If you were fortunate enough to escape serious consequences for your first DUI, you may not be so lucky with a second DUI offense in Orange County.
Sympathy will be in short supply among law enforcement and prosecutors. Even if your prior DUI was many years ago, the prior DUI conviction may still count against you if it is within 10 years from your current offense.
But how much more serious is a second DUI conviction? How will you be treated differently from your first DUI conviction?
Finding a seasoned DUI attorney who is familiar with the law and procedures in Orange County should be a priority.
The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will protect your legal rights and seek dismissal or acquittal in your current matter. However, if this result is not attainable, we will work to minimize the potential consequences in your case.
In California, a second DUI offense is considered much more serious than the first offense.
Generally speaking, with a first DUI, the authorities want to educate you so that this conduct does not get repeated. A second DUI within 10 years may be viewed by the court system as failing to learn the lesson.
The look-back period applies to an alcohol-related driving offense and includes out-of-state convictions in most cases.
Because of a mandatory jail time requirement for a second offense, the first call after your arrest should be to a seasoned DUI attorney. In addition to jail time, you may face a longer license suspension and other long-term consequences that can impact your freedom, employment, and education.
As with your first DUI arrest, once you are pulled over, the police officer may question you and ask you to perform a field sobriety test in addition to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device (P.A.S.) test. If you are arrested, you will be required to submit to a mandatory blood or breath test at the police station.
Remember that law enforcement must follow a strict set of guidelines while investigating your DUI. Any failure by law enforcement in following these guidelines may be used in your legal defense.
It is best to avoid saying too much to law enforcement until you speak to an attorney. Certainly, do not admit guilt. After you contact our team at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we will work toward your immediate release and begin examining the evidence against you.
Our team will explain your options and the legal steps available from this point forward.
The criminal justice system in California clamps down hard on repeat offenders.
While penalties do vary from county to county, you may face mandatory jail time and an extended maximum jail sentence if you are arrested for a second DUI within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction.
The recency of your last DUI will affect your penalties. Judges are more likely to exercise discretion if your first offense was nine years ago rather than nine weeks ago. No judge in Orange County wants to release a drunk driver who offends again and/or has the potential to endanger the general public. In addition to your prior DUI conviction, your blood alcohol concentration level and license status will be factors considered by the judge in your release.
Unfortunately, offenders may be treated more harshly in Orange County than in other counties. If anyone is hurt or killed as a result of your actions behind the wheel, you can expect the prosecutor to seek the maximum penalties possible.
An experienced DUI attorney who knows the Orange County legal system and the prosecuting personnel may help you avoid the most severe consequences. Our team may even be able to plea bargain for a mitigated charge or strike the prior conviction allegation.