Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious matter. You face stiffer penalties and increase the likelihood of a longer license suspension. Long term effects to finding work and housing are more pronounced and the impacts to your family relationships could prove devastating. California laws make second DUI offenses unpleasant and you do not want to face those effects.
Your best strategy after your second DUI arrest is to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. If there is a chance to reduce impacts or dismiss your charges, you want to hire an attorney to make that happen. Here is what you can avoid when you have experienced counsel on your side.
How California Counts DUIs
The difference between a DUI being considered your first or second offense is the 10-year look back period. This is measured between arrest dates.
For example, if your first DUI arrest occurred on September 2, 2002 and the second one on September 14, 2016, that is over 14 years between arrests. Your most recent incident would be handled as a first offense. However, if your arrests happened on September 2, 2006 and September 1, 2016, those are within the same 10-year period—even though the difference is only one day. In this case, your most recent arrest would be treated as a second offense.
This applies even if your first DUI charge was downgraded to a wet reckless conviction. While that may have resulted in reduced penalties in the short term, it does not help you if you face a second DUI arrest within the next 10 years.
This can be disastrous if you faced a relapse while being treated for alcohol addiction or finally got your life back together after making that one major mistake. That makes it essential you never face these charges alone especially when you consider the penalties for a second DUI conviction in Sacramento.
Second DUI Offense Consequences and Penalties
If you are twenty one (21) years and older, did not refuse a chemical test, and endure a second DUI conviction, you will fact the following minimum penalties:
- Probation. For four (4) to five (5) years. During this time, you must obey all laws, never drive unless licensed and insured, and, if you are pulled over for suspected DUI, never refuse the chemical test. You just also not drink and drive.
- Jail. Depending on the county where you were arrested, there may be a minimum jail sentence. In Sacramento County, this would be at least 10 days. Four of those days would be in the county jail with the option of the remaining six days spent on electronic monitoring, community service or the Sheriff’s Work Project.
- License Suspension. Your license suspension period after a second DUI offense is two years. The first year restricts all driving. After you successfully complete that year, you can pursue a restricted license that allows you to drive in the course of your employment and to your alcohol education program. During the first year, there is a possibility of ending all driving restrictions if you install an ignition interlock device after three months. It must be present in any vehicle you own or operate.
- Alcohol Education Program. For a period of eighteen (18) months, you must attend classes regarding alcohol use. Sometimes referred to as “alcohol school”, they intend to discourage future arrests. However, if you are unable to get around your license suspension, this could be burdensome to your work and family life.
- Fines. Fines for your second DUI in Sacramento are approximately $2,800.00. This obviously creates a substantial financial burden and if you get behind on your payments, you risk further license suspension.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID). You have the option of installing an IID after three (3) months of license suspension. It is the only way you can drive unrestricted. However, these devices are expensive and if you have multiple vehicles titled in your name, you will have to cough up a lot of money. These expenses are in addition to any fines and class fees. Even if you do not pursue installation as a way to end suspension early, it is still required in Sacramento County after you finish out your license suspension period. That makes it an inevitable expense.
A second DUI arrest in Sacramento can become an expensive and inconvenient development. Since the consequences are dire, that is why you need to explore every possible avenue to reduce or eliminate them. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney who knows the Sacramento courts and how to navigate DUI charges is your best course of action.
Lance Daniel, Attorney at Law, is ready to use his over 25 years of experience to your advantage. Call (888) 704-3696 or use the email contact form to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.