DUI penalties depend on your previous history. This means subsequent offenses will result in much heavier penalties. This is to discourage DUIs and repeat offenses.

That said, here's what usually happens in the first 3 offenses, as often experienced by our prescreened DUI lawyers in Los Angeles.

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California DUI Offenses And Their Penalties

What Happens On Your First, Second, And Third DUI Offenses In California

The penalties you receive for each DUI offense vary. Here's what happens in your first 3 DUIs:

First DUI Offense In California

If a driver in California hasn't been charged with a DUI within 10 years, it's considered a first offense. The arresting officer is required by law to send a copy of the full notice of suspension or revocation form, the driver's license that has been confiscated, and a sworn report to the DMV following a first DUI arrest in California.

After that, the DMV will conduct an administrative review, looking through the police officer's report, the suspension or revocation order, and the findings of any chemical tests, such as a breathalyzer test. A driver who refuses to submit to a chemical test violates the Implied Consent Law of California and will have their license automatically suspended for a year.

A person charged with DUI may request a hearing from the California DMV within ten days of obtaining the order for suspension or revocation. The suspension or cancellation may be overturned if the examination reveals no justifiable reasons. The DMV will give the impacted driver written notice following the administrative review. However, if the driver is found guilty of their first DUI, they could face any of the following sanctions:

  • Driving privilege suspension for four months or longer
  • The offender becomes qualified for a restricted license if they successfully complete a 30-day hard suspension exercise.
  • A maximum of six months in prison
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation, which the offender is responsible for paying, costs between $70 and $15 to install and between $60 and $80 to maintain.

In California, a first DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by fines between $390 and $1000. In addition, the court may potentially sentence the driver to three to five years of probation or impose other terms like victim impact programs and support groups.

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Second DUI Offense In California

In California, a driver is considered to have a second DUI if their first DUI conviction occurred within ten years. The Department of Motor Vehicles is going to impose penalties, such as a year-long license suspension and other costs. A suspect who refuses to submit to chemical testing risks a two-year penalty.

In California, a second DUI is likewise a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of 96 hours to a year in jail. Sometimes, the courts might change a jail sentence to house arrest or community service. Similar to a first DUI, a second DUI carries fines between $390 and $1,000.

The courts may also impose a three to five years of a probationary period, an 18-month stint in DUI school, and a two-year license suspension on the guilty driver. However, the driver may apply for a restricted Ignition Interlock License to drive to and from work or school. If the DUI was caused by drugs, the driver must serve the full 12-month suspension before being qualified for a restricted license.

That said, hiring a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help you through the process of your DUI. An attorney can help defend you, question evidence against you, or represent you.

Third DUI Offense In California

If a driver receives two consecutive DUI convictions within ten years, they are considered to have received a third DUI in California. In addition, if a driver declines chemical testing, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will administratively suspend their license for a minimum of one year and three years.

Third DUI offenses in California are also misdemeanors, which carry punishments like three to five years of probation, 18 months of DUI school, and a three-year license suspension. The affected driver can apply for a limited license that will only allow them to drive to work or school with an Ignition Interlock Device. If the DUI involves simply drugs, there is a 12-month waiting period before you can get a restricted license. Third offenders must have an IID for a minimum of two years as part of the limited license.

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How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Records In California?

In California, DUI convictions stay on the driver's record for ten years following the arrest. Until the ten-year window has passed, the conviction cannot be expunged.

When deciding whether to suspend, revoke, or reinstate a driver's license, the Department of Motor Vehicles may consider the offender's criminal history. Law enforcement officials may also see the DUI conviction when looking at the driver's driving history. Additionally, auto insurance providers have access to a person's DUI history. Given that a DUI is a major traffic infraction, this may result in higher auto insurance rates.

So, it's crucial that you contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney to help you through a DUI. They advise you on what to do, what to say, and represent you in hearings.

Hire A Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Near You

Do you need a Los Angeles criminal lawyer1000Attorneys can refer you to a prescreened California lawyer that can best handle your unique claim. Contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case details submission form) for a free initial consultation.