Orange County's Premier Criminal Defense Boutique

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How a DUI Attorney Can Help You On Your Second or Third Offense

DUI Attorney
A DUI attorney can help you if you have been pulled over while driving under the influence.  If this is your first offense, you may be concerned about the process and we can help you to navigate through it.  If, however, you have been convicted of a DUI in the past and gotten off easy don't expect the same results.  Judges are typically more lenient on first-time offenders with many doing community service and paying a fine.  If, however, you have already been convicted and are now facing a second or third DUI charge, don’t expect a light sentence again.  Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense and after your first conviction the courts will treat it that way.

If you get convicted of a second or third offense, you will probably lose your driver's license.  This will negatively impact your ability to get to work, pick up your kids, and generally meet your obligations.  Even buying groceries becomes a chore when you are unable to drive.  On your second conviction, the typical license suspension is two years while on your third it is ten.  If you are convicted, expect to be a long term member of the bus riding community.

Fortunately, as a DUI attorney, we can help by trying to get the charges reduced to reckless driving instead of a DUI charge. If the evidence is strong and we are unable to have the charges reduced, we will make a case for why you should receive a light penalty and how your ability to drive is necessary for your family.  In order to make this argument we need to ask a variety of questions to learn more about you, what you do, your family and how being unable to drive could impact your family’s livelihood.  

For second-time offenders, it is easier to make these arguments.  If you have been convicted of a DUI twice, the penalties become even stiffer on the third conviction.  If you are allowed to drive, it is mandatory for an ignition interlocking device to be installed on your car.  This will be done at your expense.  Once installed, your car will not start without you taking a mandatory breathalyzer test every time you step behind the wheel.  This can be embarrassing, expensive, and inconvenient at the very least. 

In California, you can be charged and convicted of a DUI if you have a 0.08 BAC level or higher.  This is common knowledge, but many people are not aware that if you are driving a commercial vehicle the BAC limit is 0.04 and if you are a minor it is 0.02.  If you fall into either of the latter two categories, you need to be additionally careful to be sure that you do not drink alcohol before driving and if you do, call a DUI attorney immediately upon being pulled over.  

While the laws vary in every state, California has an implied consent law that states if you apply for a driver's license, you are giving consent to sobriety tests including a breathalyzer.  This means that refusing to take the test is not a reasonable defense, and it can get your license taken away.  The best course of action then is to call a DUI lawyer to represent you.