DUI With Prior Convictions in Anaheim

If you have previously been convicted of driving under the influence and you are charged yet again, you are bound to face harsher treatment for everything from bail to sentencing for the new charge and conviction. Any instance where you might have driven a vehicle while having a BAC of over 0.08%, or being under the influence of drugs constitutes a DUI. Anything from DMV records to court records will be utilized to prove the existence of prior DUI offenses.

Generally, the more prior convictions you have, the harsher the penalties will be. Likewise, the California legislature has written law requiring a fourth DUI offense (within 10 years) to be charged as a felony DUI. This is also the case of your DUI was the direct cause of an injury or death.

What counts as a prior conviction?

A prior conviction needs to have happened within a 10-year period from arrest date to arrest date. If the conviction happened outside the 10-year window, then it will not count as a prior conviction.

Under California Vehicle Code Sections 23536 through 23552, a violation of VC 23152 within 10 years of a previous violation of 23152 constitutes qualifies a driver for a “prior” DUI. California DUI convictions that count as prior convictions include violation of the following VC 23152 sections:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher in violation of California VC 23152(b)
  • DUI in violation of California VC 23152(a)
  • DUI with injury in violation of California VC 23153 and
  • Alcohol involved recklessly driving, in violation of California VC 23103.5

Whether or not you have been convicted and sentenced for a prior DUI, the judge will consider the previous charge as a ‘DUI prior’ and use it to make a decision about the new conviction and penalties.

For example, if you have a first DUI charge that has not yet been concluded and you are arrested for a different DUI charge shortly after the first incident, the judge will consider the new charge as a 2ndDUI or a DUI with one prior. Furthermore, if you already have one DUI and are involved in an accident while driving under the influence, you can face harsher penalties – especially if you injure or kill another person in the process of committing the crime.

A common defense for a DUI, with or without prior convictions, is that the testing to prove that you were under the influence while driving was done improperly or incorrectly. The tests administered to prove intoxication include blood tests, breath tests, and in certain situations, urine tests. If the results of the test indicating intoxication are in question, then they might not be trusted and could be used as a defense. Another possible defense is that the officer who stopped you did not have probable cause to do so. In order to stop someone, the officer must have had a reasonable case that the possibility of being involved in criminal activity was present. If it was not, then that could also be used as a defense for a DUI.

Whether you have a prior DUI or not, it is very important to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you with your case. Call the Johnson Criminal Law Group today to schedule an appointment and get help on your DUI case now.

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