Under California law, a marijuana DUI, or DUID, is typically a misdemeanor as long as no one was injured. Marijuana DUIs carry the same consequences as a DUI involving alcohol, although the penalties depend on whether it is your first or subsequent DUI and the severity of the accident. Here’s what you should expect after getting a DUID in California.
You Will Be Subject to Informal Probation
After a DUID conviction, you can expect to be placed on an informal probation of 3 to 5 years. Your probation will come with certain conditions that depend on whether you have prior DUI, DUID, or “wet reckless” convictions. In general, you must avoid committing any new criminal offenses during probation and submit to a chemical test if you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. You may also be required to attend DUI school.
You May Face Jail Time
Even with a first-time offense, you could face jail time with a DUID. The average jail stay is about 2 days, but you could be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail with a first conviction. When a DUID is charged as a felony, which can happen if you have 3 prior wet reckless or DUI convictions in the last decade or caused injury or death to someone else, you could face a prison sentence.
Your Driver’s License Will Be Suspended
When you are convicted of a first-time DUID, your license will be automatically suspended for 6 months. To have your license reinstated, you must complete a DUI program. It is possible to avoid license suspension if you can avoid a DUI conviction in court and request a DMV hearing within 10 days of arrest and avoid losing the hearing. The DMV hearing and trial are separate proceedings. Losing the hearing will not affect your court proceeding. If you win the hearing, your license may still be suspended if you do not win your court case.
For a second or subsequent DUID, the license suspension may be increased up to 5 years or even permanently. A marijuana DUI with injury, even a first-time offense, could result in a license suspension of up to 3 years. The good news is you may qualify for a restricted license to drive to and from work.
You Must Carry SR-22 Insurance
Even with a first-time marijuana DUI conviction, you will need to carry an SR-22 insurance certificate for a full 3 years. With a second conviction, the requirement is extended to up to 5 years. Your National City car insurance company will be required to provide the DMV with the SR-22 proof of insurance certificate once your license suspension ends and you can drive again.
SR-22 is a car liability insurance document required for all high-risk insurance policies, including policies on drivers who have been convicted of a DUI or DUID. Not all insurance companies offer SR-22s. You can expect your insurance premiums to go up after a DUID because you are considered a higher risk, but the SR-22 itself does not cost much.
At American Tri-Star Insurance, we offer reliable SR-22 insurance as well as auto, motorcycle, RV, home, and commercial insurance. National City, CA, residents can call 619-474-3900 today to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents and receive a free quote.