When you pick up a second time DUI while you are on probation for you first DUI, you violate your probation and will be subject to punishment for the probation violation and the new case. In every criminal case, when someone is placed on probation, part of the terms and conditions of the probation are that they must “obey all laws”. If you end up picking up a new matter then that constitutes an external probation violation and you are subject to up to six month in jail for the violation and up to one year for the probation violation. If you violated one of the terms and conditions of your probation (fail to complete you alcohol program for example) this would constitute an internal violation of your probation.
The above scenario is a tricky area of the law because a number of different issues pop up. If both the violation of probation and the new case are in the same courthouse then there is a high likelihood that the court will figure out that you have potentially violated you probation and put both cases together to be dealt with. If, on the other hand, the two cases are in different courthouses within Los Angeles County, then it is not necessarily true that the court you are on probation to will figure out that you violated your probation. Also, if your probation is close to running out then you may have a chance that there is not probation violation. If your probation runs out before the court revokes it for the violation, then they lose jurisdiction and there is nothing they can do to punish you for it.
If the probation violation and the new case are in separate counties, then the percentages go up that the probation court will not find out about the new case. There is no mechanism in place that alerts the probation court to find out about an out of county violation. The clerk of the court or the prosecutor would have to manually search to see if you have any new arrests in order to see the violation.
As you can see from the above, this area of law is not an exact science and some of it is even luck. What I do know from experience is that you must have a seasoned savvy DUI Los Angeles defense attorney by your side if you expect to end up with the best possible result for your case.
If you are on probation in one courthouse and you pick up a new DUI in another courthouse, then the question will be whether the probation violation and the new case will be dealt with separately or at the same time as the open case. In my experience, it is usually always best to handle both punishments at the same time. This way you do not end up with double or excessive punishments. All cases spin on their own facts so it is always best to consult an expert in the area before you decide your strategy.
If both the probation violation and the new case are in Los Angeles County courthouses, then the court system has a policy of trying to handled both cases at the same time in the courthouse where your new case is being prosecuted. Under this circumstance the judge would simply order the clerk of the court to obtain the court file on the other case. Then there would be a discussion between the prosecutor, judge and your attorney for purposes of doing a global disposition.
If, on the other hand, you are probation in Los Angeles County and pick up a case in a different county then both matters will have to be handled separately. There is also a chance that the county who holds your probation violation will not find out about the new case. This is something you should discuss with your attorney. When dealing with these type of scenarios, strategies that are employed should be dealt with on a case by case basis and you are best served by hiring a seasoned professional who has been down this road before and knows the right moves to make for you and your future.
The first thing that I do in these circumstances is to meet with the client and lay everything out on the table in the privacy of my office. I will then tell the client what they are facing and what they can do to assist me. Finally, we will develop a plan that makes sense for their circumstances and then set about executing the plan.
I have noticed that once the client understands where things are headed, a sense of control comes to them and they have peace of mind related to their circumstances. This begins the process of them getting out of the criminal justice system and restoring their good standing.