Charged with DUI and other charges what penalties can I expect?

Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “Last night I was charged with giving the police a false name, a DUI charge, and driving without a valid inspection. What kind of penalties am I facing if I am convicted of these charges?”

Getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI), even without the additional charges, is a very serious charge in all states. Although a first time DUI is generally a misdemeanor, assuming there are no other aggravated charges and you did not injure or kill another person, if convicted, you still face some very serious charges.

You did not mention where you were arrested so the first step is to talk to a DUI lawyer familiar with the laws in your state and determine exactly what penalties you might face. For example, if you live in the State of California you could face all of the following penalties:

First DUI offense: (Misdemeanor)

  • Possible jail time for 96 hours up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Drivers license suspension for 6 months with potential restricted license after 30 days
  • Completion of a substance abuse or DUI program prior to license reinstatement
  • Must purchase SR22 insurance
  • Possible probation
  • Additional $2,600 in penalties and assessments

Charges for giving the police a false name

Now, let’s review the second part of your question. You mentioned you gave the police a false name. It’s tough to imagine why you would do this. Given today’s technology and the fact the DMV in your state most likely has your fingerprint on file, making a positive identification is generally as simple as scanning your fingerprint. But let’s assume you were pretty shaken up about the DUI arrest and simply made an error in judgment.

Here again, state laws vary, but we’ll review the laws in California.

If you misrepresented yourself to a police officer in the State of California you can be charged with a crime, assuming you knew or should have known you were giving false information, you gave the information to someone you knew or should have known was a police officer, and the police officer was engaged in performing their lawful duties.

If the police officer was wearing a uniform and you presented a false identify during the DUI arrest- which is a lawful duty of police- it sounds like a pretty clear cut case for the state. You will also have a tough time convincing the court you did not know the information you were presenting to the officer was incorrect because the court will assume you know your own name.

Charges for an outdated inspection sticker

Now to the final part of your question about getting a ticket for driving without a valid registration. The good new is this charge will be the least serious charge you are facing.

The first step to resolve an expired registration ticket is to get the registration fees paid and up to date. Although California Vehicle Code section 4000(a)(4), states you cannot be charged with driving without registration before “the first day of the second month following the month of expiration of the vehicle’s registration,” many judges will dismiss the case if you can prove your registration is now current.

Bottom Line:

Defending yourself against the DUI charges and the charge for presenting false information to a police officer is your number one priority. Talk to a DUI lawyer now and find out the strength of the prosecution’s case against you.

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