Los Angeles Multiple DUI Attorneys
Los Angeles Multiple DUI Attorneys
Getting arrested for DUI can be a scary experience. But when you’re facing multiple DUI charges, it can feel especially overwhelming. In Los Angeles, prosecutors and judges take a harsh view on repeat DUI offenses. The penalties get much steeper with each new charge.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential when dealing with multiple DUIs in LA. An attorney understands how to build the strongest defense even with prior convictions on your record. They can also advise on ways to get charges reduced or avoid mandatory minimum sentences.
This article provides an overview of multiple DUI charges in Los Angeles and how an attorney can help:
Penalties for Second and Subsequent DUIs
Under California law, mandatory sentencing provisions apply when a driver is charged with DUI and has prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years. It doesn’t matter if the prior conviction was in LA or another state – it still counts as a strike against you.
Here’s an overview of the penalties for second and subsequent DUI convictions in Los Angeles:
- Second DUI – Mandatory minimum of 96 hours in jail, 18 month DUI program, 1 year license suspension
- Third DUI – Charged as a felony with up to 3 years in state prison. License revoked for 3 years.
- Fourth DUI – Mandatory 120 days in jail, 3 year license revocation. Potential felony charge.
The mandatory jail time is often the most concerning penalty for drivers facing multiple DUI charges. For example, on a second DUI offense, the court cannot waive the mandatory 96 hours in jail.
This is where an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney can be invaluable. They may be able to get the mandatory minimum jail time waived through a “Watson advisement.” This involves acknowledging on record the dangers of drunk driving.
An attorney can also advise if you may be eligible for alternative sentencing programs instead of jail:
- Community service
- Rehab programs
- Alcohol monitoring devices
Old DUI Convictions
In California, DUIs stay on your record for 10 years. So even if your last DUI arrest was many years ago, it can still count as a prior conviction and lead to harsher sentences.
For example, if you get a new DUI charge and have a prior from 9 years ago, you could face mandatory jail time and other second offense penalties.
An attorney may be able to argue your previous DUI is too remote to be used for enhancement purposes. But in general, California courts allow DUI priors to be counted for up to 10 years.
Fighting Multiple DUI Charges
Even with prior DUIs, an attorney can build strong defenses against new charges. Some options include:
- Invalid traffic stop – If the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over, evidence can be suppressed
- Faulty testing – Errors in administering breathalyzer or blood tests can invalidate results
- Medical conditions – Certain conditions like diabetes can mimic signs of intoxication
- Prescription drugs – Interactions with prescribed medications can lead to false positives
An experienced DUI lawyer will closely examine the details of your arrest and testing to find defenses. Having an aggressive attorney is key to avoid the much harsher penalties of multiple DUI convictions.
Getting Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
For those struggling with alcoholism, multiple DUI charges can be a wake-up call. Entering an alcohol treatment program shows the court you are committed to sobriety. It also demonstrates you are addressing the root cause of the problem.
Completing a rehab program before your court date can potentially lead to reduced charges or sentences. An attorney can advise on which programs look best to the judge and prosecutor.
After a DUI conviction, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. But you may be eligible for a restricted license earlier, allowing driving for:
- Medical appointments
- DUI programs
An attorney can walk you through the process of applying for a restricted license after a multiple DUI conviction.
Expunging DUI Convictions
Having a DUI conviction on your record can negatively impact your life for years. But in California, it may be possible to expunge a DUI from your record under certain conditions, such as:
- Completed probation successfully
- No additional subsequent DUIs
- A minimum time period has passed (typically 10 years)
Expungement can allow you to move forward from a DUI conviction without it impacting employment, loans, or other opportunities.
Finding the Right Los Angeles DUI Attorney
Facing multiple DUI charges in Los Angeles can feel overwhelming. But an experienced criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the complex process and build the strongest case possible.
Here are some tips for choosing the right attorney:
- Look for 10+ years experience specifically handling DUI cases
- Find someone familiar with LA courts and prosecutors
- Ask about alternative sentencing options to avoid jail time
- Understand costs upfront – fees range from $1,000 to $10,000+
- Select someone you feel comfortable communicating with openly
Having an aggressive lawyer in your corner can make all the difference in a multiple DUI case in LA. Don’t go through this alone – contact a dedicated DUI attorney to discuss your options.