The law surrounding Driving Under the Influence is complicated, especially if it involves out-of-state charges. If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to know if your case counts as a DUI second offense or not. This post explains what you need to know.
Interstate Driver License Compact
California is one of the 46 states members of the interstate driver’s license compact, IDLC. States under this compact must share information regarding driving and arrests with each other. The charges will appear in your California driving records if you are arrested for DUI in either of these states.
While the DMV may not be aware of your DUI in another state immediately, there are chances they will learn about it during your subsequent proceeding in California. When this happens, they will treat your case as a DUI second offense, in which case you risk facing serious penalties. Under California laws, you risk having your driving license suspended and other fines and penalties.
If you were arrested in a state not part of the IDLC, the state might provide your prosecutor or the DMV with your case file to help determine the most appropriate penalties.
Instances Where DUI from Another State May Not Count in California
California is a sovereign state; hence isn’t bound to accept all terms from other states regarding DUI. Various factors determine whether California law will count a DUI as a second offense if your first charges were from another state.
These factors include:
Length of Conviction
If your previous DUI conviction was more than ten years ago, then it won’t count against you in California. However, if it were less than ten years ago, it would count as a prior charge. This is true even if your original offense was less severe than what would be considered a DUI here in California, and it wasn’t reported at the time of your arrest or conviction.
Similarities Between State Laws
The state of California will look at the law where the previous conviction took place. If the state you were convicted in describes DUI differently from how California does, there are fewer chances that you’ll face a DUI second offense in California.
However, even if the previous state doesn’t use the term “DUI” or use the exact definition as California, you can still be charged with a DUI second offense. The way you were convicted is not necessary; what matters is that you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in another state.
Penalties for a DUI Second Offense in California
You risk facing serious penalties if you are guilty of a second DUI offense. The penalties are more severe than a first offense, and the process can be complex. However, you can avoid jail time by getting an attorney involved early.
The penalties for a second DUI conviction include:
- License suspension of up to two years
- Attendance of DUI driver’s education classes for 1½ years
- Ignition interlock device installation in your car
- A fine of up to $4,000, including court assessment
- Prison time of 10 days up to 1 year
A Professional DUI Attorney Will Fight Your Charges
If charged with a DUI, a professional DUI defense lawyer can assess your case and determine the best way forward. They will also be able to help you understand the legal process and what steps need to be taken to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Await Trial in the Comfort of Your Home
If you or your loved one is arrested in California or another state and need to post bail, speak with a bailbondsman from Frank Calabretta’s Bail House. Contact us today, and let us help you gain freedom while you await your court hearing.