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How does your criminal record impact the penalties for a DUI?

Mistakes happen, and some of those mistakes may live on in your criminal record. These past mistakes can have an even greater impact if you face criminal charges again. How might a prior conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) impact the penalties you face?

The penalties for repeat DUI convictions

Just one prior conviction on your record can significantly increase the amount of time you spend in jail and the amount of time you spend without a driver’s license. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152, penalties include:

  • Second DUI convictions— With one prior DUI on your record, a conviction can lead to between $390 and $1000 in fines, a two-year license suspension, at least 96 hours in county jail, at least 12 months with an ignition interlock device (IID), probation and DUI education.
  • Third DUI convictions—A third DUI conviction within a period of 10 years can lead to up to $1000 fines, a three-year license suspension, between 120 days and one year in jail, probation and potential drunk driving education. They will also be considered a habitual traffic offender for three years.
  • Fourth and subsequent DUI convictions—A fourth DUI conviction in California is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that you could face charges at either the misdemeanor or the felony level. This means that they may face up to one year in county jail for a misdemeanor offense or up to three years for a felony. They may also face significant fines and the loss of their driver’s license for four years.

How can you protect yourself from these penalties?

Whether or not you have prior convictions on your record, the penalties for a DUI can have a long-lasting impact on your relationships, your career, your rights and your freedom. However, it is possible to protect yourself from these charges.

An experienced attorney can address the details of your case and create a defense strategy that suits your unique circumstances. This may include having a felony DUI charge reduced to a misdemeanor. Whether you face charges for the first time or have experienced the challenges of the legal system before, your lawyer can guide you through the process and protect your rights at every step.

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