson
    First, the driver will go to jail upon an arrest for DUI. Then depending on the number of prior convictions, as well as, the number of hours spent in jail upon the arrest for the offense, the driver may have to return to jail to either complete the minimum statutory 24 hours, up to several months (depending on his/her criminal history).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    Jail is certainly possible. Factors include whether you have any prior alcohol related driving offenses or other criminal history; how high your BAC was; your age; whether there was an accident; whether you were cooperative with law enforcement; whether there are other offenses charged.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    For a first offender, the minimum jail time for DUI is 24 hours, with credit for any time you served before you bailed out.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Not everyone goes to jail for DUI. Typically, if the DUI results in an accident, or it is the second DUI or you blow twice the legal limit, you are facing jail.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Having no attorney or a bad attorney is one reason. If it is a first time offense, the prosecutor may ask for jail if there was an accident, excessive speed, excessively high BAC...etc. You should consult a DUI specialist to minimize jail, or eliminate it altogether.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    The law allows for jail as a punishment for DWI in New York. There are a wide range of factual circumstances that could determine whether you go to jail: including but limited to, blood alcohol content, accident, injury, driving record, any acts of reckless driving, coordination tests etc... You should discuss these with an experienced DWI lawyer ASAP
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    In Arizona, if you are an adult and are convicted of a DUI then you are going to do at least one day in jail. That is the bare minimum if you don't have any priors, are charged with just a first time regular DUI (impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol), complete all the alcohol screening and treatment that the court demands, and there are no other aggravating factors. If any of those other factors are present then the punishment can range up to years in prison depending on what the issues are.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    Meadows & Howell, LLC
    Meadows & Howell, LLC | Brad Howell
    The biggest factor in determining whether you will be sentenced to jail time for a DUI is your criminal record. If you have any other charges on your record, especially alcohol related offenses, then the prosecutor will be more likely to seek jail time as part of your punishment. Court referral programs can go a long way in helping you avoid jail time, so you may want to speak to an attorney about whether you would be eligible for such a program.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/6/2012
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Jail is mandatory. At least one day.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/5/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Depending on your priors, the Court, the DA and your lawyer, then jail is a real possibility. That's why you need to hire the best lawyer you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/5/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    That is up to the judge. Most judges give a minimum of 24 hours for a first DUI conviction. Some give more, some give time served and don't require a return trip to jail.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/5/2012
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You could end up in jail for a DUI. There is a mandatory minimum 48 hour jail sentence for 1st offense DUI cases but that time could be even more. Many counties will allow you to do this time as community service.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/5/2012
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