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How are Second DUI's treated in California?

How are Second DUI’s Treated in California?

When they receive a second-time DUI charge, most people ask what the punishments are and how they differ from those given after the first DUI conviction. It’s hard to give one answer to this question, as it often differs from case to case. However, there is a basic framework of charges you should normally expect to receive if you get a second DUI conviction in the state of California. 

The Penalties Of A Second DUI Charge

When getting a second DUI charge in the state of California, the penalties that the court usually imposes are the following: 

  • Three to five years of summary probation.
  • Mandatory jail time of between 96 hours to one year.
  • Anywhere between $360 - $1000 in fines, plus around $1000 in various penalty assessments.
  • Compulsory completion of an 18-month or 30-month court-approved California DUI school.
  • Installation of a car ignition interlock device for a year.
  • A driver’s license suspension for two years that can be converted to a restricted license after 12 months. 

It’s vital to be aware of the fact that when a court in California imposes a DUI sentence that includes probation, the below condition also apply: 

  • You aren’t allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your blood.
  • You can’t refuse to submit a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine in case another DUI occurs.
  • You shall not commit any other crimes.

Depending on the exact circumstances of your DUI case, the following conditions of probation may also be imposed by the court: 

  • Attendance in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings.
  • Compulsory participation in the Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel. 
  • Restitution (if you caused an accident while driving under the influence).
  • Installation of a vehicle Ignition Interlock Device on any vehicle that you own or operate for a maximum of three years. 

Commonly Asked Questions

When someone gets a second DUI charge in California, they normally ask these two questions. 

Will I Have a Permanent Criminal Record? 

A second-time DUI conviction can be removed from your criminal record by getting an expungement. You should be able to remove it as long as you were placed on probation and you successfully completed it.

A DUI expungement is similar to any other California criminal record expungement. You have to file a petition with the court, and then it’s reviewed by a judge. If the judge grants you a DUI expungement, you can withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest and re-enter a plea of “Not guilty.” Once the plea of “Not guilty’ is entered, the case will usually be dismissed. 

What Factors Can Increase the Punishment? 

Certain factors can increase your county jail or state prison sentence if present in your case. Some of those factors include:


  • Registering a blood alcohol content of 0,15% or higher (less in some counties).
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test.
  • Causing an accident.
  • Driving extremely fast.
  • Have kids under the age of 14 in the car with you.

How these affect the penalty depends on the particular circumstance of your case and your criminal history. 

Should you get convicted of a second DUI offense in the state of California, get in contact with a lawyer from your area as quickly as possible. They will be able to look at the specifics of your case and provide you with a good defense. 

H Law Group Online

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