Multiple DUI Offenses in Ventura, California
Facing DUI allegations with a prior conviction?
Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) with a prior DUI conviction can result in enhanced charges and penalties. In the state of California, courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will consider any prior DUI conviction within the past 10 years of a new allegation a priorable offense. Priorable DUI offenses will result in a new DUI charge being prosecuted as a multiple offense and will include any of the following convictions within in the 10 year look back period:
- Any California DUI conviction, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Any wet reckless conviction
- Any out-of-state DUI conviction
If an individual has any of these convictions on their record at the time of a new arrest and charge, they will be prosecuted as a multiple offender. A multiple DUI offense creates enhanced penalty guidelines, as a multiple offense within 10 years is considered an aggravating circumstance by the courts and the DMV. Although specific penalties may vary depending on the unique facts and circumstances inherent to a case, multiple DUI offenses typically result in the following penalties:
A second DUI offense within 10 years of a previous DUI conviction will result in increased penalties. Typically, a second offense will subject a convicted offender to longer terms of imprisonment, longer alcohol education classes, and steeper fines. Second DUIs also lead to enhanced license penalties, including longer license suspension terms and longer periods of restricted driving. In Ventura County and Los Angeles County, individuals may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle in order to drive.
Conviction for a third DUI is punishable by a minimum term of imprisonment of 120 days in jail and a maximum sentence of one year. Fines, court-ordered classes, and license penalties will also be enhanced. As the DMV has the ability to label individuals with a third DUI as "habitual offenders," license penalties may be as severe as a three year revocation.
In California, a fourth DUI is a felony offense. As such, the penalties are harsh, and may include steep fines and up to four years in state prison. A fourth DUI is an extremely serious offense, and anyone facing these allegations should make retaining experienced legal representation their first priority.
As a state that poses some of the harshest DUI laws in the nation, California comes down hard on multiple offenders. Individuals with a prior DUI conviction within the 10-year look back period must be aware that they face aggressive prosecution and potentially life-altering penalties. In addition, most multiple DUI charges will subject convicted offenders to mandatory terms of imprisonment.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP our Ventura criminal defense lawyers do everything in our power to preserve our clients' freedoms and work relentlessly to have charges dismissed or reduced or to fight for alternative sentencing options that keep them from behind bars.