Are you facing charges for a second instance of driving under the influence (DUI) in 10 years? If so, you’ll need to know about the severity of a second DUI charge in the state of California? A second DUI leads to more serious consequences than a first conviction. You may end up facing jail time, fines, and restrictions on your driver’s license.
Dig into the results of a second DUI in California with this article. Find out how it impacts you going forward and review some of the possibilities for building a defense for a DUI accusation.
Comparing a Second DUI to a First Offense
Assessing the severity of a second DUI may prove difficult. We need to compare the offense to something else in order to discuss how “bad” it is. Let’s review the results of a first misdemeanor DUI conviction in California to get a baseline. For a first DUI, you may face:
- Jail time of up to six months
- Use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to six months
- Time in DUI school for up to nine months
A second DUI offense within 10 years comes with additional penalties. The court may sentence you to:
- Jail time of up to one year
- Use of an IID for up to one year
- Time in DUI school for up to 30 months
As you can see, the penalties may double if you get a second DUI in California. This makes a second DUI conviction in California very serious.
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Consider Complications for DUI Charges in California
It’s important that you understand what kind of DUI charges we are discussing. Thus far, we’ve focused on Vehicle Code Section 23152. VC 23152 is used to prosecute basic DUI charges in California. You may face this charge if you are stopped for driving under the influence, as long as you didn’t:
- Cause a DUI accident
- Cause injuries to another person
- Cause a fatality
You may face harsher charges for a DUI if someone was hurt or killed. You could face time in prison, for example. This applies even if it’s only your second DUI offense. Make sure you get legal help after any kind of DUI charge. Reach out to a DUI lawyer by calling (310) 997-4688.
A Second DUI Remains on Your Record for 10 Years
All DUI charges in California will remain on your driving record for 10 years. This is because all DUIs are priorable. You face harsher penalties if you are convicted of a third DUI within this 10-year period. Generally, drivers face:
- A longer minimum amount of time in jail
- Two years of using an IID
Some drivers do not want to use an IID after a DUI conviction. You may technically refuse to use an IID. However, this leads to the suspension of your driver’s license. Currently, California uses IIDs on a statewide-basis for DUI drivers. Using an IID allows you to continue operating your vehicle, even after a second DUI. For this reason, many drivers agree to install an IID on all vehicles they own or use.
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Build a Defense for a Second DUI in California
As you can see, a second DUI conviction could result in serious consequences. Fortunately, you can get help handling a second DUI with a lawyer in California. A lawyer can begin working on your defense right away. In some cases, your lawyer may work to show that:
Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Was Not Elevated
Drivers must keep their BAC under 0.08% in California. You could face DUI charges if your BAC exceeds this limit. However, sometimes your BAC may get misreported after a DUI arrest. For example, a police officer may not perform BAC testing properly. This could result in inappropriate BAC test results. A lawyer may assess the steps an officer took when measuring your BAC to find out if they acted properly.
You Were Stopped Without Due Cause
Law enforcement officers are only supposed to stop drivers if they have reasonable cause. Reasonable cause means the officer had reason to think you were breaking a law. If you were stopped without due cause, a lawyer could work to get your charges dismissed.
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Talk to a Lawyer About the Severity of a Second DUI
How bad is a second DUI in California? A second DUI may result in one year of jail time and other penalties. It also counts against you if you get another DUI. Therefore, you should treat a second DUI seriously. Get help handling a second DUI by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to us at (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form.
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