As in every other state in the country, California increases the penalties that a DUI offender faces if he or she has prior DUI convictions. This is all part of the state’s interest in cracking down on and reducing the number of drunk driving incidents that happen in the state each and every year. If you’re facing a current DUI charge that follows subsequent convictions, then you will necessarily want to understand how California takes those previous convictions into account when prosecuting your case.
The 10-Year Look Back Period
California does not consider all previous DUI convictions when considering your case. Rather, the state limits the previous convictions that it takes into consideration to those that transpired in a 10-year period prior to the most recent arrest. The prosecutor in your case cannot use those convictions that fall outside of this range. However, it is important to know that any cases that are still pending will be considered priors for the purposes of determining the penalties involved in the most recent case.
Penalties for a Second DUI Offense Within 10 Years
If your second DUI arrest did not result in an accident, death or bodily injury, then it will still be considered a misdemeanor by the state. The penalties faced in such a case will be, however, greater than those that were faced in your first DUI conviction. You will be subject to a jail term of up to one year, which would be served in a county jail. Sentences are, however, rarely that long in these cases. Your license will also be suspended pursuant with the Department of Motor Vehicle’s guidelines, and you will be required to attend a DUI class for a period not shorter than 18 months.
Penalties for a Third DUI Offence Within 10 Years
Again, provided that your latest DUI did not result in an accident, death or bodily injury, your third will still be considered a misdemeanor. Again, you face a possible jail term, which will be, at a minimum, 120 days long and will be served in a county jail. As before, your license will be suspended pursuant with the Department of Motor Vehicles guidelines, and you will be required to attend a DUI class, most likely for a period of time much longer than 18 months. Finally, you will find it nearly impossible to obtain a restricted license.
Penalties for a Fourth DUI Offence Within 10 Years
Unlike a second or third offense, a fourth offense will be considered a felony by the state. The jail term for this felony DUI offense could be up to three years in duration, and it would be served in a state prison. Further, your license will be revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a period of 4 years, and you will be required to attend DUI classed for up to 36 months. Also, since the charges will be felony charges, if you are convicted, you will lose the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm.
Hire an Exceptional California DUI Attorney
If you’re facing a current DUI charge with priors, then you absolutely need all of the legal help you can get. I have extensive experience representing California residents in your situation, and I know how to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. If you need help fighting the charges that you face, or you need help getting the state to throw out your prior DUI convictions, then get in touch today. I can be reached at (760) 613-5384? for a free consultation.