Citizens Protected by California Look-Back Period

A DUI conviction carries serious penalties, and if you are unfortunate enough to be found guilty and have to go through the legal repercussions once, you likely never want to have to do it again. That may be for the best, since the penalties for a second DUI conviction get even more severe and can include the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your car in addition to larger fines and mandatory jail time.

However, there is a limit as to how long a previous DUI conviction can be held against you. California has instituted “look-back period” laws which mandate that a previous DUI charge only counts towards being a repeat-offense for 10 years.

What does this mean? Say you have been arrested for a DUI once before, back in 2003. If you are arrested and charged with DUI again today, in 2016, your previous charge does not necessarily count against you as a “repeat offender.” When this is the case, it is strongly recommended that you retain the services of a Los Angeles DUI attorney, who can help ensure that this is the case.

A DUI Doesn’t Necessarily Leave Your Record

A DUI that is outside the 10-year period doesn’t necessarily leave forever — your permanent criminal record still gets factored in to any subsequent sentencing judgements. A judge will usually consider all of the evidence and any previous convictions when handing down your sentence. For example, because you have that previous DUI conviction, a judge may still charge you as though this most recent conviction is a first offense, but will levy the maximum penalties in terms of fines and jail time, which may be higher than your first offense.

A skilled DUI lawyer is vitally important to your defense, especially for repeat charges. Penalties for a second infraction can include full license revocation, probation periods, alcohol education classes, and fines and penalty assessments that will likely be in excess of $1,000. Additionally, a second conviction would result in a mandatory ignition interlock device installation for a minimum period of one year. An experienced legal advocate on your side can help you avoid some or even all of these penalties by utilizing all available evidence to help you create a hard-hitting defense strategy customized to your individual case.

Hutton & Wilson is Los Angeles DUI firm with their office based out of Pasadena. Attorneys Richard Hutton and Robert Wilson opened their firm together in 1997, and have dedicated their entire practice to DUI defense. Together, they bring more than 65 years of combined experience to the table and a case record filled with numerous success stories.

If you have been arrested and are facing DUI charges, whether a first or any subsequent offenses, contact Hutton & Wilson online or by phone at 310-651-7177 and receive a free initial case evaluation today.