Protecting the Rights and Driving Privileges of Our Clients

While all DUI offenses carry severe penalties, a second DUI offense is typically much more severe than a first DUI offense. Jail time, license suspension, fines, and other penalties are increased, leading to more drastic impacts on your life. Judges are often less lenient with repeat offenders, so the defense strategy you used for your first offense will likely not work a second time around.

Second-offense DUIs can be frightening, especially because they are much more likely to be detrimental to your life. Fortunately, with the right legal team on your side, you can create a legal defense strategy to reduce or even remove the penalties you are facing.

Our attorneys at the DUI Defense Group are here to help you when facing a second DUI offense. We understand how devastating it can be to have an arrest on your record for the second time, and we will do everything in our power to get you the outcome you deserve. For more information about our services and to receive a free consultation, contact our law office today by calling 866-927-3295.

What Counts as a Second DUI in California?

If you have any previous DUI conviction on your record within the past ten years, it will count as having a prior DUI. Therefore, your next DUI arrest is considered a second DUI offense. Other offenses, like a wet reckless driving conviction, also count as a previous DUI. However, DUI arrests without a conviction do not count as a first offense.

Like your first DUI conviction, a second DUI offense is handled by the California DMV as well as the criminal justice system. You must contact the DMV and request a hearing within ten days of your arrest to request a DMV hearing. During this hearing, you can present evidence in your defense to have your driving privileges reinstated. Your DMV hearing outcome has no impact on whether you will be convicted in a criminal case.

What Are the Potential Penalties of a Second DUI?

The potential penalties for a second DUI within ten years are similar to those for a first DUI offense. However, second DUI offenses often carry harsher versions of the penalties for first DUI offenses.

Below are the potential penalties you could face for a second DUI conviction:

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Three to five years of probation
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Additional fines for penalty assessments
  • Completion of 30 months of California DUI school
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Two years driver’s license suspension

The penalties above may be more severe if there are aggravating factors like the following:

  • Operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Underage drinking and driving
  • Refusing a chemical test or breathalyzer test
  • Speeding while under the influence
  • Driving under the influence with a minor in the car

These factors can cause the court to seek harsher penalties if you are convicted. Increased jail time, higher fines, community service, and mandatory participation in a substance abuse program are all possibilities. If you are charged with a felony DUI, which often happens in the event of severe injury or death, you could face state prison time instead of county jail.

What Are the DMV Penalties for a Second DUI?

While the criminal penalties for a second DUI conviction are severe, the DMV penalties can also impact your life in many ways. The California DMV can impose penalties on drivers who are arrested for a second DUI even if there is ultimately no conviction. The DMV can suspend a California driver’s license and give restricted licenses to those who qualify.

You may have your license automatically suspended if any of the following is true:

  • You are convicted of a DUI
  • You do not request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest
  • You lose your DMV hearing

For a second DUI conviction, the court-triggered suspension is two years. If you lose your DMV hearing or do not request a DMV hearing, you lose your license for one year. If you submit to a chemical test and prove that you have installed an ignition interlock device (IID), you can likely obtain a restricted license. A restricted license allows you to drive a motor vehicle with an IID for 12 months.

If you refused chemical tests upon your arrest or detainment, you will be unable to receive a restricted license or get your license reinstated. Your license will automatically be suspended for two years. It is recommended to submit to any chemical tests upon a DUI arrest to avoid these harsh penalties.

Can You Get a Second DUI Expunged in California?

Expungement is the process of removing convictions and arrests from your criminal record. Expungement is very useful for convicted offenders, as expunged records will not appear in any background check done by the general public.

To be eligible for expungement, you must have completed all terms of your probation. If you have, you can work with a member of our legal team to petition the court for expungement as soon as your probation ends. A judge will review your petition and criminal history to determine if you qualify for expungement.

If the court accepts your petition, you can enter a not-guilty plea and have the judge dismiss the case. If you did not plead guilty but were convicted by a judge or jury, the judge will set the verdict aside and dismiss the case.

Unfortunately, felony DUI charges that involve state prison sentences are not eligible for expungement. However, our team can review the facts of your case to determine whether it is possible to get your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. In that case, you would be eligible for expungement.

How Do You Defend Against a Second DUI?

Defending against a second DUI is difficult but not impossible. Our team will review the facts of your case to determine what the best legal strategy is. If there are any grounds for dismissal or acquittal of the charges, we will pursue those first. We can also negotiate with prosecutors to come to a plea agreement for lesser penalties.

Below are the main DUI defenses in California:

Faulty Tests

Field sobriety tests are very unreliable and can lead to innocent people getting DUI charges. If you fail a field sobriety test, our team will question the accuracy of the test itself.

Lack of Probable Cause

Law enforcement officers must reasonably believe you are driving under the influence before pulling you over. If you were not speeding, swerving, braking excessively, or otherwise driving dangerously, our attorneys could argue that your arrest and detainment were unlawful.

Violation of Your Rights

Law enforcement officers are required to follow a strict procedure when arresting or detaining someone. If your rights were violated at any time, our team can argue that your arrest and any subsequent charges are unlawful.

Medical Issues

Some conditions can mimic the effects of intoxication, leading to innocent people being charged with a DUI. Similarly, some medical conditions can cause breathalyzer tests to give false results, like GERD or acid reflux. If you have any medical conditions, our team will present evidence in your defense to explain your behavior and test results.

Can a DUI Attorney Help Me?

The penalties for a second DUI conviction within ten years are far more severe than a first offense DUI. Extended stays in jail, more expensive fines, and a longer license suspension are all possibilities if you are charged with a DUI a second time. Certain aggravating factors, like driving with a minor in the car or excessively dangerous driving, can increase your charge to a felony, leading to even further consequences.

Your future and your driving privileges could be on the line if you are convicted of a second DUI. If you are facing a second DUI offense, the best way to protect your rights is by hiring a team of experienced DUI defense attorneys. At the DUI Defense Group, we only take cases that are related to DUIs or other traffic violations. We are confident that with our legal background and experience, we can help you reduce or remove the penalties you are facing.

Please don’t feel like you must face this challenging situation on your own. Our team is here to provide a free consultation and develop a legal strategy that’s right for you. For more information, contact our law office today at 866-927-3295.