Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious charge in California. The state has harsh penalties for first-time convictions of DUIs. However, those consequences become more severe with subsequent DUI convictions. Therefore, if you have a prior DUI, you should not try to defend yourself or rely on an overworked public defender. Trust your case to an Orange County DUI defense attorney who will give your case the time and attention it deserves.
What Counts as a DUI?
A DUI can include driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, per Vehicle Code 23152 (b). However, police don’t always need to use blood alcohol to charge you with a DUI. In fact, Vehicle Code 23152 (a) prohibits being under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, section 23152 (c) does not allow for those addicted to substances to drive. Plus, you cannot drive while under the influence of a drug per section 23152 (e) or under both drug and alcohol influences in section 23152 (f). Consequently, you can get a DUI charge for having any type of impairment while driving from drugs or alcohol.
Why Does Having a Prior DUI Matter?
A prior DUI on your record can dramatically increase the punishment. For example, if you have a first-time DUI conviction, you may only have a misdemeanor on your record, unless someone was injured as a result. You may have to pay a fine up to $1,000 or go to jail for up to six months. Likely, you may also have probation for up to five years.
This prior DUI conviction can raise future penalties, especially if subsequent DUI charges happened during your probation. A conviction of a second DUI could lead to an additional three to five years of probation, license revocation for up to two years, fines, and a mandatory jail sentence of up to one year.
Prior DUI Convictions Can Affect You Longer Than You Think
Prior DUI convictions stay on your record much longer than you think. In fact, you may face secondary DUI charges up to ten years after the first conviction. Therefore, even if you’ve forgotten about the first conviction, the state of California has not, and you will need a qualified defense attorney to help you.
Get Help for Your DUI Case from an Experienced Defense Attorney in Orange County
If you have been arrested for a DUI and had a prior conviction for one within the last ten years, you could face serious punishments if convicted. Reach out to the Law Office of Steven K. Bloom if you need a DUI defense lawyer in Orange County. He has more than twenty years of experience helping people defend their cases in California. Get a free consultation for your DUI case today to find out about this defense option.