November 19, 2015 By Matthew Wallin
first DUI count
A first DUI counts on your criminal record for 10 years.

Getting arrested for DUI can be a terrifying experience, not to mention the time and money you will forego in the aftermath. California imposes harsh penalties to deter you from getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you’ve already been arrested for a DUI you will almost certainly face stricter penalties if you get arrested for a second or subsequent DUI. That’s because, in California, DUI offenses are considered “priorable” offenses, which means that the court will automatically take into account your prior history of drunk driving.

From First DUI to “Second” DUI

There are certain exceptions where you can escape harsher penalties for a second DUI. First, if you received your first DUI in another state, your second DUI will likely count as your first, depending on the state in which your first DUI conviction occurred.

Second, the court uses a 10 year rule to determine whether to charge you with a “second” DUI. For example, if you were arrested for a DUI 11 years ago, the court will treat your second arrest as if it were your first DUI. In short, when it comes to DUI penalties, timing is everything.

10-Year Rule Explained

Second DUI
A second DUI within 10 years will lead to more severe punishment.

Despite the potential windfall, however, it is more likely that multiple convictions will happen within that 10-year time period. The 10-year rule means that with each DUI offense you receive within a 10-year period, the penalties you face increase exponentially.

For reference, the penalty for a first-offense DUI is as follows:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • Up to $1,000 in court fines
  • 3, 6, or 9-month DUI class
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to one year

The penalty for a second-offense DUI is as follows:

  • Mandatory 96 hours in county jail and up to a one year sentence
  • Up to $1,000 in court fines
  • 18-month or 30-month DUI class;
  • 2-year driver’s license suspension (minimum one year before you can legally obtain a restricted license)

You should also note that if your first conviction was for a “wet and reckless” but you are subsequently arrested for DUI, the court will treat your first wet reckless as a DUI for purposes of imposing punishment.

Call the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, you need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. We will meet with you immediately to review the facts of your case, and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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