Getting your first DUI is bad enough, but what happens when you get your second DUI? A second DUI offense will result in several mandatory punishments. These are generally more severe, cost more money, and take more time than those for a first DUI offense. Perhaps the most devastating consequence of a second DUI offense is having your license suspended for two years by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This is a mandatory suspension that is not up for negotiation, but there are ways you can regain partial driving privileges before those two years are up. You may be able to get a restricted license with a second DUI if your DUI offense involved only alcohol and you complete all the requirements. To apply for arestricted license, you must first wait for a mandatory period of hard suspension to pass then apply through the DMV. The requirements for the application are extensive. You must show proof of enrollment in your court-ordered DUI education classes, submit proof of financial responsibility to the DMV, and pay a reissuance fee. You have two options if you want a restricted license after your second conviction. You can serve 90 days of your hard suspension, install an ignition interlock device, or IID, and pay a fee. This is a relatively new option for those with a second DUI offense. When DUI laws were reformed in 2010, the periods of time that a DUI offender must wait before applying for a restricted license were shortened, and the IID installation requirement was added. Alternatively, you could serve 12 months of your hard suspension, submit proof of enrollment in your DUI education classes and install an IID. You will have to keep the IID installed in your car for one year.
Even though you can be back on the road in as little as 90 days after a second conviction, it is not without conditions. A restricted license is not a fully reinstated drivers license. Your license will only be reinstated in full after serving your two-year suspension period. Your ability to drive will be limited to the parameters of the restricted license privileges until then. You will only be able to drive under limited conditions, typically to and from work and to and from your alcohol education classes. Furthermore, with your IID installation, you cannot drive any vehicle that is not equipped with an IID, even with a restricted license. Driving outside these parameters can result in your driving privileges being revoked for a longer period of time.
It is important to note that the courts have limitations on what can be considered a second offense.
The courts will consider it your second DUI offense if it occurred within ten years from your first one. For example, if you got a DUI five years ago your present DUI offense would be considered your second for sentencing and license suspension purposes. If your first DUI was 15 years ago, however, your present DUI will be considered a "first", and your sentencing and license suspension will reflect that. Wet reckless charges will be considered a DUI offense for these purposes. If you get a DUI within ten years of a wet reckless charge, your present DUI will be considered your second. You should also know that if you get your second DUI while still on probation for your first DUI, your license will be completely revoked for three years, and you will face other penalties for violating your probation.
Consult with a California criminal defense attorney with DUI defense experience if you are facing charges for a second DUI offense within ten years. You could lose your license for two years, and you will have to wait at least 90 days before you can drive on a restricted license with an IID. Most people can't wait 90 days before they can drive to work again. Unfortunately, so many of those facing second DUI convictions don't think they have a chance in court and just accept the consequences. You may be able to challenge your second DUI offense or have your first offense reduced so it doesn't count as a DUI. With a first DUI offense, you can apply for a restricted license after serving just 30 days of your license suspension. With so much at stake, it may be in your best interest to aggressively fight the charges.
Are you or a loved one facing second DUI charges and have questions about the consequences? California attorney Christopher Martens knows DUI defense and will fight for your rights in court. With over ten years of dedicated criminal defense experience, Mr. Martens has handled thousands of cases and has taken over 50 to trial. Attorney Christopher Martens will not be afraid to take your case all the way to trial to defend your rights. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert DUI defense counsel. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.