1st Time DUI
Avvo John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law - YELP


Call Us831-426-5800

Call Us831-566-4357

303 Potrero Street, Suite 30
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Santa Cruz, CA First-Time DUI Attorney

Lawyer for California Drivers Charged with Their First DUI in Santa Cruz County

1st Time DUI

During a recent 12-month measurement, California law enforcement made more than 140,000 DUI arrests, 83,000 of which resulted in driver's license suspensions for first-time DUI offenders. While California DUI laws come down especially hard on individuals with multiple DUIs, the penalties for a first-time DUI conviction can be severe as well.

If you face DUI charges, Attorney John W. Thornton is prepared to help you secure the best possible result in your case. Attorney Thornton has served Santa Cruz-area clients since 1990, including more than a thousand individuals charged with a first offense DUI. If you need a trusted local criminal defense lawyer, Attorney Thornton is ready to serve you.

California First-Time DUI Charges

Most drivers arrested for DUI have their driver's license confiscated by police at the scene, and they are given a 30-day temporary license. This initiates a DMV administrative hearing, which is separate from the court case. To fight this administrative suspension, one must request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of arrest.

A first-time DUI offense can have a substantial effect on an individual's employment, especially those who drive an employer's vehicle or who are on an employer's automobile insurance. Travel can also be impacted, as Canada maintains extremely restrictive entry for criminal offenses, including first-time DUI. You may be denied Global Entry, CLEAR, and TSA PreCheck eligibility. If you already have these clearances, a conviction for DUI can impact that clearance.

The two-track nature of most first-time DUIs – with the DMV administrative process in addition to the criminal court process – poses a challenge that is often best navigated by an experienced DUI defense lawyer. As an established and dependable Santa Cruz-area attorney, John W. Thornton is ready to provide the dedicated defense you deserve.

Ignition Interlock Device

As of Jan. 1, 2019, some first-time DUI offenders can be granted eligibility for an ignition interlock device (IID), which requires a driver to blow into a breathalyzer attached to the ignition of the vehicle before it will start, and periodically while it is in operation. This allows you to drive anywhere you need to go, not just to and from work.

Wired directly into your ignition, an IID is around the same size as a cell phone. When court-ordered, you must have it installed by an authorized supplier, and they send proof of the installation to the DMV. After this, and jumping through several other hoops (filing an SR-22, enrollment in a DUI program, and going to DMV to pay a reissue fee), the DMV then officially restricts your driver's license, so if you are pulled over by police, the officer can see it on your record. If you do not comply with the conditions of the restriction (this can include not bringing the device in for regular servicing, driving a car without an interlock device, not blowing into the device when asked for a random sample while driving, and testing positive for alcohol on the device), the DMV can revoke your license.

Contact a Santa Cruz County DUI Lawyer

When you hire Attorney John W. Thornton to handle your case, you will have an attorney who can guide you through a process – two, actually, court and DMV – which is more complicated than some imagine. For a free consultation with an experienced California DUI attorney, contact us at 831-426-5800.

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