With the help of an attorney, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll have your DUI charges dismissed or get out of court with only probation. However, if you’re on probation, you must abide by the court’s rules, or else you violate the terms of your probation. This violation opens you up to a wide range of damaging repercussions. What constitutes a violation of probation, and what might happen if you do violate those terms? Let’s take a closer look.
What Constitutes a Violation of Probation?
A probation violation is any action that breaks the rules governing your probation. For instance, if the judge requires you to attend an alcohol awareness class and you fail to do so, that’s a violation of the terms of your probation. California also has a zero tolerance stance on driving with any measurable alcohol in your system if you’re on probation. That means if you have just one drink and get behind the wheel and you are pulled over and given a breath test, you’re in violation of the terms of your probation. To reiterate, any measurable amount is a violation of your probation, even if it’s well under the legal limit. The standard legal blood alcohol limit does not apply to you if you are on probation for DUI.
What Are the General Terms for DUI Probation?
While the judge in your case can set a wide range of terms, there are four general probationary terms that you’ll encounter. First, you’ll be on summary probation for three to five years. Summary probation means that you won’t have to report to a probation officer, but legal infractions carry greater weight during this period.
Second, you cannot commit any other criminal offenses during this period, or you will be in violation of the terms of your probation. Traffic violations like parking and speeding tickets don’t count. However, any criminal charges (another DUI, for instance) would violate your probation.
Third, if an officer suspects you of driving under the influence, you must submit to testing. You no longer have the right to refuse chemical testing. This includes breath tests, urine tests, and blood tests.
Finally, there’s the aforementioned zero tolerance law. Driving with ANY measurable alcohol in your system is an immediate violation of your probation. A single beer or one small glass of wine is enough to break the terms of your probation. The best course of action here is to abide by the terms of your probation and do not have any alcohol if you’ll be driving.
While most first time DUI offenses don’t warrant an ignition interlock device (unless you’re in one of four specific counties in California), there are some mitigating factors that might require you to have one installed at your own expense. If you refused chemical testing, if you are charged with more than one DUI, or if your BAC was over .15%, you can expect the judge to order an ignition interlock as part of your probation. With this system in effect, you must blow into the interlock device before you can start your car. All results are monitored and reported to the authorities.
What Happens If You Break Probation?
If you do break the terms of your probation, you face serious consequences. In the most likely scenario, the judge will order you to serve time in jail. You also face the prospect of your license being suspended for even longer, with little or no hope of receiving a restricted license. You will also be given additional fines and penalties.
If you’re facing DUI charges, an expert attorney can make all the difference. Contact Mr. Joshua Price for a free consultation at (760) 613-5384?.