Have you or your loved one been recently charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, and have a previous DUI conviction? It is not an uncommon occurrence. Statistics reveal that a significant percentage of drivers convicted for DUI are charged with another DUI later. Although this is not uncommon, having multiple DUIs in California increases a current DUI charge to an aggravated offense. When aggravated circumstances are involved, you are facing harsher penalties and consequences.
How Does California Define Multiple DUIs?
California changed the multiple DUI law in 2005 to make things tougher on anyone with more than one DUI in a certain period. The state defines multiple DUIs as having a DUI conviction of the following within a 10-year period:
- DUI in California.
- DUI in another state.
- Wet Reckless Conviction. This is offered in a plea bargain given by prosecutors based on certain factors. For instance, the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood was borderline illegal, he or she did not cause an accident or, perhaps, there is no prior criminal record.
The following are examples of possible increased penalties for multiple DUI convictions:
A Longer Time Behind Bars
Each DUI conviction within a 10-year time period increases the possibility you will go to jail or prison for a longer time.
For instance, you were convicted of wet reckless four years ago. You were sentenced to less time that you would have for a DUI conviction. You first official DUI conviction happened this year, but it is considered your second DUI because of the wet reckless prior conviction. You now may be required to spend a minimum of 96 hours in jail.
This year, you face your third DUI charge. You are facing jail time of at least 120 days. Some California counties insists third-time offenders stay in jail anywhere from 210 days to 365 days. Also, if you are still on probation for any offense including DUI, you face a substantial amount of jail time as a result of a probation violation. Generally speaking, if found guilty of violating your probation, you could be sentenced for an addition 6 months in jail for violating court orders.
Increased Fines and other Expenses
Expenses associated with a DUI charge increase with each DUI. These expenses range from increased fines to paying transportation fees because of a suspended license.
The length of time your license is suspended increases each time you are convicted of a DUI conviction.
Paying for DUI Classes
Convicted drivers are required to successfully complete DUI treatment programs or classes. With each conviction, your time in class along with the cost increases. For instance, a second DUI conviction requires you to enroll in a DUI program for 18 months. For third and subsequent convictions, or for convictions with a .20 blood alcohol level or higher, you may be required to complete a 30 month DUI program.
If you or someone you know is charged with a second, third or subsequent DUI charge, it is time to start fighting. You still have time to avoid enduring the harsh penalties associated with multiple DUIs. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. We provide free consultations to assess your case. We will aggressively defend you in both your administrative license suspension hearing and your criminal court case.