2nd Offense DUI in Orange County

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.

What happens with a 2nd time DUI?

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.

2nd DUI Consequences

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.  

2nd Offense DUI in Orange County


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During the consultation, we will help you understand your rights and the charges against you.

2nd time DUI penalties

For a second time DUI charge in Orange County, you could face the following penalties:

  • A minimum of 96 hours in county jail – up to one year
  • Three to five years of summary probation (usually five years)
  • Fines and penalties amounting to around $2,500
  • 18-month drug/alcohol multiple offender programs
  • AA classes or community service
  • A one-year driver’s license suspension

If injury or death is caused to another person as a result of the DUI incident, the prospect of a longer jail sentence, more significant fines, and other penalties exist. The same applies to other aggravating factors, such as the presence of a child in the car or a BAC level over 0.15%. 

The judge and/or the prosecutor will consider the circumstances of the offense, your criminal history, and other factors before sentencing. However, additional punishment may be added for each enhancement or aggravating factors.

2nd time DUI jail consequences

While the minimum mandatory jail sentence in California is 96 hours, Orange County regularly imposes a jail term of 45-90 days on second-time DUI offenders. If you are on probation, the sentence can be higher. The maximum sentence is one year in jail however this harsh sentence is rarely imposed.

If you are found guilty, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian may be able to convert a county jail sentence to home confinement, weekends, work furlough, private jail, or even roadside work under Caltrans or Community Labor.

In addition to confinement, you will likely face a probationary period of five years. During this time and amongst other terms of your probation, you will be prohibited from driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.

2nd time DUI fines

There is no escaping a fine for a second DUI. However, our team will use our experience and persuasive powers to negotiate the lowest possible fees. You will need to pay the $390 minimum plus penalty assessments which, with all the other fees, can total around $2,500. However, our office will work to keep the total fees as low as legally possible. In addition to the fines, you will be required to pay for and attend the 18-month court-mandated multiple offender drug/alcohol program.

2nd time DUI license suspension

You will face a lengthy license suspension for a second-time DUI conviction. However, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian may help reduce the license suspension consequences so that you can drive your vehicle to and from work and possibly other necessary destinations.

A second-time DUI usually results in a driver’s license suspension of up to one year. Your license may be converted to a restricted status after a period of time. Additionally, you may be eligible to start driving immediately with the installation of an IID (Ignition Interlock Device).

Defending a 2nd time DUI Offense

Technical difficulties frequently come into play in defending DUI cases in California. What this means is that there may be a chance of having your case dismissed and escaping the maximum consequences for the offense.  This may be true even if the evidence appears to be compelling.

The prosecution of DUI cases relies heavily on properly functioning equipment and law enforcement officers correctly following procedures while investigating and gathering evidence against a suspect.

Sometimes, prosecutors may even make basic errors like failing to allege a prior  DUI conviction while filing your second DUI case.

While we cannot always rely on law enforcement incompetence,  mistakes, and/or mechanical failures, the first job of a seasoned DUI defense attorney in preparing a defense is to investigate any and all potential errors made by law enforcement and the prosecution.

Some cases may be dismissed based on inadmissible evidence. If our team is not able to secure a dismissal and the prosecution is committed to a conviction, our office may seek to obtain a lesser charge such as some form of a reckless driving offense.

Do not underestimate the influence of persuasive DUI defense attorneys like those at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian to reduce the impact of a conviction.

Been charged with a 2nd DUI Offense in Orange County?

A second DUI charge is usually treated more harshly than a first. However, you may still have a chance to prevent the serious consequences of a second-time DUI conviction.

Our team will explain your options and help you navigate the legal processes, seeking the best possible outcome.

If you have been arrested and/or charged with a second-time DUI offense in Orange County and need legal assistance, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help.  Begin your online consultation now.

We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Newport Beach and Fullerton to serve clients with matters heard at the Central, West, Harbor, and North Justice Centers, respectively, for all of Orange County.  The lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help!  Book an online consultation to get started today.
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