Once you get a second-time DUI, the courts really start to look at you in a different way and really what you're talking about, they're looking at you from a dangerousness level, thinking that you are now proven already to have been convicted once, and now you have a new DUI and then they start to think, what can we do to this person to make them stop drinking and driving?
How harshly can we punish them so they realize that if you're going to do this type of stuff, you're going to be punished severely?
Jail Time for Second DUI
Really what they start thinking about on a second-time DUI, especially in Los Angeles County, is jail time.
That's probably the worse thing they can do to somebody. Another thing they look at is taking away the person's ability to drink.
So, during the probationary period, they'll add some sort of a condition that you cannot drink alcohol at all while you're on probation.
So, on a second-time DUI, you're looking at a much harsher penalty.
For one thing, there's a minimum of four days in jail up to a year in jail for a second time, versus that six months you were looking at on your first time DUI.
Also, if you're on probation for the second-time DUI, then you're also looking at getting punished for violating your probation for not obeying the law and for picking up a new DUI.
So, under that circumstance when you get a second-time DUI while you're on probation for the first-time DUI, you're looking at a year and a half in the county jail if you get convicted and are sentenced to the maximum possible sentence.
Second-Offender Alcohol Program
Another thing that you need to take into consideration is you're looking at a second-offender alcohol program which is an eighteen-month alcohol program.
That's a lot longer than the first-time DUI where you typically are just getting a three-month alcohol program.
A lot of people don't like doing that eighteen-month alcohol program, but you have to do it because if you don't do it, you're then looking at never being able to get your driver's license back.
The DMV is very serious when it comes to a second-time DUI and they will not let you have your driver's license back if you do not complete that eighteen-month program. You can get it back after about six months on a restricted basis for a second-time DUI.
This is a change from many years ago where you couldn't get it back until at least a year, so that's one of the few mitigating things that they implemented on a second-time DUI that rarely happens. The DUI laws just seem to be getting stricter and stricter.
You'd also be looking at least a $390.00 fine plus penalty assessment. They could also up the fine to $500.00 plus penalty assessment.
It can go as high as $1,000.00 plus penalty assessment, which would obviously be very harsh because it would be thousands of dollars in order to be able to pay the fine.
Five Year Probation Period
In addition to the fine and alcohol program you're also looking at a probationary period and a lot of times on a second offense, they like to jack that probationary up to five years instead of the usual three year probationary period that you get.
So, you can see that on a second-time DUI, you're looking at a lot more punishment.
You're looking at jail time and you're looking at a lot more restrictions put on, not only you, but on your record and on your ability to drive a motor vehicle.
DUI's are obviously treated very harshly in California. In fact, I think for a second-time DUI under Vehicle Code 23152, California is probably one of the more harsher states in the union as far as what they do.
So, it's crucial to get in and talk with your attorney because there are things you can do.
You could certainly provide a defense for your case if your blood alcohol level was not a .08 or greater.
Also, a lot of times, in order to avoid all of the bad consequences that flow from a second-time DUI, you can get your case reduced down to a wet reckless and that will avoid the mandatory punishments that come along with a second-time DUI.
That's one way to be able to void that jail time, the longer probation, the longer alcohol program.
Another thing that you should realize is, anything that happens in the criminal case regarding your second-time DUI if you are convicted, it's going to be automatically sent to the DMV and then they're going to treat you as though you are a second offense.
Also, the reverse of that is true, and that is even if you can beat the second-time DUI or get it reduced in a criminal court, you still may have some issues with the DMV because the DMV likely will say they don't care what happened in the criminal court.
They're going to deal with your license regardless of that and if they find that your blood alcohol was a .08 or greater, there was a lawful arrest in your case, then they are going to attempt to take your driver's license away, or at least impact your driver's license for the next eighteen months on a second-time DUI in Los Angeles.
How Our Law Firm Can Help You
So, you can see with all of the different consequences associated with a second-time DUI that you obviously want to get an attorney who has been down this road before, handled these DUI's in Los Angeles County before and knows what it's going to take to either do damage control or to defend the case.