When you're placed on a DUI probation, you're usually ordered to do certain things and you're also ordered from refraining from doing certain things. Some of the things that you're usually going to be ordered to do is to do an alcohol program. You're going to be ordered to pay a fine. You're going to ordered not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
Prohibited From Drinking and Driving
This gets a little tricky for some people. Some people thing, as long as I'm not a .08 or greater, I'm good. No, not when you have a DUI case. When you have a DUI case and get convicted, now you're not allowed to drink and drive anymore, even if you're under a .08.
So, that's part of the terms and conditions of your probation. Other terms and conditions are that you have to obey all laws. So, if you were to pick up a new case, even if it wasn't a DUI case, but if it was a crime, then you're going to be looking at violating your probation.
You're going to be looking up to six months in jail if you're on probation for a first-time DUI. It would be up to a year in jail if you're on probation for a second-time DUI.
Valid Driver's License
Also, the court puts the restriction on you that you cannot drive without a valid driver's license. So, you have to coordinate with the DMV as far as making sure that your driver's license is valid, because if you drive with an invalid driver's license, you're going to violate your DUI probation.
You're going to be charged with driving on a suspended license, and that's a Vehicle Code Section 14601.2. That will be causing you to be looking at mandatory jail time. They're real serious when it comes to making sure you have a valid license if you got a DUI and your license was suspended for that particular reason.
Typically, if you have a misdemeanor DUI in Los Angeles County and you're put on probation, you can travel and go anywhere you want. You don't have any restrictions in that regard.
You don't have to report to a probation officer and you're basically free to do what you want, as long as you don't violate the law or you make sure that you do everything that you're ordered to do.
They typically have you come back and forth into the Los Angeles county courts for progress reports while you were on probation just to make sure that you're doing everything you're supposed to — you haven't picked up any new cases, you're doing your alcohol program, you paid your fine and you're doing whatever the court has ordered you to do related to your case.
Once you complete everything you're supposed to do, you'll still be on probation, but the court's probably not going to make you come back to court anymore. They don't need people to keep coming back and forth to court once they've done everything they are supposed to, and once they have fulfilled their obligations to the court.
The reason — when somebody is on DUI probation in Los Angeles — that they make them keep coming back and forth to court is because they need to have some checks and balances to make sure that that particular individual has done everything that they're supposed to related to their DUI matter in Los Angeles County.
Felony DUI Probation
So, being placed on probation for a DUI in LA — especially if it's a misdemeanor probation — is not the end of the world. If you're placed on felony DUI probation, that's going to be a bit more of a stringent process.
You won't be able to travel anywhere you want. You'll have to get permission from the probation officer or the court to travel anywhere. You'll have to report to the probation officer related to your DUI case at least once every month.
Sometimes they make you refrain from drinking alcohol altogether while you're on probation if your DUI is serious enough, and there's other terms and conditions — you won't be able to own, use or possess a weapon if you're convicted of a felony DUI in Los Angeles.
So, again, the terms related to a felony DUI probation in Los Angeles are much stricter than they are for a misdemeanor DUI. That's why you want to complete all of your terms as fast as possible, comply with the probation department and then coordinate with your attorney to see if you can get your felony DUI reduced down to a misdemeanor and ended early.
Then you'll only be on summary probation. You won't have to report to the probation department anymore. You won' have to pay any fines related to your case and it's a much easier thing to do when you're not on felony probation related to your DUI matter.