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How to Get Informal Probation for a DUI Offense
March 23, 2022 at 9:30 PM
Image of someone who received information probation for their DUI conviction.

If you’re arrested for a DUI offense, a single mistake can ruin the rest of your life. Many individuals feel tempted to plead guilty to avoid jail time or simply get past the stress and embarrassment of dealing with a DUI. However, even if it feels like there is considerable evidence against you, pleading guilty without talking to a lawyer is a mistake. There are options outside of harsh fines and strict punishments when charged with a DUI offense. Learn more about informal probation and how a DUI and criminal attorney can ensure you receive it for your DUI.

What is informal probation?

Formal probation is where a convicted individual must meet with a probation officer and submit to regular drug testing. Failure to make a meeting or pass a drug test can result in jail time. Informal probation, by comparison, is far less disruptive to an individual’s life.

You must still follow the rules issued by the court but are trusted to obey them without the direct observation of a probation officer. For most DUI convictions, informal probation lasts for three to five years and requires:

  • No criminal activity
  • No driving under the influence
  • Agree to a breathalyzer if pulled over under the suspicion of impaired driving

Because of California’s Zero Tolerance Policy, individuals on informal probation for a DUI conviction who are under the influence when pulled over will automatically do jail time.

Young woman driver.

How can you receive informal probation for your DUI?

For first offenses, the court will often offer informal probation rather than jail time for a DUI, depending on the arrest conditions. It is very hard for an individual without legal counsel to negotiate for informal probation on a subsequent arrest for a DUI.

Knowing you have options following an arrest can mitigate the disruption and damage a DUI can do. The most important thing about receiving informal probation is never to plead guilty without first talking to a lawyer.

Is informal probation the only condition of a DUI?

Even informal probation is just one component of DUI punishment in California. Whether it’s your first or subsequent offense, fines, fees, and time-consuming penalties can disrupt your life and work. DUI punishments often include:

  • Costs up to $3,000, plus added fines, and court fees
  • Driver’s license suspension up to a year
  • “DUI School” with classes lasting anywhere from twelve hours up to thirty months
  • Interlock device on your car that records your BAC and prevents the engine from starting over a specific BAC

While “informal probation” sounds appealing, it only means you don’t have to meet with a probation officer regularly. There are many conditions of DUI punishment that are time-consuming and expensive.

What happens if you’re pulled over while on probation?

As a condition of informal probation, individuals must immediately submit to a breathalyzer when pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving. If their Blood Alcohol Content is over the legal limit of 0.04 percent, their probation is immediately revoked, resulting in jail time.

Sometimes individuals can avoid having their probation revoked by spending time in county jail. A more serious consequence is a suspension of their driver’s license. If you’re pulled over while on probation, it’s crucial to contact a DUI defense lawyer who will request a DUI hearing on your behalf.

Don’t plead guilty before finding out how Taxman DUI Defense can get you informal probation for your DUI offense.

Never plead guilty to a DUI without first talking to Taxman DUI Defense. A conviction for a DUI in California can be life-changing and challenging to overcome. There’s nothing we can do for you after you plead guilty. We’re a Sacramento-based firm with a reputation for delivering DUI and criminal offenses results. Steven Taxman has over 20 years of experience vigorously defending the rights of his clients. Regardless of the charges you face, Taxman DUI Defense will work tirelessly to clear your name.

Were you arrested for a DUI charge? Call 916-619-7200 for a consultation to learn more about your options and how you can receive informal probation.