If you have been convicted of drunk driving in the past, the penalties you face for your current DUI charge might be significantly higher. Repeat offenders not only face the possibility of jail time, but also increased fines, lengthier driver's license suspension periods, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. The expense and inconvenience of a DUI conviction are much more severe when prior convictions are involved. The penalties associated with repeat DUI offenses become increasingly harsh with every subsequent drunk driving offense. This is exactly why it is imperative that a repeat offender retain a skilled and experienced Santa Clarita criminal defense attorney like Daniel E. Kann who will maximize their chances of a positive case outcome.
What are the Penalties for Repeat Offenses?
There is no question that the penalties you may face for a second, third, or fourth DUI offense are much more severe than the first. The severity of the charges and the subsequent penalties will depend on the number of DUI offenses that you have been convicted of in the 10 years prior to your current offense. Here are the penalties for multiple DUI offenses:
- Second offense: Two year license suspension and up to one year in county jail.
- Third offense: Up to three years of driver's license suspension and up to one year in county jail.
- Fourth offense: Up to four years license suspension and three years in county jail or state prison.
What is an Aggravated DUI Charge?
When certain factors are part of a defendant's drunk driving case, the charges may be increased to aggravated DUI. Punishments for aggravated DUI become much more severe and can be similar to those handed down for repeat DUI offenses. Factors leading to an aggravated DUI charge include:
- A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) around or higher than 0.15 percent
- The involvement, injury, or death of underage drinkers or minors riding with the intoxicated driver.
- Destruction of property, with or without injury.
- Lack of a valid driver's license.
It is important to remember that a new California law in 2012 calls for a 10-year license suspension for individuals who have been convicted of drunk driving three or more times within 10 years. According to the American Automobile Association's (AAA) web site, in 2008 there were 187,987 drunk driving convictions in California. Out of those, 9,164 were third-time DUI offenders within 10 years.
Quality DUI Defense You Can Rely On
If you have been charged with drunk driving and you already have prior DUI convictions, do not take a chance with your future. You may face 10 years without a driver's license and possibly a jail or prison sentence, probation, alcohol classes or counseling, and hefty fines. For quality legal advice and representation for your DUI case, please contact the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann. Mr. Kann has a long and successful track record of protecting the rights of drivers. Call today to discuss your case at absolutely no cost.