What's Considered a Prior Offense in a DUI Case?

In California, you can be charged with a DUI in two ways: 1) You're caught driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or 2) you're caught driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction are steep. They can include jail time, fines, and/or a loss of driving privileges. But, the punishments can be even harsher if you have one or more previous DUI-related convictions on your record.

What's a Priorable Offense?

A priorable offense is one that a court may consider during sentencing to determine the penalties imposed upon conviction for the current crime.

Concerning DUIs, priorable offenses include:

In a California DUI matter, the court can look back 10 years at your criminal history. If you have a previous DUI within that period, your current DUI charge will be considered a second (or subsequent) offense. The penalties will be meted out according to the appropriate law concerning multiple DUIs.

It's important to note that, although the courts have only a 10-year window for looking back at prior DUI convictions, it does not mean the offense is cleared from your criminal record. The arrest and conviction information remain permanently unless you take steps to have it removed.

What Are the Penalties for Subsequent DUI Convictions?

As mentioned before, if you've been convicted of one or more DUIs in the past, you will be subject to harsher penalties.

For instance, the punishments for a first-time DUI may include:

  • A jail term between 96 hours and 6 months;
  • A fine between $390 and $1,000; and/or
  • A driver's license suspension for 6 months

However, if this is a second DUI within 10 years, the penalties may include:

  • A jail term between 90 days and 1 year;
  • A fine between $390 and $1,000; and/or
  • A driver's license suspension for up to 2 years

A third conviction within 10 years may result in:

  • A jail term between 120 days and 1 year;
  • A fine between $390 and $1,000; and/or
  • A driver's license revocation for 3 years

A fourth or subsequent DUI is punishable by:

  • A prison sentence of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years;
  • A fine between $390 and $1,000; and/or
  • A driver's license revocation for 4 years

Fight Your Charge with Aggressive Defense

The penalties for a DUI conviction are serious, whether it's your first or a subsequent one. One of the most effective ways to challenge the drunk driving accusations and seek to avoid the punishments is with the help of a skilled lawyer. At Koenig Law Office, we deliver effective counsel for DUI charges and will work diligently toward obtaining an optimal result on your behalf.

For the dedicated representation you need in Bakersfield, call us at (661) 793-7222 or contact us online today. Your initial case review is free.