Beverly Hills DUI Penalty Enhancements
Being convicted in court on a Driving Under the Influence offense in Beverly Hills can potentially carry a host of additional punishments if one of a number of different penalty enhancements is found to apply. The following list includes some of the most common DUI penalty enhancements alleged in the Beverly Hills area.1. Prior Convictions for DUI
Having a prior conviction or multiple prior convictions is the most common way that a penalty enhancement can be tacked on to a current Beverly Hills DUI conviction. The prior DUI offense must have occurred within the previous ten years. Convictions for driving under the influence under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC, driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC and also wet reckless convictions under California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5 VC will be considered qualifying priors.
The prior conviction can be from any county in California and can also be DUI convictions from other states. The effect of the enhancement will depend on how many qualifying prior convictions the defendant has.
- When the defendant has one prior DUI conviction on his or her record that occurred within ten years of the current offense, he or she would be sent to jail for a minimum of 96 hours. This defendant would have to complete an 18-month alcohol program and would lose his or her driving privileges for an entire year.
- When a defendant has two prior qualifying DUI convictions, he or she will be sent to jail for at least 120 days and would have to take the 30 month alcohol education program.
- When a defendant has three or more prior DUI convictions, he or she can be charged with felony DUI or with a misdemeanor. If charged with the felony, the defendant would face up to three years in prison. If charged with a misdemeanor, the sentencing judge could send the defendant to jail for up to a year.
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23582 VC, jail sentences can significantly increase for any defendant who was driving recklessly and at excessive speeds. The district attorney must be able to prove that the defendant was travelling at least 30 mph in excess of the speed limit on the freeway or at least 20 mph in excess of the speed limit on any other road at the time he or she was under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. In addition, the district attorney would have to show that the defendant’s driving was reckless under the law. This reckless conduct must be separate from the speeding and can consist of aggressively cutting of other drivers, engaging in racing or playing chicken with other drivers.3. Beverly Hills Having a Passenger Under 14 in the Vehicle - California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC
If the defendant had a minor under the age of 14 in his or her vehicle at the time of the DUI offense, he or she may face additional penalties under the California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC penalty enhancement. The additional penalty will depend on the number of prior DUI convictions the defendant has. Two additional days in jail will be assessed on a first time DUI conviction, 10 days for someone with one prior DUI, 30 days for someone with two prior DUIs and 90 days for someone with three or more DUI convictions who are not charged with felony DUI. In addition, the defendant could also be charged criminally with child endangerment under California Penal Code Section 273(a) PC, which is potentially a felony that can carry significant prison sentences.
There are other factors that can trigger penalty enhancements on Beverly Hills DUI convictions. If the defendant had a BAC of .15 or above or if he or she refused testing, that defendant may be required to take a longer alcohol education class or may be sentenced to community labor, community service or additional time in jail.
If you have been arrested for a Beverly Hills DUI offense and are potentially facing an additional penalty enhancement, it is crucial that you consult with a Beverly Hills DUI Lawyer right away. Beverly Hills DUI Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is highly respected as a fierce litigator who knows how to effectively fight DUI allegations.
For more information about Beverly Hills DUI penalty enhancements, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Beverly Hills DUI Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 660B, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3220. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 310-550-6935.