California law treats 2nd DUI cases as serious crimes because of the harm that comes from repeat DUI offenses. The main 2nd DUI penalties in California are jail, fines, mandatory alcohol classes and license suspension. Some of these DUI penalties are requied, and cannot be avoided. Others can be reduced, depending on the facts of the case and what your lawyer can do to help you.
2nd DUI Penalties: DMV consequences and keeping your driver’s license.
Drivers in the state of California face a 1 year license suspension if they are caught in a 2nd DUI offense. This 1 year suspension is designed to prevent repeat offenses and to protect the driving public at large. Before a license suspension is given as part of 2nd DUI penalties, the driver is entitled to a DMV hearing on the matter. The structure of DMV hearings for 2nd DUI’s is similar to DMV hearings for 1st DUI’s. At the DMV hearing, the driver will be entitled to present a defense, including the use of expert witnesses, eye-witnesses and their own testimony. The DMV will use information from the police report, witness reports (if any), and scientific evidence in the form of expert testimony (usually from the local sheriff’s department crime lab) to analyze blood or breath test evidence.
If the driver doesn’t prevail at the DMV hearing, they face a 1 year license suspension. This can be reduced to a hard 90 day license suspension, meaning no driving whatsoever, followed by 9 months of “soft suspension) meaning the driver has a limited license allowing them to drive to and from work, or alcohol classes.
Other 2nd DUI penalties in California.
In addition to the license suspension, California law has strict sentencing laws that include mandatory jail time for 2nd DUI drivers. The minimum jail time for a person convicted of a 2nd DUI is 96 hours (4 days) in the local county jail. There are ways to avoid jail time, but they require skilled representation and a dedicated defense to accomplish.
2nd DUI Penalties are designed to deter and prevent repeat offenses given the danger DUI drivers pose to the public at large. It is best to avoid a 2nd DUI altogether, as even 1 DUI conviction is enough for most people. For more information about 2nd DUI penalties, consult with a DUI attorney.