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California Records Search: How to Access DUI Records?

    "Cover image for 'California DUI Record Search: How to Access DUI Records in California' showing a magnifying glass over a stack of files. The text 'California DUI Record Search: How to Access DUI Records in California' is prominently displayed in white on a blue overlay."

If you want to conduct a California DUI record search, understanding the process and where to look is crucial. Whether you need to check your records or someone else’s, this guide will help you navigate the system efficiently.

Types of DUI Records in California

Knowing the different types of records is essential when conducting a California DUI record search. Each record type provides specific information that can be useful depending on your needs.

Arrest Records

Arrest Records are created by the police department after a DUI arrest. These records include:

  • Details of the Arrest: Information about the arrest’s time, location, and circumstances.
  • Breath Test Results: Results from any breathalyzer tests administered during the arrest.
  • Booking Photos: Photographs taken during the booking process.
  • Court Proceedings: Information on subsequent court proceedings, including charges filed and court dates.

"Infographic titled 'Different Types of DUI Records in California' showing three columns. The first column, 'Arrest Records,' includes details of the arrest, court proceedings, booking photos, and court proceedings. The second column, 'Driving Records,' includes traffic violations, DUI offenses, and license status. The third column, 'Criminal Records,' includes convictions and criminal history."

How to Access Arrest Records:

  • Public Access: Contact the local law enforcement agency that made the arrest or the court that handled the case.
  • Sealing Records: California law mandates that these records be sealed or destroyed if the arrest does not lead to charges or a conviction.

Driving Records

Driving Records are maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and include:

  • Traffic Violations: A record of all traffic violations, including DUIs.
  • DUI Offenses: Specific details about DUI offenses, including dates and outcomes.
  • License Status: Information on whether the driver’s license is valid, suspended, canceled, or revoked.

How to Access Driving Records:

  • Requesting Your Own Record: Online
  • Requesting Another Person’s Record: Submit form INF 70 and follow the instructions. A small fee is required.

Criminal Records

Criminal Records are detailed records of a person’s criminal history, including DUI convictions, maintained by the Department of Justice (DOJ). These records include:

  • Convictions: Information on any DUI convictions, including dates and court outcomes.
  • Criminal History: A comprehensive history of all criminal offenses, not just DUIs.

How to Access Criminal Records:

  • Public Records Act: Under the California Public Records Act, you can request your criminal record from the DOJ by completing an online request form.
  • Fingerprint Submission: Submit fingerprints and pay a processing fee to obtain your criminal history record.

Public Access

  • Contact Local Law Enforcement: DUI arrest records are generally public and can be accessed by contacting the local law enforcement agency that made the arrest.
  • Court Records: You can also access these records by contacting the court that handled the case. The court may provide information such as case summaries, charges, convictions, and details about sentencing.

Sealing Records

  • Sealing or Destroying Records: California law mandates that these records be sealed or destroyed if a DUI arrest does not lead to charges or a conviction. This means they will not be accessible to the public.

Requesting Your Record

You can obtain your driving record in several ways:

  • Online: Visit the California DMV website and complete a driver’s record request. This is the fastest method. Be prepared to create an online account and pay a $2 fee. Ensure your printer is ready, as you will only have one chance to print your record.
  • In Person: Go to your local DMV office, show a valid ID, and fill out form INF 1125, Request for Your Own Driver License Information Record.
  • By Mail: Send a written request with your name, date of birth, social security number, California driver’s license number, and signature, along with a $5 fee, to the DMV Information Release Unit.

methods. The first method, 'Online,' shows an illustration of a person using a computer. The second method, 'In Person,' shows an illustration of two people talking with files around them. The third method, 'By Mail,' shows an illustration of a mailbox with letters inside."

Requesting Another Person’s Record

To access someone else’s driving record:

  • Form INF 70: Submit a request using form INF 70 and follow the instructions. Include a check or money order for $5 for each record requested. Mail the form and fee to the address provided on the form.

Public Records Act

Under the California Public Records Act, you can access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including the DOJ.

  • Request Your Record: Complete an online request form on the DOJ website. You must submit fingerprint images and pay a $25 processing fee. You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you meet specific criteria.
  • Requesting Records from the Court: DUI offenses commonly lead to court proceedings, producing records that are publicly accessible. You can access these records by visiting the California Court’s website and providing the requisite details. The court may charge a fee for each copy of records and a search fee if the clerk works on your request for over 10 minutes.

DUI Convictions and Penalties in California

Understanding the consequences of DUI convictions can provide essential context for your California DUI record search. Knowing the penalties for first-time and repeat offenders can help you understand the severity of DUI offenses and the importance of maintaining a clean driving record.

First-Time Offenders

For first-time DUI offenders in California, the penalties are designed to be both punitive and rehabilitative. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Jail Term: A first-time DUI conviction can result in a jail term ranging from 96 hours to 6 months. The actual time served can depend on various factors, including the specifics of the case and the county where the offense occurred.
  • Fines: Offenders can face fines ranging from $390 to $1,000. However, with additional penalty assessments, the total amount can reach up to $2,000.
  • License Suspension: The DMV will suspend your driver’s license for six months. You may be eligible for a restricted driving license to work and DUI school.
  • DUI Education Course: Completion of a DUI education program is mandatory. The program typically lasts 3 to 9 months, depending on the severity of the offense and the offender’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest.
  • SR22 Insurance: You must file an SR22 form, a certificate of financial responsibility, with the DMV. This will likely increase your insurance premiums significantly.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): In some counties, you may be required to install an IID in your vehicle for a specified period.

"Infographic titled 'First-Time DUI Offenders in California: Here's What You Can Expect' showing six penalties. The penalties are: 'Jail Term' of 96 hours to 6 months, 'Fines' of $390 to $1,000, 'License Suspension' for 6 months, 'DUI Education Course' for 3 to 9 months, 'SR22 Insurance' requirement to file an SR22 form with the DMV, and 'Ignition Interlock Device (IID)' installation in your vehicle."

Second-Time Offenders

Penalties for a second DUI conviction are more severe within ten years of the first. Here’s what second-time offenders can expect:

  • Jail Term: A second DUI conviction can result in a jail term of 90 days to 1 year. The minimum mandatory jail time is 96 hours, which must be served in two 48-hour increments.
  • Fines: Fines for a second DUI range from $390 to $1,000, with additional penalty assessments bringing the total to nearly $2,000.
  • License Suspension or Revocation: The DMV will suspend your driver’s license for two years. After 12 months, you may be eligible for a restricted license if you install an IID and meet other requirements.
  • DUI School: You must complete an 18-month or 30-month DUI education program, known as the SB38 program.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Installation of an IID in your vehicle is mandatory for at least one year.
  • Probation: You will be placed on probation for 3 to 5 years. During this time, you must comply with all court-ordered conditions, such as not driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system and submitting to chemical tests if arrested for another DUI.

"Infographic titled 'Second-Time DUI Offenders in California: Here's What You Can Expect' showing six penalties. The penalties are: 'Jail Term' of 90 days to 1 year, 'Fines' of $390 to $1,000, 'License Suspension' for 2 years, 'DUI School' for 18-month or 30-month, 'Ignition Interlock Device (IID)' mandatory for at least 1 year, and 'Probation' for 3 to 5 years."

Aggravating Factors

Certain aggravating factors can increase the severity of penalties for both first-time and repeat offenders. These factors include:

  • High BAC: A 0.15% or higher BAC can result in harsher penalties.
  • Refusal to Submit to Testing: Refusing to take a chemical test can lead to additional penalties, including a longer license suspension.
  • Speeding: Driving 20 mph over the speed limit on surface streets or 30 mph on highways while under the influence.
  • Minor Passenger: Having a minor in the vehicle during the offense.
  • Accidents: Causing an accident while driving under the influence, especially if it results in injury or death.

"Infographic titled 'Aggravating Factors Can Increase the Severity of Penalties for Both First-Time and Repeat Offenders' showing five factors in colorful sections. The factors are: 'High BAC' in orange, 'Refusal to Submit to Testing' in red, 'Speeding' in green, 'Minor Passenger' in teal, and 'Accidents' in blue. On the left side, there is an illustration of a hand holding a red puzzle piece."

Summary

Understanding the penalties associated with a DUI case in California state is crucial for anyone conducting a California DUI record search. The consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are severe and can significantly impact your driving privileges, financial situation, and personal freedom. By knowing these penalties, you can better appreciate the importance of maintaining a clean driving record and the potential repercussions of such offenses. Ensure the case number is on hand for more efficient and accurate searches.

 

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and is provided as is without any guarantee of accuracy. If you need a professional legal opinion, click here to send in your legal request.

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