Second DUI in Los Angeles

Getting arrested for a second DUI in Los Angeles can be a very difficult experience, as the city is known for having some of the harshest penalties in the State for repeat-DUI offenses. It is important to be informed about the significant consequences of a second DUI arrest in Los Angeles.

2nd DUI in Los Angeles Penalties

A 2nd DUI arrest in California, particularly in Los Angeles, may result in serious penalties including jail time, community service, fines, classes, probation, breathalyzer requirements, license suspension, AA and MADD meetings, DNA testing, visiting the Hospital and Morgue (HAM) etc.

Los Angeles 2nd DUI: Mandatory Jail Time

For a 2nd DUI offense, jail time is required with a range of 96 hours to one year. In Los Angeles, prosecutors are known to seek harsh penalties including substantial jail time, and the minimum 96 hours is rarely offered. Usually, a 2nd DUI in Los Angeles results in an offer starting from 60 to 90 days in jail, or even longer.

Los Angeles is known for imposing harsh jail sentences. However, for most second DUI cases in the city, it is possible to avoid jail time through alternatives such as electronic monitoring or “house arrest”. This option allows the defendant to live at home and go to work, instead of serving time in jail. However, the availability of house arrest depends on the individual’s application and qualifications, as approved by the Los Angeles probation department.

We have been very successful in either eliminating the jail time, dramatically lowering it, or getting our client house arrest instead of county jail time on second offense DUIs in Los Angeles.  Each court has different protocols for second offense DUIs and knowing how each judge and courtroom operates is critical to your success.  We use our decades’ long relationships with courts and prosecutors to achieve impressive victories for our clients.


2nd Offense DUI Probation

In Los Angeles, a 2nd DUI results in probation lasting 4 to 5 years. Probation is informal, so there is no need to report to a probation officer or face travel restrictions. This is also known as “summary probation.” However, all laws must be obeyed and no driving with any detectable level of alcohol is allowed, otherwise a violation of probation may occur which can cause significant jail time. 

2nd Offense DUI Fines

Fines for a 2nd DUI can be substantial, ranging from $1800 to $20,000. The good news is that we have a high success rate in obtaining the minimum fine, even in challenging cases. The court provides ample time for payment and offers payment plans.  In cases where our client wants to avoid the fine altogether, we can typically substitute community service for the fine.

Other Potential Penalties

Additional penalties may include:

  • -An 18-month weekly alcohol class known as SB 38
  • -A 1-year driver’s license suspension
  • -AA meetings weekly for the length of probation
  • -MADD class
  • -Mandatory ignition interlock device installation
  • -No consuming alcohol or drugs at all – even at home.
  • -DNA swab
  • -Community service
  • -Community labor, etc.

2nd DUI Offense: What to Expect

The Prosecution’s case against you:

  1. 1. The prosecution will attempt to prove that you were the driver of the vehicle, even if no one witnessed it (such as in a car accident where the police arrive after the driving has occurred).
  2. 2. That you were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both while driving.
  3. 3. That your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or above at the time of driving.
  4. 4. That you have a prior DUI arrest and conviction within the past 10 years, regardless of the state in which the arrest took place (not limited to California).

They will use police reports as evidence of driving and impairment. Police officer’s statements in their own police reports are considered evidence. Many people believe that without video or dashcam footage, the police and DA cannot prove their case. This is untrue however. The statements from the officer, even without any video confirming them, are considered evidence sufficient to convict someone of a 2nd offense DUI.

From The DMV

The DMV will suspend your driver’s license automatically unless we request a hearing within 10 days of the arrest. This hearing will give us the opportunity to challenge the case and try to have the suspension lifted. A second DUI offense in Los Angeles usually results in a one-year suspension, but it may be longer if you refused a breathalyzer test.  In most cases, someone arrested for a second offense DUI can continue to drive during the one year suspension period if they install a breathalyzer in their car.   

How to Fight Your 2nd DUI in Los Angeles

Our defense strategy for a 2nd DUI in Los Angeles involves several aggressive tactics. We start by contacting the DMV to protect your driving privileges and ordering police reports. After we’ve received all evidence, we challenge various aspects of the case in court. All evidence, including video/audio recordings and 911 calls, is subpoenaed for review. We analyze the evidence for weaknesses and present a defense that highlights your good moral character. We also demonstrate the potential negative impact a DUI conviction could have on your life.

We utilize forensic toxicologists to examine the accuracy of the BAC test results and private investigators to secure additional evidence such as CCTV footage or witness statements. Our defense strategy is aggressive and fluid, and our track record of success shows that we customize the strongest defense strategy for each unique case.

2nd DUI Offense FAQs

Will a second DUI ruin my life?

A second DUI in Los Angeles can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. We’ll work with you to contest the charges and minimize the impact. Even if a conviction can’t be avoided, we can help you get your record expunged later. Our goal is to help you regain your license and protect your employment and livelihood.

How bad is a second DUI?

A second DUI offense in Los Angeles is more difficult than a first as the consequences are more severe, but it is not necessarily “bad.” We can often minimize the impact on your life by greatly reducing the punishment and fixing your driving privileges so you can continue to live your life and go to work. 

What happens after your second DUI?

Our firm handles the entire process from start to finish, eliminating any guesswork for our clients. We manage both DMV and court hearings, and in most cases, you won’t need to attend court. We’ll guide you every step of the way, aggressively fighting for the best possible outcome while giving you peace of mind with the knowledge that you have a top-notch defense team on your side.

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