Can a past conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) affect your current court case in California? DUIs are priorable offenses throughout the state. This means that they may be used against you if you face additional DUI charges.
Get information about the effects of prior DUI convictions right here. Find out how long DUIs will stay on your record. You can also review information about handling DUI arrests before they become convictions.
Past DUIs Stay on Your Record in California
Every DUI offense in California is priorable. This even includes some charges used in DUI plea bargains. For example, if you accept a “wet reckless” plea bargain, the charge is considered priorable. Any priorable charge may later be used against you in court.
DUI convictions remain on your driving record for 10 years. The countdown to their removal starts from the day of your arrest, not the day of your conviction. A new DUI conviction does not remove your prior conviction. Rather, you’ll just end up with two DUIs on your record.
Ways That DUI Convictions Work Against You
Each time you are convicted of a DUI, you face more severe penalties. The previous DUIs on your record allows the court to hand down harsher penalties for a conviction. Let’s review some of the results of a DUI conviction to learn more about this subject. After a DUI conviction, you may face:
- Up to six months for a first-time conviction
- Up to one year for a second or third conviction
The Use of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Up to six months for a first conviction
- Up to one year for a second conviction
- Up to two years for a third conviction
Time in DUI School
- Three or nine months for a first conviction
- 18 or 30 months for a second conviction
- 30 months for a third conviction
You May Face Felony Charges if You Have Past Convictions
Most of the time, DUIs are treated as misdemeanors in the state of California. However, this is not always the case. You may face felony charges if you have enough previous convictions in a 10-year period. In fact, the court may treat a DUI as a felony if:
- You have three previous misdemeanor DUI convictions.
- You have one previous felony DUI conviction.
Felony charges result in harsher penalties for a DUI in California. You may face up to three years of time in prison for a basic felony conviction. You may also face high fines and restrictions on your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Make sure you’re ready to handle a felony charge by contacting a DUI lawyer. Just call (310) 997-4688.
Consider Expungement and Prior Convictions in California
Many individuals consider expungement if they have past DUI charges on their record. Expungement is a legal process used to “remove” criminal charges. You may use expungement to remove a DUI from your criminal record in California.
However, expungement does not take a DUI charge off of your driving record. The record of your DUI remains on your driving record for 10 years. It continues to count against you if you face additional DUI charges, even after an expungement.
Handle DUI Accusations Before a Conviction
Past DUI convictions may work against you if you are facing new charges in California. You may work to prevent this situation by handling DUI charges before you are convicted. You can get help on your side from a DUI lawyer right now. A DUI lawyer may work to show that:
- You were stopped without due cause by a police officer.
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was actually within legal limits.
- Your BAC testing was not completed properly.
A lawyer could work to get your charges dismissed. A dismissed charge does not count against you if you are arrested for another DUI. A lawyer may also work to get your charges reduced. Some plea bargain charges are not priorable. A lawyer could also defend you in court. Speak to a law firm now to consider all of your options after a DUI arrest.
Discuss How Prior Convictions Could Be Used Against You with a Lawyer
You may face additional penalties if you have prior convictions and are charged with a DUI. You can get legal help for this situation from the Simmrin Law Group. You can start working with our DUI lawyers right now. Reaching us for assistance is simple. We even offer clients in your situation a free consultation.
Start getting help by completing our online contact form. You can also call (310) 997-4688.