Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal act in California. In many cases, the penalties for DUIs get worse with each subsequent conviction. This leads some drivers to wonder if they can avoid jail time after a second DUI in Los Angeles.
Generally, a second DUI conviction results in a minimum of at least a few days in jail. However, in some cases, drivers will end up spending much longer behind bars. They can also face fines and restrictions on their driver’s licenses.
Jail Time for a Second DUI Charge in California
California takes DUI charges very seriously. A conviction could lead to jail time, even for a first DUI. In fact, you may end up facing a maximum of six months in jail for a first-time, basic DUI conviction.
With the penalties increasing for additional convictions, a second conviction can lead to a minimum of 96 hours to a maximum of one year in jail.
Note that this only holds true in some counties. For example, some counties have a higher minimum amount of jail time for a second DUI offense. Additionally, not all DUI charges lead to the same amount of jail time because of aggravating factors.
For example, you may face a longer sentence if you get accused of hurting or killing someone in a DUI accident. In this situation, you may even face felony charges here in Los Angeles.
Alternatives to Jail in Los Angeles
Under California Penal Code (CPC) §2900.5, there are alternatives to jail time for most felony or misdemeanor offenses, whether by plea or verdict. For DUIs, this means that you could do house arrest or rehab in lieu of jail time.
When you get placed under house arrest instead of jail, you will have to remain confined to your home for a fixed period. If you leave your home in any way without prior explicit permission or justified reason, then you could face jail time and additional penalties. Remember, house arrest is a privilege, and a slight misstep can cost you.
While under house arrest, you also need to wear an ankle monitor. This monitor ensures that you stay within the confines of your home. If you leave your home in any way, local law enforcement will get notified.
Checking into rehab can be an alternative to jail. Rehab facilities provide you with counseling, care, and will help you overcome addiction. If you can prove to the judge that you have issues with alcoholism and have the willingness to change, you can get put in rehab instead of a jail cell.
The Law Is Not on Your Side
Remember, at the end of the day, the law isn’t going to be on your side. You have to understand that the chances of avoiding jail time are very slim if you don’t have a strong Los Angeles DUI attorney by your side. While having an attorney is no guarantee that you can avoid jail, it can significantly increase your chances of mounting a successful defense against your charges.
The law has a very low tolerance for those charged with DUI. One mistake shouldn’t cost you your entire future. Not only are there legal penalties with second-offense DUIs, you can also face other penalties that negatively impact your life, sometimes permanently:
- Points on your Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
- Rejection to college or university
- Rejection to serve in the armed forces
- Difficulty obtaining a loan or other financial services
- Long-term or permanent suspension of your license
Don’t find yourself dealing with these penalties. You should always try to fight back against your charges with one of our lawyers today.
Other Penalties for a Second DUI in Los Angeles
Jail time is only one penalty for a DUI conviction in Los Angeles. In addition to the penalties and negative impacts above, here are several other penalties associated with this charge. You can face fines of thousands of dollars after a DUI conviction.
The state of California recently adopted an ignition interlock device (IID) program. This program requires many drivers convicted of a DUI to install an IID on their vehicle. IIDs are like personal breathalyzers. They assess your blood alcohol content (BAC) each time you want to start your vehicle.
Using an IID could prevent you from losing your license after a DUI arrest. You may need to use this device for a year after a second DUI conviction. Unfortunately, some drivers refuse to install an IID. In this case, you can face the suspension of your driver’s license.
Handle DUI Charges to Avoid Jail Time in Los Angeles
As you can see, a second DUI conviction will lead to jail time in Los Angeles. However, DUI charges do not automatically lead to a conviction in California. You can take steps to avoid a conviction by working with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles.
A lawyer will help you focus on avoiding a conviction by:
- Investigating your charges
- Working to dispute the evidence against you
- Weakening the prosecution’s case
In some cases, a lawyer could block enough evidence to get your charges dismissed. This would allow you to avoid a jail sentence. A lawyer can also help you secure a plea bargain after a DUI arrest. These bargains are deals offered by the prosecution.
Some plea bargains allow you to reduce the penalties you’d face for a conviction. You may end up serving community service instead of spending time in jail, for example. However, a plea bargain still shows up on your record as a conviction.
Consider Defenses to DUI Charges in Los Angeles
A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can also help you handle DUI charges in court. Defending you could allow you to secure a verdict in your favor. A lawyer can argue that:
- You were not driving under the influence.
- You got stopped without due cause.
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) test was mis-administered.
A lawyer can help you handle questioning by prosecutors and police officers. Your lawyer can also help with your bail hearing, if applicable.
Ask a Lawyer About Avoiding Jail Time After a Second DUI
Dealing with a second offense DUI charge can be scary when there’s a lot on the line. You don’t have to go through this ordeal alone. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you avoid a conviction for this criminal charge and jail time. Please get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation at no risk or obligation to you.