In California, many DUI offenders may be sentenced to probation. Although preferable to jail time, probation still comes with a strict set of conditions that you must meet. When you are put on probation, there are a number of rules you must follow and actions—such as going to counseling—that you must take to complete your probation successfully. Any breach in your probation conditions could result in further penalties or jail time. If you are facing DUI charges in Santa Barbara, you should consult with a skilled DUI lawyer.
Criminal sentences in Santa Barbara may include a probation period. Most probation periods for DUIs will range from 3 to 5 years. There are two kinds of probation: supervised and unsupervised.
If you are issued unsupervised probation, you don't have to complete regular check ins with a probation officer. Instead, unsupervised probationers report directly to the court. While you are on unsupervised probation, you only have to interact with the court when you are submitting proof of your probation requirements, such as a certificate from a class completion. Since unsupervised probationers don't have a probation officer they regularly meet with, they are less likely to be charged with a probation violation than those on supervised probation.
Unlike unsupervised probation, supervised probation requires regular check ins with a probation officer. Depending on the requirements of their probation, supervised probationers must meet with their assigned officer weekly or monthly. However, most probation officers will require frequent meetings, especially for probationers convicted of serious crimes or with an extensive criminal history.
Unsupervised probation is preferable to supervised probation, since you are given greater flexibility and freedom. However, while supervised probation comes with a greater level of surveillance, both probation types are subject to strict conditions and regular processes like drug tests.
Any court-ordered probation will come with a set of requirements and rules that the probationer must follow. Some of the common conditions of a probation for DUI are:
- You may not drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. This means that if you are pulled over and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit of .08 percent, you could still be in breach of your probation conditions as there is a “zero tolerance” policy associated with DUI probation, meaning you may not drive with ANY measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
- If pulled over, you may be required to take chemical tests. If you are pulled over while on probation and the officer asks you to take a chemical test, you must take it.
- You may face additional penalties if you commit a crime of any degree. This can include minimal crimes, such as traffic violations.
- You might have to participate in randomized drug tests. Many courts will impose some kind of randomized drug or substance testing as a condition of probation.
- You might have to attend substance abuse classes or counseling.
- You must maintain a valid driver's license and insurance.
- You could be required to install an ignition interlock device into your vehicle (know as an “IID”).
These are just a few of the common conditions of probation. Depending on your case, the judge may issue more extreme or flexible probation conditions.
The most common violation of probation for a DUI offense is driving illegally. This includes a wide range of breaches, including driving without a license, driving outside of your restricted boundary, or not carrying the right insurance. If you are caught violating the terms of your DUI probation, the consequences are usually severe. Some other common ways that people violate their probation include:
- Failing to complete assigned classes or counseling
- Failing to install a court-ordered ignition interlock device on your car or tampering with the device to drive while under the influence
- Getting pulled over and arrested for a DUI while on probation for a current DUI
- Failing to pay your court-ordered fines and fees
- Refusing a chemical test
If you are found in violation of your probation requirements, you could be arrested and issued jail time. If your DUI violation involved committing a crime, you will face the penalties for the crime along with the penalties of a probation violation.
If you are facing DUI charges in Santa Barbara, a skilled DUI defense attorney can help you develop a strong defense. While DUIs might seem straightforward in nature, there is a lot of room for error that an attorney can use to build a strong defense. For example, police officer bias or inaccurate chemical or urine tests could have contributed to your DUI charges.
At the Aron Law firm, we provide clients facing DUI Charges with a comprehensive analysis of their case. Our team works tirelessly to get the best outcomes for our clients. By limiting our client roster and the associated caseload, we are able to offer a high level of representation. To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced DUI defense lawyers, call today at (805) 618-1768 or fill out our online contact form.