The first time a DUI conviction occurs, the penalty is relatively lax compared to subsequent convictions. However, the time frame used by the law can extend longer than you think and may even go beyond state lines. Knowing about the time frame that prior DUI convictions can count against you is one part of how Steven K. Bloom uses his expertise of DUI in California to offer the best defense strategies for your case.
How Long Do Prior Convictions for DUI in California Last on Your Record?
California counts all prior DUI convictions for the last 10 years toward determining sentencing for future convictions. This decade-long record keeping applies to second, third, fourth, and subsequent DUI offenses, all of which have graduated penalties, per vehicle codes 23540, 23546, and 23550. Penalties for having prior convictions can range from jail time of up to a year for a second conviction to driver’s license suspension.
What About DUI Convictions in Other States?
DUI convictions in other states may be added to your record in California if the state’s DUI laws at the time were the same as California’s. Prior DUI convictions in states with stricter laws may not become priors under California law. Always talk to a qualified DUI lawyer for advice on this matter as each state has varying laws, and your case will require personalized consultation.
Why Does Having Prior DUI Convictions Matter?
Having a prior DUI in California or elsewhere matters greatly to the subsequent handling of your current case. Sentences increase in severity with additional convictions. The first three DUI convictions generally are misdemeanor charges unless someone died in an accident directly related to the DUI. For instance, you could have your license suspended for up to a year after the first conviction, but that increases to three years with a third DUI conviction. Having a good DUI lawyer who will carefully assess your case and offer customized advice and defense can help you when fighting a charge of DUI in California with prior convictions.
Find Out How Steven K. Bloom Can Defend Your DUI in California
Don’t let prior convictions for DUI in CA or other states impact your life. You need help from a qualified DUI defense lawyer to examine the nuances of your case to provide you with the best legal advice. Contact The Law Office of Steven K. Bloom today for a free consultation on your DUI case. Even if you have prior convictions for DUI, you can get legal help.