California imposes serious penalties on repeat and felony DUI offenders. In California, the prior ability period for repeat DUI is 10 years. This means if you were convicted for DUI anytime or in any other state in the previous 10 years prior to your most recent DUI, you can be charged with a prior conviction. Being charged with a prior conviction will make your current DUI a more serious offense. If you have three priors within a 10-year period, you will likely be charged with a felony. In addition to having to pay high insurance premiums, you will have a permanent criminal record and may encounter problems with your employer if you drive a company car, commercial vehicle or government car.
At the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, I have represented numerous repeat and felony DUI offenders. I understand the issues involved, how to work with prosecutors, and how to position my client's case to hopefully reduce the charges or sentence against them.
After you are arrested for DUI, you have only 10 days to request a DMV hearing before your license is automatically suspended. For this reason, it is essential that you schedule a DMV hearing and contact an attorney to begin preparing your defense.
If a second-offense DUI charge has you worried about jail, losing your license or paying an expensive fine, contact Santa Cruz DUI defense attorney Andrew C. Janecki today to learn how I can help you.
California DUI penalties can vary city to city and county to county. However, in general, the following penalties are reserved for repeat and felony DUI penalties:
Second-offense DUI: A fine up to $2,500; a two-year suspension of your driver's license; 96 hours to one year in jail; DUI school for up to 18 months; eligibility for an occupational license after one year; three to five years of probation.
Third-offense DUI: A fine up to $2,500; a three-year suspension of your driver's license; a jail sentence of at least 120 days or as much as one year in jail; DUI school for up to 30 months; the possibility for an occupational license after 18 months; ignition interlock device required; three to five years of probation.
Fourth-offense DUI: A fourth DUI is considered a felony in California. It carries a fine of $2,500; a four-year revocation of your license; and a possible prison sentence of up to three years.
A second-offense DUI charge can result in increased penalties if a minor was in your car at the time of your arrest. Additionally, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .15 or higher, the fines and jail sentence handed down will be enhanced. California also increases DUI penalties in cases where people refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or when they are involved in accidents involving injuries or fatalities. However, there are several issues that must be considered which pertain to evidence that is admissible in court, the actions of arresting officers and whether the charges can be reduced during a pretrial motion.
The suspension of your driver's license is a major concern after a second-offense DUI charge. Even in cases where the evidence against you is not in question, it may still be possible to avoid jail and a lengthy suspension of your driver's license. To schedule an appointment and discuss your case, contact DUI defense attorney Andrew C. Janecki today.