This is a big question on people's minds because nobody wants to go to jail. It's very confining and very stressful. There are dangerous criminals in jail, and it's an unsafe place. So, this is one of the biggest fears people have when they are arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles — whether or not they're going to go to jail. Believe it or not, whether you go to jail depends on many different factors.
One is the courthouse, where your case is pending. That's one of the first things you want to talk to your attorney about when you sit down with them — is this the type of courthouse that will try to throw me in jail? Are these the judges that do that type of thing on a first-time DUI? Another factor is if you have any prior criminal record.
Suppose you have prior driving-related offenses and prior DUI convictions on your record. In that case, you can probably expect that the prosecutors will try to put you in jail in Los Angeles, and you're going to want to use your DUI defense attorney to pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening.
Public Safety Issues and Conduct Toward Police
Another thing they're going to look at is the DUI itself. How dangerous were you to the public? That's one of the big things the prosecutors and judges look at when deciding whether to throw somebody in jail to teach them a lesson for a DUI. Were you swerving all over the road? Did you get in an accident? Were you going very fast on the road or the freeway?
They will look at how you performed on the field sobriety tests. The prosecutors are going to look at how you acted with the police. Sometimes the police put a lot of bad stuff in their police report to make you look bad because you were belligerent and didn't cooperate with them.
I've had clients spit on the police, curse them out, and threaten the police. These are all things that would make it much more likely that you will end up with jail time when it comes to a DUI.
First Time DUI Offenders Don't Typically Serve Jail Time
All that being said, for all first-time DUIs in Los Angeles, most of the time, it's a fair statement — and I've been doing this for twenty-five years, so I should know — it's a fair statement that you are not going to get any jail time under that circumstance. You will be able to avoid having your freedom taken away.
So, that's good news for those worried about going to jail. Still, the best way to assess whether you're going to go to jail or not is to go and sit down with a local DUI defense attorney who understands the jurisdiction and the courthouse where your case is pending.
Then that attorney will be able to give you a good feeling about your chances of going to jail in Los Angeles for a DUI; what can be done now before you go to court to make it less likely that you're going to go to jail, and to be able to evaluate your case, your circumstances to see whether your case is the type of case where the prosecutors and judges will seek jail time.
I get cases all the time where it is the type of case where the judge is going to try to give jail time, and we try to come up with alternative plans for jail and ways to show the prosecutor and judge that your actions were an aberration. They're likely never to happen again. They don't need to put you in jail to teach you a lesson. This is what we have to show them.
When we're concerned about the jail for a DUI in Los Angeles, we have to realize that the prosecutors and judges are worried themselves to a degree, and if they give somebody jail time or don't give somebody jail time, how that will play out in the future. Will the person do something more dangerous and put more lives at risk if they don't punish with jail.
So, if we can show them that they don't need to give you jail time, we're in a solid position to get you the result you want and need. Contact our Los Angeles DUI attorneys to review your case and legal options.