Drunk Driving Defense, DUI Arrest - FAQs

15. What are the penalties and immigration consequences for a DUI conviction?

There are many different factors involved in each individual case. A definitive answer to this question is not simple. While the particulars of cases and penalties differ from court to court, a first offense (with no “enhancements”, refer to #16) will include these penalties:

  • A fine of approximately $1,700
  • 3, 6, or 9 months of enrollment and attendance in a DUI class
  • Probation up to three years
  • 90 day license restriction (Note: this is in addition to the DMV suspension you may receive)
  • A jail sentence of 4 days to 6 months.

Second and subsequent offenses will trigger longer jail terms and longer license suspensions or revocations. Additional penalties include community service, AA meetings, and ignition interlock devices.

For an overview of information concerning what can happen to to your immigration status as a result of drunk driving in California, see the Immigration Legal Resource Center’s pdf topic entitled Immigration Consequences of Driving Under the Influence

For discussions of issues concerning the consequences of a DUI on entry to Canada from the United States, visit the website Canada DUI Entry, which includes such topics as:

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