What Are the Penalties for a Second DUI in California?

In the state of California, a first-time DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense. As long as there aren’t aggravated circumstances involving an accident, injury, or death, most defendants facing DUI are penalized with a fine, a license suspension, and probation instead of jail time. However, DUI punishments are progressively more severe for repeat offenders.

A DUI is considered a “second offense” if you have previously been convicted for a DUI that occurred within the past decade. Unlike most crimes, there are administrative consequences you have to deal with before you are even convicted for the crime you are accused of. This can include license suspension and expensive fees. If you’ve been convicted or had your license suspended for a DUI in the last ten years and the police catch you driving with a BAC of .08% or more, then the DMV will administratively suspend your license for one year. If you refuse chemical testing, your license will be suspended for two years.

Like a first time offense, a second DUI offense is generally treated as a misdemeanor. A second conviction carries mandatory jail time ranging from 96 hours to one year. However, in some cases, jail time can be switched to house arrest or work service. Fines for a second DUI offense range from $390 to $1,000, but there is a variety of fees and “penalty assessments” that substantially increases the final amount you are penalized.

A second DUI conviction in California also includes up to three to five years of probation and a two-year license suspension. There is also the requirement of attending DUI school for 18 months. However, you can apply for a restricted ignition interlock license that will allow you to drive to and from certain locations.

We Proudly Defend Clients Facing DUI Charges

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we understand that law enforcement and lawmakers in California take an aggressive approach to prosecuting and penalizing offenders charged with multiple DUIs. Our compassionate and experienced lawyers are committed to using our extensive resources and knowledge of the law to help clients facing serious penalties for second DUI offenses. We know there is a lot on the line in these cases, and we will fight aggressively to protect all of your rights under the law.

To speak to a lawyer at our firm about your case, please call us today at (800) 462-7160 to set up a free case review.