If you were previously convicted of DUI (driving under the influence), new charges could result in serious consequences because the state enhances penalties for second and subsequent DUI convictions.
The penalties for a California DUI increase if you have one, two, three or more prior convictions on your record. A fourth DUI can even be charged as a felony, with a state prison sentence if you are convicted.
In Orange County, a DUI suspect faces the possibility of probation, fines, AA classes, attending a MADD impact panel, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), and course a criminal record, which would haunt him or her for years to come, affecting everything from employment, to auto insurance, to housing.
The court does not typically hand down harsh sentences or require jail for first offenders, though this may vary depending on the facts of the case. For example, if someone else was injured or killed, the driver would face enhanced penalties, such as incarceration and a felony charge.
Penalties for Multiple DUIs
For a DUI suspect who has a prior DUI on their record, the penalties are stiffer, and they increase for each subsequent offense. A second DUI in California is punishable by 3 to 5 years of informal probation, fines and other penalties of up to $2,000 and 96 hours to 1 year in county jail.
An average sentence may range from 45 to 90 days, though this can often be converted to home confinement or Caltrans. A driver may also face a mandatory 18 to 30-month drug/alcohol program, AA classes and community service.
For a third DUI, a driver may face a minimum sentence of 120 days in jail. The driver may also face fines and penalties totaling around $2,800 and a mandatory 30-month drug/alcohol program. At this point, the driver may also have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in his or her vehicle.
If a driver has 3 prior DUI convictions on his or her record within the past 10 years, he or she may face felony charges for a fourth DUI. The driver may face 16 months, 2 years or 4 years in state prison, fines, a 4-year driver's license revocation and status as a habitual traffic offender for 3 years.
Is this your second or subsequent DUI offense?
If you have any prior DUI convictions on your record, you cannot afford to forgo legal counsel. Accepting a plea bargain or trying to work with a public defender may expose you to an unfair sentence or even a conviction that should not have been in the first place.
With the skills and resources to challenge even complex felony DUI charges, the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry can offer the level of counsel you need.
To learn more about the firm and how to fight multiple DUI offense charges, call for a confidential consultation!