Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is an embarrassing, stressful and unnerving experience. A California DUI charge comes with many consequences, including potential fines, jail time and the suspension of your driver’s license. Depending on your career, a DUI conviction can carry even heavier weight, such as losing a professional trucking or pilot’s license. Your reputation in your field as well as your earning potential can be severely negatively affected. A charge of driving under the influence in California is a serious matter, but you don’t have to face it alone. The Ventura DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC have the knowledge and aggressive advocacy it takes to efficiently resolve your case.
At the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, our attorneys have decades of experience handling a wide variety of criminal defense matters. We will use all of our resources to conduct a thorough, extensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding your alleged offense. Our broad knowledge of California laws will allow us to develop aggressive defense strategies to ensure your best chance at a successful resolution. If you have been charged with DUI in California, call us immediately at (805) 643-5555 for a free legal consultation.
What Counts as a DUI in California?
If you have already been convicted of one DUI and are facing a second charge, you already know at least one example of what qualifies as a DUI. However, you need not commit exactly the same type of transgression in order for it to qualify as a second offense. Many California residents forget that there are many ways to be considered “driving under the influence.” Though we most often associate this charge with drinking alcohol, a person can also commit a DUI by driving while intoxicated or impaired by prescription medications, sleeping pills, or controlled substances like marijuana or methamphetamine. No matter the source of the impairment, a DUI conviction in California carries serious penalties for the defendant.
Consequences After a First DUI Conviction
Before delving into the consequences of a second DUI conviction, we’ll quickly recap the potential consequences of a first DUI conviction. In the event that there is no bodily injury or death resulting from the incident, the consequences after a first conviction typically include:
- a minimum fine of $390 fine plus over $1,000 in ordinary penalty assessments, plus additional DUI-only assessments for a total of approximately $1,800;
- either a 48 hour jail sentence or a 90-day license restriction (allowing travel to and from work or to an alcohol treatment program);
- attendance at a three-month alcohol treatment program (possibly longer depending on your BAC or whether it is a felony DUI); and
- loss of driver’s license for at least 30 days.
As mentioned above, these penalties will likely increase if there was serious bodily injury to another person; if there was a child in the vehicle; or if any other extraordinary circumstances are present.
Consequences After a Second DUI Conviction
The penalties for a first-time offense might look lengthy at first, but they’re actually minor when compared with the consequences of a second California DUI. The bottom line for any multiple offenders is that a second conviction within 10 years means you will definitely serve at least 10 days (likely more) in jail. Additionally, your license will be suspended for a year without the privilege of driving to and from work. It goes without saying that this may seriously hinder your employability and many other aspects of your life. Keep in mind that these are the minimum sentences and you may be facing even more serious long-term penalties.
Can I Beat a Second California DUI Charge?
Depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest, beating a second DUI charge can be extremely difficult. Prosecutors are often inclined to more aggressively pursue second and third time offenders due to the seriousness of the crime. Similarly, judges often choose to exceed the minimum sentencing guidelines for repeat offenders. It’s essential to be aware of your options and be cautious of overly optimistic lawyers. An experienced California criminal defense attorney is essential to maximize your chances of staying out of jail or losing your license long term.
Contact a Ventura, California DUI Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing a first or second DUI charge in California, you want to give yourself the best possible chance of successfully resolving the case. The Ventura criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, understand that your livelihood and freedom are on the line when facing this type of charge. Our attorneys have the criminal defense experience and aggressive strategies it takes to protect your best interest. We’ll do everything we can to represent you fairly and accurately in court. For peace of mind regarding your second DUI in California, call us immediately at (805) 643-5555 for a free legal consultation.