As the county seat of Contra Costa County, the city of Martinez is located on the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay area. The downtown buildings of the city of Martinez are notable for the preservation of old buildings. Martinez started out as a trading post, then became a gold rush and shipping boomtown. As one of the oldest cities in California before California became a state, Martinez was declared the County Seat in 1850.
With more than a dozen parks located within the 13-square miles of Martinez, as well as hiking trails and a waterfront marina, the city is thriving and full of life. If you are a resident of Martinez, you may have been to the Creek Monkey Tap House on Escobar Street after a long work week. With a good selection of beer, this down-to-earth tavern is a favorite of many. Perhaps Nu-Rays Bar is more to your liking, with its friendly staff, affordable drinks, and local vibe.
As you were heading home, you may have been unlucky enough to find yourself in the middle of a DUI checkpoint on Pacheco Blvd. and I-680. If this should happen, and you are charged with DUI, you may be extremely anxious about your future—with good reason.
Read below to learn about the penalties and requirements of an aggravated DUI charge in California.
DUI Penalties in the State of California
The penalties for a DUI conviction in the state of California are extremely serious. You could face fines from $390 to $1,000 for a first-time conviction. You could also pay from $1,800 to $2,600 in DUI penalty assessments.
Other penalties include:
- Jail for a period of 48 hours or as long as 6 months
- 3 to 5 years’ probation time
- Driving suspension for months
- Mandatory alcohol treatment program
- Raised insurance premiums
These penalties are for a first-time DUI conviction in California. Second, third, and subsequent convictions will bring additional penalties.
But what if you are charged with aggravated DUI in the state of California?
What Are Aggravating Factors in a DUI Charge?
If there are aggravating factors in your DUI charges, you are much less likely to receive a lenient sentence, and much more likely to received enhanced penalties. The reasons for this are two-fold: there is significant public pressure for stiffer DUI sentences, and groups such as MADD have asked state legislators to build aggravating factors into DUI laws.
Some of the more common aggravating factors in a DUI case include the following:
- Prior DUI convictions
- Driving recklessly
- A BAC above .15 percent
- Excessive speed
- Driving with a suspended license
- Refusal to take a chemical test
- Causing serious injury to another person
- Being under the age of 21
- Being charged with hit and run
- Multiple victims resulting from your DUI
- Having a minor in the vehicle when pulled over for DUI
While your exact penalties will depend on the circumstances of your case, some of the enhanced penalties you might face include:
- A state prison sentence of 16 months
- Restitution payment
- Enrollment in a mandatory 9-month alcohol program
- Mandatory attendance at AA meetings
- One year of mandatory parenting classes
- A driver’s license suspension for up to a year
- Mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- Impoundment of your vehicle
If you have been charged with aggravated DUI charges in Martinez, it is especially important that you seek the advice of an experienced Martinez DUI attorney. When aggravating factors are present, the penalties you could face are much more severe, and the consequences can affect your entire future.
The Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed serve clients facing aggravated DUI charges in Martinez. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your case, or call our Oakland office at (510) 907-6600.