Second Time DUI: What To Expect


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Second Time DUI: What To ExpectSecond Time DUI: What To Expect

If you have a second time DUI charge pending, you need to know what to expect from the courts on a 2nd DUI.  You also should know the DMV punishment for second time DUIs. And, you should know what you can do to help your situation.

Second time DUI cases have mandatory jail time.  There is a saying in the world of DUI that “the first time they educate you to death, but for a second, they punish you to death”.  While you won’t be looking at the death penalty, you are subject to substantially more severe punishment.   The maximum you can be given for jail time doubles, from 180 days jail for a first time DUI, to one year (365 days) for a second time DUI.

When is a case a second time DUI?  The law makes any new arrest subject to a look back of 10 years.  That is, a second time DUI exists if there is a DUI conviction 10 years before the current arrest, and that conviction is for DUI or anyvalcohol-related driving offense (like a wet reckless).  Out of state DUI convictions count as a prior, in most cases.

Second Time DUI: What To Expect From the Court

To prove a second time DUI in court, the prosecutor must show, with admissible evidence, the following:

  1. That you were driving a motor vehicle;
  2. You were driving while you were either under the influence of alcohol, or a drug or drugs, or any combination; or
  3. You were above a .08% at the time of driving; and
  4. It is proven that you have a prior within 10 years.

Often, prosecutors and defense attorneys can enter into a plea bargain that charges a lower, non driving offense.  Or they can strike the prior conviction allegation.  If it stays as a second time DUI offense, here in Orange County, you are looking at the following from the court:

  • Five years of summary probation;
  • Fines and fees of over $2,000;
  • An alcohol school of 18 months in length; and
  • 30 or more days of Orange County Jail.

The exact jail time offered will depend on the facts of the case.  The Orange County DA will usually want a DNA sample from any convictions, and want you to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) program, and be on search and seizure terms as part of your DUI probation.  The 30 days will go higher if there are any sentencing enhancements:

  • an allegation that you were speeding while DUI;
  • any allegation that you were at or above double the legal limit of .16%;
  • children or minors (anyone under 18) in the vehicle;
  • an accident.

The prosecutors will typically add another 30 days for any of the above factors.  With especially bad accidents, or high blood alcohol levels, often they will start at 60 days and offer even higher jail time from there.

Second Time DUI: Recommended Strategy

As our Orange County DUI Attorney always reviews each case carefully for legal defenses or factual problems of proof or missing elements of the crime, that can cause even a second time DUI case to be dismissed, or reduced.  Any Orange County DUI Lawyer will tell you  — if you cannot get an offer that meets your goals with the prosecutor, talk to the judge.  The judge can be used to obtain a court offer and avoid, or bypass, the prosecutor’s offer.  The judge can offer anything starting with the mandatory minimum terms for the offense, and up to the upper range – the maximum sentencing terms for the offense.

Note that with jail time in a DUI case, the best strategy is to first negotiate it as low as possible, or as close to no jail as possible.  From there, the strategy is usually to convert it to any one of a number of alternative sentencing options.  Alternative sentencing will get you credit for jail time, but cause you not to actually do any time in Orange County Jail.

Orange County DUI Court for Second DUIs:

Another option that is available for second time DUI cases, but that is not recommended by many Orange County DUI attorneys, is the DUI Court in Orange County.  That program is run by the Orange County Superior Court, and gives the option to offenders facing mandatory jail time for 2nd DUI cases to avoid that jail time by serving time via electronic monitoring, random testing, attending court support sessions, attend an alcohol program, meet with, and be monitored by, Orange County probation acting as a DUI court team, and eventually graduate from the DUI court program.

While the DUI court program is an excellent program, and has a proven record of reducing recidivism, it is very burdensome for people that are suffering a license suspension.  Since in most cases an Orange County DUI Attorneys can get you no jail time from alternative sentencing, the DUI court is best left to third DUIs or higher DUI cases.

Second Time DUI: What To Expect From The DMV

DUI California DMV

With the DMV, you have the right to a DMV hearing, as long as you or an Orange County DUI Attorney requests one within 10 days of your arrest.  However, if you lose the hearing, or do not request one within 10 days, you get a suspension.

How Long Do You Lose Your License For a Second DUI?

The DMV suspension for a second time DUI is eighteen months, but can be longer if there is a refusal alleged, or if there is more than one prior DUI within 10 years.

The DMV will allow a second time offender to show proof of installation of an ignition interlock device (“IID”), enroll in the multiple offender alcohol programs, and pay a re-issuance fee. Once that’s done, you can obtain a full (unrestricted) license after a suspension of 90 days.  The IID must be installed for 12 months.

Why should I get a lawyer for a second time DUI?

A 2nd time DUI is something you should get a lawyer for.  Because there is mandatory jail time for a second DUI, and the maximum potential jail time doubles, a lawyer is worth it.  Note that the length of the alcohol school can increase as much as 6 times. (Comparing a 3-month first offender program to the 18-month second offender program).  The stakes are much higher here. 

Second Time DUI: What To Expect From A DUI Lawyer

Experienced Orange County DUI lawyers, who know the courts in Orange County, knows how prosecutors and judges handle cases here.  They also know the Orange County DMV hearing officers that handle second time DUI cases.  Additionally, they know the defenses specific to second time DUI cases, can help you.  We can analyze the case for all defenses, factual and legal.  We help present information about you and your situation.  We use our expertise to get the case dismissed or reduced if possible and negotiate jail time to as close to zero as possible. Once that is done, we then convert it to alternative sentencing by getting you pre-approved and prearranged.

Contact our firm if you would like representation to avoid being over punished for your second time DUI case in Orange County.

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