Los Angeles Multiple or old DUI Convictions

DUIMost drivers understand that driving under the influence penalties increase when a person has prior DUI convictions on their record. In fact, the fourth DUI offense within a ten year period can be charged as a felony and those convicted can be sentenced to prison. While many drivers believe they only have to worry about DUI convictions occurring within the last ten years, prosecutors and law enforcement officers are aware of all DUI convictions on a driver’s record. Because of this, old DUI convictions can be harmful to a defendant’s current case regardless of when they occurred.

Mandatory Sentencing for Prior DUI

Under the law, mandatory sentencing provisions apply to defendants who are charged with DUI and who had one or more DUI conviction that occurred within the previous ten years. The conviction does not have to be for DUI and even reduced DUI charges such as wet reckless pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5 VC would count as a DUI for enhancement purposes. In addition, DUI and wet reckless convictions that were expunged pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC would also count as priors when considering a defendant’s current DUI charges.

Prior DUI convictions will trigger mandatory sentencing provisions on subsequent DUI cases. For a defendant’s second DUI, the law requires a mandatory 96 hours in jail, an 18-month alcohol education class and a yearlong license suspension. Drivers with two prior DUIs within the previous ten years face at least 120 days in jail and other criminal penalties. A fourth DUI is a felony that can result in a prison sentence.

In some cases, more than ten years may have passed since the defendant’s last DUI incident. While the law may technically treat the new DUI offense as a “first offense,” prosecutors and judges see this very differently. Prosecutors are very concerned with drivers who have prior DUI convictions, regardless of when they occurred. There is a concern that these drivers are unable or unwilling to refrain from driving drunk and therefore pose a serious threat to the general public. Even with DUI convictions falling beyond the 10-year lookback period, prosecutors may request conditions of bail such as requiring the defendant to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or requiring him or her to wear a alcohol monitoring device from SCRAM or another provider that would alert the court of any alcohol use by the defendant.

Prosecutors Seek Harsher Penalties for Multiple DUI Convictions

Prosecutors also tend to seek harsher penalties for defendants with prior DUI convictions, including jail time, longer alcohol education programs, mandatory IID installation and/or license suspensions, expensive court fines and community labor/community service.

In some cases, having a prior felony DUI conviction will automatically result in any subsequent offense being charged as a felony regardless of when the first conviction occurred. Under California Vehicle Code Section 233550.5(a) VC, a person is guilty of a felony if he or she is convicted of driving under the influence and was previously convicted of a felony level DUI in the previous ten years. In addition, if the defendant was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence in violation of California Penal Code Section 191.5(a) PC, vehicular manslaughter while under the influence pursuant to California Penal Code Section 191.5(b) PC or vehicular manslaughter involving a vessel under California Penal Code Section 192.5(a) PC he or she can be charged with a felony for any subsequent DUI regardless of when the previous felony occurred.

If you have been charged with DUI and are concerned about old DUI convictions on your record, it is imperative that you speak with a DUI attorney right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut understands how to effectively defend those charged with DUI crimes.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI and old DUI convictions, and to schedule your free consultation, contact us at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Written and updated by Attorney Michael Kraut.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.