DUI Prior Convictions in California
What are some things that can be done to limit the effect of prior convictions in a Los Angeles DUI case? Throughout the many years that I have represented my clients for DUI cases, I have developed several DUI defense strategies to deal with clients who have prior DUI convictions on their record.
The legislature has set many different punishments for individuals convicted of more than one DUI offense. There are several alternatives available to clients under the right circumstances.
Sometimes, it is as simple as convincing the prosecutor to permit the client to plead to a non-DUI offense, like a wet reckless or speed contest, to avoid the harsh consequences of multiple DUI convictions. Please consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at our law firm for more information.
Challenging DUI Arrest Through Unlawful Police Stop
Other solutions can involve filing a motion to invalidate the stop or arrest and try and get the case dismissed for a constitutional violation.
Many times the police will stop someone without probable cause. It is up to the DUI attorney to show that it was an illegal stop and then argues all of the evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful stop (breath test, client's statement, field sobriety test results, etc.) should all be thrown out as the fruits of the illegal stop.
Of course, it is tough to prove that the police are lying when they claim a stop was for a valid reason.
However, technology has helped drunk driving lawyers in many different ways. If law enforcement is genuinely not telling the truth, there are now means to prove it.
For example, many police cars and even police officers are equipped with video evidence.
Another big thing that I have seen recently is that citizens on the street will use their cell phones to capture evidence that would otherwise never have been seen.
The bottom line is that your DUI attorney's chances of uncovering the truth have increased exponentially with the advent of today's technology. Hard work, investigation, and experience are a savvy DUI defense attorney's best friend.
Importance of an Experienced DUI Attorney
How do you figure out which DUI defenses may apply to you if you have more than one DUI on your record in Los Angeles County?
In my opinion, your best strategy regarding figuring out what you are up against is to sit down with an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles right from the beginning. Setting out on an essential journey without a road map is never a good idea.
You want to find driving under the influence attorney who has traveled the path you are about to take; you will appear and have success in the court.
Once you sit face to face with someone who has handled a case and a scenario like yours, you will begin the process of obtaining clarity and taking control of your case and your life.
I can not tell you how many clients have sat down and met with me and expressed a sense of relief upon leaving the meeting. There is nothing like knowing what you were facing when you started in the dark. This is how you take control of your case and assist your attorney in your defense.
When you and your DUI attorney are working together for the common goal of achieving the best result in your DUI case, then you are genuinely in the best position to succeed.
Prior convictions of a DUI make a difference in the penalties you may face for a current DUI charge. DUI defense is never easy and becomes more complicated when priors are present. As your DUI Lawyer, we will first try and contest the validity of the prior charges and convictions.
Our attorneys will diligently do our homework and investigate your charges and convictions thoroughly to see any discrepancies that we may be able to use in your favor. The number of prior convictions determines the severity of the penalties you may face.
DUI Legal Penalties
For a second DUI offense, you may face license suspension for up to 2 years and up to 2 years in county jail. You may face license suspension for a third DUI offense for up to 4 years and one year in county jail.
For a fourth DUI offense, you may face a license suspension of up to 4 years and up to 3 years in jail or state prison. Not to mention probation, alcohol abuse programs, and fines.
How to Get the Best Result with Multiple DUIs?
When someone is charged with a second, third, or fourth DUI, the stakes go up as far as punishment, criminally, and also to your driver record. For a second time DUI, the penalty is much more severe in criminal court, and you are also facing a much longer driver's license suspension as it relates to that second DUI.
In a third time DUI, you'll get some jail time if you're convicted of it. The minimum of it is 120 days. If you're on probation for the second one, that would add additional times, and finally, on a fourth time DUI, that will be charged as a felony. So you'll be facing three years in prison.
So, as you can see, the more DUIs you get, the more consequences there are for both your criminal and driving record.
What we want to do is look at your prior record. But, then, look at the current case, and one of the biggest things you must realize is that the prosecutors will be assessing it – how they deal with the case is how dangerous you were and are out on the road.
Habitual Traffic Offender
As people get multiple DUIs, they put themselves in a difficult position of being a danger on the road. Therefore, being declared a habitual traffic offender faces the loss of their driver's license and time in custody.
This is because, from a prosecutor's perspective, they're looking at protecting the public. By doing that, they'll be looking at taking your driver's license away so you can't be able to harm anybody.
Judges are also very concerned that if they don't act in these DUI cases with multiple convictions and harshly punish the person, it will come back to them, especially if somebody gets in a car in the future, drinks, drives, and ends up killing somebody.
That's why they take these cases so seriously because they're protecting not only the public but also their reputation as prosecutors and judges.
Meeting to Discuss Defense Strategy
What we have you do is come into the office so we can go over the case and assess the situation you put yourself in, assess the damages, and assess whether or not you might have a defense in the case. Finally, if you don't have a defense, assess what we can do to mitigate the circumstances so you can end up with the best result.
I've been doing this for 30 years. I started working for the district attorney's office and a superior court judge afterward. Then, finally, in the early 1990s, I became a criminal defense attorney and have been defending people like you.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a second, third, or fourth DUI, pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.