Second-Time DUI Charges – What To Be Aware Of
- October 21, 2015
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Driving under the influence is taken very seriously in California, like in all the other states nationwide. DUI laws in California are very stern and they crack down on second-time offenders with great severity.
What Is Used Against The Driver
There are a number of things that can speak for or against drivers when they are facing DUI charges. This is how it goes. First of all, it will be important what impression they made on the law enforcement officer when they were pulled over. This includes the manner of their driving and their behavior and cooperation during the initial interview. After this and the conducting of field sobriety tests, the officer establishes whether the drivers are under the influence. In the case of a positive conclusion, the drivers are arrested and brought down to police station. After the DUI drivers are booked, chemical tests are administered using blood and/ or urine sample. It is impossible to refuse these tests, i.e. if they are refused, that fact is taken as a clear admission of guilt. Any statements the drivers gave during this procedure may also be part of the case against them.
Look-Back Period Lasts 10 Years in California
In California, a charge that is made within 10 years of the previous DUI charge is considered to be a second charge with a prior. Conversely, if your first charge took place more than 10 years before the second charge, the current charge will be considered separately from the previous. In the case of a second conviction, however, a capable and experienced attorney could be able to separate the prior charge from the second, which would greatly impact the severity of the second conviction.
What the Second DUI Conviction Entails
Generally speaking, if you are convicted of DUI the second time, the offense will be seen as a misdemeanor. It should be noted, however, that it can be considered a felony. Aggravating circumstances that factor into this are: whether the blood alcohol level was extremely high, whether the manner of driving was exceedingly careless and negligent and whether the accident incurred bodily injury and/ or death.
In the less severe case of a DUI misdemeanor, these are the usual and predicted consequences. DUI convicts are normally required to attend special educational classes and counseling for substance abuse in the period of one year or more. Additionally, the courts may mandate that the convict is imprisoned in a jail for up to one year. In a great number of cases, this is substituted with probation. The driver’s license is usually suspended for a certain period, although a competent attorney could eke out a restricted license so that the offender can drive to and from work and complete other obligations.
Moreover, the Department of Motor Vehicles will mete out other restrictive measures and punishments which are not listed above. For this reason, it is paramount a qualified attorney manages your defense so that the consequences of both processes, administrative and court, be as minimal as possible.
Hire an Attorney Promptly
The second and following charges for driving under the influence are taken very seriously in the state of California. If you are in the middle of process following second DUI charges make sure knowledgeable, aggressive and ethical lawyers deal with the matter in your best interest.