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Multiple DUIs: Is It Groundhog Day?

By San Diego Attorney on February 13, 2019

Being arrested for a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) offense can result in fines and jail time, if you are convicted. However, sentencing for a second, third, or fourth DUI may be even worse.

Anyone charged with multiple DUIs needs to speak to a San Diego criminal defense attorney who can help get the charges reduced, or dismissed altogether. When choosing your attorney, do not just seek the help of any criminal defense lawyer—speak to jD LAW, P.C. Our team specializes in multiple DUIs.

How Multiple DUIs Are Classified

When a person is arrested or charged with DUI, whether or not he has prior DUI convictions on his criminal record will affect the penalties he faces. In California, there is a ten-year “look-back” period. If you have been convicted of DUI within this ten-year period, you face enhanced sentencing for another DUI. The fourth DUI within ten years will be charged as a felony offense.

Also, you can be charged with felony DUI if you caused any injury, no matter how minor, to another person, or if you have a prior felony conviction within the past ten years. It does not have to be related to drinking and driving.

Penalties for Multiple DUIs

In California, the penalties increase as follows for multiple DUIs:

  • Second DUI offense: Fines up to $3,000, ten days to one year in jail, and license suspension for two years.
  • Third DUI offense: Fines up to $3,000, 120 days to one year in jail, and license suspension for three years.
  • Fourth DUI offense: Fines up to $10,000, 180 days to three years in jail, and license revocation for four years.

These are the penalties you face for a simple DUI with no aggravating circumstances. When someone was hurt or killed during the incident, the penalties will become much worse.

In addition, a person convicted of multiple DUIs will face an increase in insurance premiums, alcohol education courses, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. If you are convicted, you will also have a permanent mark on your criminal record that will follow you around. This can prevent you from obtaining employment, housing opportunities, and even scholarships.

Defenses to Multiple DUIs in California

Being charged with a first-time DUI is usually a shock, and an emotional event. Being charged with a second, third, or subsequent DUI can be devastating, and avoiding jail may seem hopeless. It is not. Our DUI lawyers have experience handling subsequent DUIs, and we will go to work to get the charges dropped and the penalties reduced.

Science dictates how alcohol goes into the bloodstream and is absorbed by the body. Using that same science, we may be able to prove that through the rate of consumption, absorption, and elimination of alcohol in the human body, your blood alcohol level was below 0.08% while behind the wheel.

Also, the different tests used to calculate a person’s blood alcohol concentration are not always reliable. Breathalyzer machines often experience problems with their calibration, meaning the results may not be accurate. In addition, there are strict rules on how blood must be drawn, stored, and analyzed. When these rules are not followed, it can be argued that the blood tests are inaccurate, and inadmissible.

Lastly, a common defense to multiple DUIs is that the San Diego police officer did not have probable cause for stopping you. Police must have reason to believe the person behind the wheel is under the influence. When they do not, any stop, seizure, or arrest may be considered illegal.

The Importance of a San Diego Multiple DUI Attorney

If you are facing a second or subsequent DUI, you cannot afford to leave a possible conviction and sentencing to chance. If your legal team is not experienced with multiple DUIs, they do not have the necessary experience to fight these charges in order to have them reduced.

If you have been charged with a multiple DUI offense, speak to a board-certified criminal defense specialist—attorney James N. Dicks. Mr. Dicks has attended a wide variety of DUI classes and seminars, and is a former narcotics investigator with the LAPD. He knows the law, and knows how to defend you when you need it the most. If you need help with a multiple DUI charge, contact jD LAW, P.C., at (760) 630-2000 for a free consultation.

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