A first-time driving under the influence (DUI) conviction in California can be devastating to your freedom, finances, and driving privilege. If you get pulled over and charged for another DUI while a DUI conviction is still active on your criminal and driving record, the penalties will be even worse. It is absolutely crucial that you handle second-DUI or third-DUI cases to the best of your ability if you do not want to be slammed by harsh punishments and penalties.
California’s Lookback Period
In the state of California, DUI convictions remain active on a person’s records for 10 full years; this is often said to be a 10-year lookback period. Any new DUI charges will be escalated based on the number of active DUI convictions. For example, if you were convicted of a DUI in 2010 and arrested for drunk driving again in 2019, it would be a second-DUI charge that carries second-DUI penalties upon conviction. If you have three DUI convictions on your record, the lookback period is reduced to only 10 months.
Penalties for Subsequent DUIs in CA
If you are convicted of additional DUIs in California, you will likely face the following consequences:
- Second-DUI: 10 days to 1 year imprisonment; $1,800 fine; 2-year license suspension with 1-year minimum; interlock ignition device (IID) installation
- Third-DUI: 120 days to 1 year imprisonment; $1,800 fine; 3-year license suspension; IID installation
- Fourth-DUI: 16 month imprisonment; $18,000 fine; 4-year license suspension; IID installation
How You Should Handle Your Charges
You need to approach any DUI charge as if it is a fourth-time DUI charge, which is to say you should expect the harshest of penalties. With this mindset, you may be motivated to do all you can to protect yourself from legal backlash. Gather any evidence you can that works to your case’s advantage, do not provide any statements or information that could be self-incriminating, and contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible.
At the Law Offices of David M. Wallin, our Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyers can act on your behalf and construct a defense case that considers all available options. Our primary objective is to have your charges entirely dismissed, preventing you from being hit by any sort of penalty. In cases where there is overwhelming evidence against you, we can talk about forming a plea bargain with the prosecution to minimize the damage to your wellbeing.