April 19, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

If you face allegations for driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug for the second time within 10 years, you face all of the challenges of a first DUI, but with more severe punishment. However, there are several ways to reduce your punishment or get a dismissal of your DUI case. First, you have to understand what you are facing. Let’s start by understanding DUI in California.

DUI Prosecution in California

California Vehicle Code section 23152 and related sections criminalize driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI charge prosecuted under VC 23152 is a misdemeanor in California. However, if you injure someone as a result of your DUI, the DUI becomes a felony under Vehicle Code Section 23153.

Sub-section A and B are the most commonly prosecuted types of misdemeanor DUI. Section 23152(a) makes it illegal toSecond DUI operate a motor vehicle while “under the influence” of alcohol or a drug. VC 23152(b) makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher.

To convict you under VC 23152(a), the prosecution must prove:

  • You drove a vehicle; AND
  • You drove while under the influence of a drug or alcohol.

The second element in VC 23152(a) requires the prosecution to show that you were under the influence of alcohol or a drug. So, the prosecutor needs to present evidence that you were intoxicated. This evidence usually comes from testimony from a person who saw you drinking, the arresting officer, and even other drivers who witnessed your driving.

To convict you under VC 23152(b), the prosecution must prove that:

  • You drove a vehicle; AND
  • You did so while having a BAC level of 0.08% or higher.

The second element of VC 23152(b) is actually much easier for the prosecutor to prove. In California, the chemical test determining BAC creates a rebuttable presumption that you were under the influence. This means that you are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is over 0.08% unless you can prove that you were not under the influence.

Second DUI Violation within 10 years (VC 23540)

If this is your second DUI conviction within 10 years, the only addition to the prosecution’s burden of proof is that it must show the prior conviction. This is as easy as pulling up your record. The real effect of a second DUI is in the punishment. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23540, a second DUI conviction is punished by:

  • Imprisonment in county jail for up to 364 days
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • A driver’s license suspension by the DMV for 2 years; AND
  • A driving re-education program

The court will also likely impose other fines and penalties for your second DUI conviction within 10 years.

How Can the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Help Me?

License suspended

Many people facing second DUI charges often think the evidence against them is overwhelmingly in the prosecution’s favor. That is not always the case. There are many ways to attack a DUI charge. The experienced DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are dedicated to getting you the best possible result for your case. Over the past 30 years, we have found several successful strategies.

Our first step in your DUI defense is always learning all of the circumstances of your case. There are many ways to attack the accuracy of the BAC test. For example, if the Breathalyzer that the police officer used was not properly calibrated, then we may be able to dispute the accuracy of the test results. Along with trying to disprove the case against you, we will always try to find ways to mitigate your punishment. Under Vehicle Code Sections 23542 and 23600, the court may place you on probation instead of a jail or prison sentence. We know that staying out of jail is important to you and we will fight for your freedom.

In addition, following your DUI arrest, the DMV may suspend your driver’s license. You only have 10 days after your arrest to request a DMV hearing to protest the suspension. If you miss this window to request a hearing, you waive your right to the DMV hearing and your driver’s license will be suspended. If you contact a Wallin & Klarich attorney today, we may be able to take the steps to prevent the DMV from suspending your driver’s license.

Call a DUI Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing a DUI conviction in California, you need to speak to a skilled and knowledgeable DUI defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our DUI lawyers have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges. If you are accused of a second DUI, we can help you avoid severe punishment and obtain the best possible result in your case.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Victorville and Ventura, our skilled DUI lawyers are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 so we can begin working on your case. We will get through this together.

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