A person who has been stopped on the suspicion of driving under the influence will be charged under California Vehicle Code §23152. If a person has been convicted of a DUI within ten years, the previous DUI will be considered when issuing a sentence for the new DUI. Let’s look at an example to explain this process.
David was charged and eventually pled guilty to Driving Under the Influence in 2012. He then was later stopped for a DUI in 2014. In 2014, the Prosecutor offered him a plea bargain if he were to plead guilty, and David agreed. The court would consider this to be a second offense DUI, since the conviction was ten years within the previous one.
In contrast, Donny was found guilty of a DUI in 2000. He was then later charged with a DUI in 2014. Because Donny’s previous DUI was over ten years before, the current conviction in 2014 will not be considered a second offense. Instead, Donny will be charged as it is a first time offense. This, however, does not preclude a Court from considering the prior DUI.
It is a good idea to consider a DUI Expungement if you have completed all of your probationary terms, for purposes of educational applications and employment opportunities.
If the current conviction is a second offense DUI, there are several sentences a Judge can impose. The final sentence will depend upon the facts of each individual case, and prior criminal history. With a second offense DUI, there is generally a jail sentence. The jail sentence will range from 96 hours to one year in jail. There is also three years of probation, and it will depend on the Judge whether it is informal or formal probation.
There is also generally a fine of anywhere between $390 to $1,000.00 plus penalties and assessment, which can triple the total amount. Additionally, the person may face a two year suspension of their driver’s license, and an 18 month alcohol/ drug education program.
There is a range for a specific reason. Not all sentences will fit each case properly. In some instances a person may need additional jail time, or may need a higher fine or community service to pay off the fine. There are also available options such as alcohol monitoring or house arrest in lieu of jail. These options are available upon request and upon the Judge’s discretion.
If you are facing a second offense DUI, be sure to consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. Their experience and knowledge can result in the skillful negotiation and argument that will ensure your sentence is on the lower end of the spectrum. There is potential jail time involved with these types of cases and it is necessary to give yourself the best fighting chance!