I got into an accident, paniced and drove until I could park. cops came and I blew a .12. This is my first offense, i dont know what to do.

UPDATED: May 13, 2009

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 13, 2009Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

I got into an accident, paniced and drove until I could park. cops came and I blew a .12. This is my first offense, i dont know what to do.

I dont know what to do.They wont release my police report in time for my court date. Im very scared. Im not sure if the other driver is involved. They put me in jail overnight. It happened in Los Angeles and i live in ventura county. Please help.

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Criminal Law, California


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You need to contact an attorney right away prior to your court appearance.  If you cannot afford an attorney, go to court and tell the judge you would like a public defender and one will be appointed for you.  Don't enter a plea without discussing your case first with an attorney. 

DUIs are taken very seriously in California.  How a DUI case is prosecuted depends on a number of factors.  The age of the person, their blood alcohol level, any injuries or property damage caused, and any prior convictions. (The last won't apply to you since it is your first offense.)  A DUI is often a misdemeanor, but since you left the scene of the accident, it is possible they will charge it as a felony.  The prosecutor will rely on the blood alcohol test results and the statements from the police to make that determination.

There are two sets of penalties imposed. The first is administrative in nature and is imposed by the DMV.  For a first offense, the penalty is a 4-month license suspension period. The second are criminal penalties.  A harsher sentence will be imposed if the blood alcohol was extremely high or if injuries or property damage occurred.  Jail time of 96 hours to 6 months may be imposed along with fines up to $1,000 and a 6-month license suspension.  Offenders must also attend alcohol education classes.

Contact an attorney and discuss your options for being as successful as possible at trial.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption