PRIOR DUI CONCERNS: ARE YOU A REPEAT OFFENDER?
10 years is the “washout period” in California for DUIs. If it’s been more than 10 years since your last DUI conviction, a new case will be charged as a first time DUI.
However, in California if you have been convicted with a DUI in the last ten years then your prior DUI will be used against you and your new DUI will be considered your second DUI. Under California law a second DUI in 10 years makes you a “repeat offender” which is why the penalties are so much more severe than for a a first DUI. Likewise if you have been convicted twice for DUI in the last 10 years and you just were arrested again, this new charge would be your third DUI and the penalties for a third DUI are even more severe. In fact, if you were arrested for a second and third DUI and neither has yet been resolved, we may want to request a bifurcated trial to possibly avoid the enhancement penalties on the third DUI.
It is clear that despite there being over 100,000 DUI cases in California per year that California considers a DUI a serious crime and even a first time DUI carries with it a possible six months in jail. The state of California imposes severe penalties for DUI in the hopes that it will deter you from a second, third, and fourth DUI.
States share information and a DUI conviction in another state in the last 10 years will count as a prior DUI in California.
While it’s possible that your prior DUI in California or in another state may go unnoticed and you are charged with a first DUI, don’t count on it. You need our lawyers to help you with this. Even if you don’t have a DUI, per se, on your record, certain crimes like “wet reckless” count as a prior DUI – particularly prior DUI charges that were reduced or expunged.
If you have a prior DUI in the last ten years you are facing serious “enhanced penalties”. Our attorneys are experts in trying to negotiate a deal for you to avoid the “repeat offender” enhanced penalties. At times we may even need to file a Motion to Strike Prior Convictions in our efforts to keep prior convictions from making the new case result in a felony conviction. Our attorneys work hard for you and often get DUIs dismissed, get enhanced penalties reduced, or get charges reduced to reckless driving or other traffic infraction. Since we probably can’t make your prior DUI go away we can do our best to make sure you don’t end up with a second DUI conviction.
If you received a DUI, or notice of a DMV hearing, you need quick resolution. To learn more about our firm please call: