What Are The Chances of Jail Time for a Second California DUI?

April 16, 2018

Second-time DUI convictions will likely result in 10 days or more of jail time.

What Are The Chances of Jail Time for a Second California DUI?

The state of California does not play around when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI). It is notorious for its harsh DUI penalties, which range from fines, jail time, mandatory DUI school, community service, a license suspension and/or probation. A DUI conviction could also lead to the loss of a professional license, and other consequences, such as having to pay higher insurance rates. The severity of these consequences means that it is all the more important to hire the best possible DUI lawyer to represent you. A top Rancho Cucamonga DUI defense attorney can thoroughly investigate the charges against you, and aggressively defend you to develop a strategy to achieve the best possible resolution.

A first-time DUI offense in California typically does not lead to jail time, although it is possible, based on the circumstances. For example, if bodily injury or death arises from the DUI, a prosecutor may charge the DUI as a felony, and the defendant could be sentenced to jail or even California state prison. However, as a Rancho Cucamonga DUI defense attorney can explain, the typical consequences for a first California DUI offense include a fine of at least $390, plus fees of over $1,800; a 48 hour jail sentence or a 90 day license restriction; a three month alcohol education program; community service; and/or probation. These scope of these penalties will vary considerably based on the nature of the DUI offense, and will typically increase if you had a particularly high blood alcohol content (BAC), or if there were other factors involved, such as a child in the car at the time.

In California, DUI offenses have a 10 year “look back” period. If you are convicted of a second alcohol-related offense within a 10 year period after your first DUI (or a related offense, such as a wet reckless conviction), then it will be considered a second DUI. If you are convicted of a second DUI, there is a good possibility that you will serve at least 10 days in jail. In addition, your license will suspended for a full year, without the possibility of obtaining a restricted license. The other consequences of a California DUI will still apply, and will be increased: higher fines, more community service hours, and increased time in alcohol education classes. As with first-time DUI charges, if there are any extenuating circumstances, such as if a person got hurt when you were driving under the influence, then you may face even stiffer penalties.

Defending against a second DUI charge can be difficult, particularly if your BAC was high at the time of your arrest. Prosecutors tend to be more aggressive with repeat DUI offenders, believing them to be a danger to the safety of others on the road. Judges also tend to treat repeat offenders more harshly. This is why it is vital to hire an experienced Rancho Cucamonga DUI defense attorney. While it may not always be possible to avoid consequences entirely for a second DUI, a skilled lawyer might be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal, or aggressively pursue options to have the charges dismissed or reduced based on the specific facts of the case.

At the Chambers Law Firm, our team of dedicated professionals has years of combined experience helping clients who have been charged with DUIs. Dan E. Chambers is a former prosecutor, and is now a highly skilled Rancho Cucamonga DUI defense attorney. Contact our office today at 855-397-0210 or info@orangecountyduifirm.com to schedule a free initial consultation.

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