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How Is a 2nd DUI Different from a 1st or 3rd?

How Is a 2nd DUI Different from a 1st or 3rd?

Getting convicted for a DUI is never a good thing, but subsequent offenses can damage your reputation and cause financial losses that you likely want to avoid. If you’re wondering how a 2nd DUI is different from a 1st or 3rd, you have come to the right place. 

California First Time DUI Offense

A first offense DUI in California is classified as a misdemeanor, punishable by 3 to 5 years of probation, $390 to $1000 in fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Some of the other consequences of a first-time DUI conviction under the law of the state of California include: 

  • DUI school for anywhere between 3 to 9 months.
  • Fines and penalty assessments between $1,500 to $2,000. 
  • Six months driver’s license suspension. 
  • Up to six months in jail (differs by county)

California Second Time DUI Offense 

You can likely determine that second-time offenders are treated differently from first-time offenders and that punishments are far more severe. 

Should you be convicted of driving while under the influence for the second time in the state of California, the penalties the court can impose are the following: 

  • Three to five years of summary probation.
  • Anywhere from 96 hours to a year of mandatory jail time.
  • Fines between $390 to $1000 with an additional $1000 in penalty assessments.
  • Attendance and completion of an 18-month or 30-month court-approved California DUI school. 
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device, typically for a year.
  • A suspension of your drivers' license that can be converted to a restricted license after twelve months.

It’s important to mention that the punishment for a second-time DUI offense varies from county to county and ultimately depends on each case's particular details. 

California Third Time DUI Offense 

In a ten-year period, a third-time DUI conviction is still classified as a misdemeanor in California. However, it carries the following penalties, some of which are similar to a 2nd DUI: 

  • 3 to 5 years of informal probation
  • 120 days to up to one year in a county jail
  • Between $2,500 to $3,000 in fines and various penalty assessments
  • The fitment of a car ignition interlock device for two years.
  • 30-month court-approved DUI California education program
  • 3-year driver’s license revocation, which can become restricted after 18 months. 

Interestingly, you should note that probation always has these three conditions: 

  • Driving with no measurable amount of illicit substances like alcohol in your blood.
  • Agreeing to do a chemical test if arrested for a DUI
  • Committing no other crimes 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, offenders may also have to: 

  • Attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings.
  • Pay restitution.
  • Participate in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel.

A third DUI offense always carries harsher penalties than a second or first-time DUI case. 

How a Second-time DUI differs from a First or a Third DUI Offense? 

As you’ve already seen, a second-time DUI offense is significantly more severe than a 1st DUI charge but not as severe as a 3rd DUI charge. For a 2nd DUI, you have to serve more jail time than for a first-time offense, and the fines you need to pay are more significant but not as severe as the ones you get for a third-time offense. 

With that said, even a second-time offense can lead to severe punishment if an accident occurred while you were driving under the influence. If an accident occurs and a second crime is committed, even a first-time DUI offense can be more harshly punished than a third-time offense that happened without any accidents occurring.

Essentially, the punishment you will get for a DUI charge largely depends on the details of your specific case. That’s why, if you get arrested for a DUI, the first thing you have to do is speak with a lawyer in your area. From there, they will be able to help you navigate the process. For those in California contact us at the H Law Group.

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