Articles Posted in Prior DUIS

If you have been stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence after you have already been convicted for a previous DUI, your consequences significantly increase.

A second DUI conviction carries with it mandatory jail time and enhanced fees, as well as probation. It is a very serious charge the first time around, but is increasingly significant the second time.

If you had a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney represent you on the first DUI case, you understand how important and helpful it is to seek the guidance of a legal expert. You will also understand that a second charge is not worth the risk of representing yourself, since you may be facing jail time.

Many people mistakenly believe that they can only be charged with driving under the influence when they are driving a motor vehicle. This, in fact, is not the case. A person may also be charged under the California Navigation and Harbors Code Section 655.

California Navigation and Harbors Code Section 655 states in pertinent part:

(b) No person shall operate any vessel or manipulate water skis, an aquaplane, or a similar device while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. (c) No person shall operate any recreational vessel or manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more in his or her blood. (d) No person shall operate any vessel other than a recreational vessel if the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more in his or her blood.

Knowing when to accept a plea bargain is a very critical decision which requires analyzing objectively the prosecutors case, including any and all evidence they have, and any witnesses.

There are three possible outcomes of a DUI prosecution. The rarest is after the prosecutor in a courtroom finds an obvious error or other critical weakness in their case, theydecide to dismiss all charges. Keep in mind that prior to filing charges, a prosecutor office reviewed the entire contents of the police report and determined that there was sufficient evidence in their opinion to convict the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.

The second is a more common scenario, where based on the merits of the case, and after a careful evaluation of both positive and negative evidence, the defense lawyer and prosecutor agree upon a reduced charge or terms of a case settlement. This process is called plea-bargaining.

The California Legislature has directed courts to follow sentencing guidelines for any person charged and convicted of a DUI.sJudges and Prosecutors have a broad range of guidelines and penalties for a DUI case. The Prosecutors will consider several factors and will make an offer to the Judge. The Judge has the discretion to accept or deny any plea bargain presented by the Prosecutor and the Defense lawyer.

One of the things prosecution will consider in creating their plea bargain is the general facts surrounding the case.sProsecution will consider in which manner you were stopped. Were you a driver that was stopped on the side of the road and sleeping? Were you pulled over on the freeway, or were you in a parking lot? Did the officer have to pull you over because you were speeding or weaving? Did you fail to stop at a stop sign? Were you involved in an accident? Many of these factors will also tie in to a discussion about probable cause. That is, did the officer have probable cause to pull you over, or if you were already pulled over, to administer a test to detect the presence of alcohol? A skilled defense attorney can scrutinize whether or not the statements of probable cause contained in an arrest report are sufficient to meet the legal standards required by law. In that consideration, a careful review of your police report along with an evaluation of the driver’s opinion whether the statements made by the officer accurately reflect what happened.

The Prosecutor and the Judge will take into account any prior criminal offenses.sThey will consider previous DUI convictions and take into account their location and date. Your criminal record will only be considered ten years prior to the current conviction. Consequently, someone who has been charged with 2 DUIs in the past month will be sentenced on the harsher end of the spectrum than someone who is being convicted of their first DUI.