California DUI law
In Fresno, a second charge of driving under the influence (DUI) within a period of 10 years can result in harsher penalties when compared with a first DUI offense. You will face fines for a first DUI offense and you will be required to enroll in alcohol education programs. You will also face suspension of your driver's license and there is the potential of spending time in jail.
A second DUI offense within a period of 10 years of the first DUI offense is likely lead to higher fines, longer periods of time in jail, increased suspension time for your driver's license, as well as longer education programs.
By the time your second DUI arrest takes place, it's likely that you have some familiarity with a few of the basic DUI laws in the state of California. The laws make it clear that a person commits the offense of DUI when they are driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Keep in mind the BAC percentage is significantly lower should you be a minor (0.01 percent) or a driver of a commercial vehicle (0.04 percent).
Currently, convictions for DUI can be used as prior offenses for a period of 10 years. In Fresno, CA, the law states that illegal drugs, as well as, prescription medications can also result in your arrest for DUI. It is very important for you to be aware of the possible side effects associated with your prescription medications in order to comply with the state law. For example, if your prescription medication causes dizziness or drowsiness, you should consider avoiding the driving of a motor vehicle while taking that prescription medication.
Increased penalties for a second DUI offense in California
Under California law, if you are convicted of a second DUI offense, the potential penalties are a sentence of one year in jail, a fine up to a $2,000, a one year suspension of your driver's license and 3-5 years of probation. You will also be required to file an SR22 proof of insurance with the state of California for a period of three years. The SR22 will cause the premium for your liability insurance to cost 2-3 times the premium you might pay for an ordinary liability insurance policy.
At the time of the offense, if you refuse to submit a state administered breath or blood test to designed to determine your BAC your driver's license suspended for a period of two years. While you are within your rights to refuse to submit a breath or blood test at the time of your DUI arrest, things can become a bit complicated as California follows an implied consent law. This means that drivers in Fresno and the rest of California have consented to compliance with requests by law enforcement to submit to blood or breath testing in exchange for the privilege of driving on the state's roadways and possessing a California driver's license.
Along with increased fines, jail time and license suspension period, you will also be required to attend a longer alcohol/DUI education program administered by the state. Generally, a second DUI offense will mean attending an 18-month program along with 52 hours of group counseling, an additional 12-hour program targeted at drug and alcohol education, six hours of community reentry observation and regular interview times for the first 12 months of the program.
Do you need an attorney? Absolutely!
If you are facing charges related to a first offense DUI, do not think that your only choice is to plead guilty. Take a moment to contact Terry A. Wapner and schedule a consultation in order to discuss the facts of your case and be advised of your options.