This is a good question. Obviously, once you get one DUI under California Vehicle Code 23152 you certainly don't want to get another one.
If you do, people feel like it's over for them. They obviously hated getting the first DUI and the consequences and responsibilities that came along with that.
Now, they figure getting a second one is going to be a lot more difficult.
Second DUI Will Result in Harsher Penalties
A second DUI is treated differently than a first DUI because the authorities, legislature, police and prosecutors feel like once you get one, if you get a second one, you deserve to get a harsher punishment.
DUI's are set up and designed so the more DUI's you get, the harsher the punishment is and more bad actions are taken against you and your driver's license.
In fact, there's a DUI chart that you can probably Google that kind of gives you some information about what happens on a first, second, third and a fourth DUI.
But even for DUI attorneys that chart is confusing, so your best bet is to talk to somebody who has handled first and second DUI's and knows how these cases are dealt with.
Just to give you a feel for it, usually the fine is about the same — a $390 file plus penalty assessment which usually works its way out to about $2,000 give or take. You can get some of that chopped off if you decide to do community service for it.
Then you can minimize it significantly. As far as jail time goes, you usually don't get any jail time on a first-time DUI.
But on a second-time DUI, it's a mandatory four days in jail or ninety-six hours up to a year in jail. On a first time offense you're only looking at up to six months in jail.
Extended Probation, Alcohol Programs, Suspended License
The probation in some of the courts is the same where it's three years. Sometimes other courts will move it up to five years.
One of the biggest impacts is instead of being able to do a three-month alcohol program which is the usual program for first-time DUI's in Los Angeles, they kick it up to an eighteen months alcohol program.
Your driver's license is also suspended typically for a year on a second-time DUI versus the thirty-day suspension for a first-time DUI.
There are ways to get your license back before the year if you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and do some other things related to your driver's license.
So, there is a big difference. You can be looking at jail time. They're usually going to be giving you something more than that ninety-six hours.
They're going to be looking at the surrounding circumstances of your DUI — was there an accident?
Were you going very fast? Was there other dangerous activity going on?
So, there is a big difference between a first and second-time DUI as far as your license goes and your freedom goes.
Obviously, you want to get an attorney for second time DUI's.
A lot of times what I try to do is prevent a conviction for a second-time DUI because then it doesn't trigger as many of these penalties that I'm mentioning by getting a wet reckless for example. That would minimize your punishment related to a second versus first-time DUI in Los Angeles.