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Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorney


Second Offense DUI in California

The consequences of a second DUI offense are considerably more serious than a first offense. A second arrest for DUI within 10 years triggers a much more severe potential sentence. It is essential that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible since there are actions you must take within the first 10 days after your arrest to protect your rights.


Possible Penalties for a Second DUI Offense

When you are arrested for a second DUI offense within 10 years of your first offense, there are several penalties that you will face. Two separate proceedings will be held, one by the court, and one by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), with each issuing different sanctions. There are several variables that could affect what penalties are imposed, such as whether or not you refused a chemical test or if there are aggravating circumstances.


California DUI Court Proceedings

If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, the court will impose the following penalties:

  • Probation: you will most likely be on probation for 3 to 5 years. You may or may not have to report to a probation officer. There can be absolutely no drinking and driving during that time period.
  • Fines & Fees: the court will impose a $390 to $1,000 fine. In addition, you may have to pay court fees and costs, which can significantly increase your penalty.
  • Jail Time: the court will sentence you to a mandatory minimum of 96 hours in the county jail. Jail terms may extend up to six months, depending upon the circumstances.

California law provides for possible elevated penalties in certain situations. The most common reasons for enhancement include:

  • driving 20 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit (minimum 60 day jail sentence)
  • driving with a child under the age of 14 present in the vehicle
  • occurrence of personal injury or property damage (charge elevated to a felony if you caused personal injury to another, or to manslaughter or murder charge in certain circumstances if death occurs)
  • blood-alcohol level over .20%

California DMV Proceedings

If you are arrested for a second DUI, you only have 10 calendar days to request a DMV hearing. If no hearing is requested within that time, DMV will automatically begin the process of suspending your driver’s license. The possible penalties that the DMV could impose for a second DUI arrest include the following:


  • License suspension: if you agreed to take a chemical test upon your arrest, the DMV will suspend your license for one year and require the filing of proof of insurance (an SR-22) for the next 3 years. An experienced attorney may be able to help you get a restricted license that allows travel to work.  If you refused a chemical test, you cannot get a restricted license. If you are convicted of a second DUI in the court proceeding, the DMV will suspend your license for two years.
  • DUI School: you will be required to attend and successfully complete alcohol education classes at a DUI school, which could last for a period of 18 months.
  • Ignition interlock device: you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (breath analyzer) on your car.


Second Offense DUI Attorney

Being arrested on a second DUI charge within 10 years of your first arrest is a serious matter. However, the possible penalties that the court or the DMV could impose can be successfully challenged. The Law Offices of Elena Mebtahi will aggressively defend you at both hearings and fight for your rights.

10866 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: 310-207-4005