Lookback Period for California DUI

Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, but this was not your first DUI arrest? If this is your second, third, or subsequent DUI, you may be wondering, “Will my prior DUIs lead to enhanced penalties?” This is a very good question indeed and the answer depends on how long ago you were convicted of DUI.

If you are charged with DUI, the prosecutor is going to look at your criminal history. When the prosecutor learns about your prior DUI convictions (in California or another state), he or she will be concerned about the “age” of these prior DUI convictions.

As with other states, California has what is called a “lookback period” for DUIs, which means any prior DUI convictions within a certain period of time will be used against a DUI defendant to enhance their current DUI penalties.

In California, the lookback period is 10 years. So, if you have one prior DUI conviction within the past 10 years (or a California wet reckless), the prosecutor would use your prior DUI to penalize you with a second DUI, which has greater penalties than a first DUI.

If this was your third DUI in 10 years, you would face third DUI penalties. However, if this is your third DUI in more than 10 years, it would be treated as your second DUI, and you would face second DUI penalties.

Penalties for a Second DUI in Orange County

Suppose this is your second DUI within 10 years. In this case, you would be facing the following penalties:

  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement
  • A mandatory jail sentence of 96 hours
  • DUI School (18 months)
  • A two-year driver’s license suspension
  • Up to $2,800 in fines and court fees

Getting a Second DUI Reduced to a Wet Reckless

Sometimes when a client is facing second or subsequent DUI charges, we are able to get the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a California wet reckless, which is far more favorable than a DUI. Why is a wet reckless such an attractive option? While there are mandatory penalties for second and subsequent DUIs, those penalties don’t apply when a charge is reduced to wet reckless.

Note: If a second or subsequent DUI is reduced to a wet reckless, it still counts as a “priorable offense” if the DUI defendant is convicted of DUI in the future.

Facing second, third, or fourth DUI charges in Orange County? See what we can do for youcontact our office for a free case evaluation today!