Pasadena DUI Penalty Enhancements
While the California Vehicle Code sets forth specific penalties for those convicted of a Pasadena DUI offense, there are a variety of DUI penalty enhancements that will significantly increase the punishment assessed for any DUI conviction. The following conditions, if present, will extend the amount of time the defendant has to spend in jail and may add additional requirements of probation.1. Prior DUI Convictions
Having one or more prior DUI conviction within the previous 10 years is one of the most common penalty enhancements alleged in Pasadena. These convictions can be for any DUI offense in California as well as comparable driving under the influence convictions from other jurisdictions. A prior DUI conviction under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC or California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC can be used as an enhancement. Even prior convictions for wet reckless pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5 VC will be considered priorable offenses.
The number of priorable DUI-related offenses a defendant has on his or her record will affect the punishment on a subsequent DUI in the following ways:
- A defendant can be sentenced to a minimum of 96 hours in jail when he or she has one prior DUI-related conviction within the previous ten years. In addition, the defendant would have to attend the SB-38 (18 month) alcohol education program and would face a yearlong driver’s license suspension.
- A defendant can face at least 120 days in jail when he or she has two prior DUI convictions within the last ten years. The defendant would also be required to attend the 30 month alcohol class.
- A defendant with three or more DUI convictions can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. If convicted of the felony, the maximum penalty is three years in prison. If the case is filed as a misdemeanor, the defendant may be sentenced to serve up to a year in jail as well as being subject to extensive probation conditions.
In Pasadena, 60 additional days in jail can be assessed for any defendant violating the California Vehicle Code Section 23582 VC speed enhancement. This enhancement applies if the defendant was driving 30 mph over the speed limit on the freeway or 20 mph over the speed limit on any other road when driving while impaired. Simply driving at an excessive speed by itself is not enough for this penalty enhancement to apply. In addition, the prosecutor must be able to show that the driver engaged in reckless driving conduct. Courts have defined reckless driving as something beyond ordinary carelessness that shows a disregard for the safety of others on the road. The type of driving conduct can include aggressively cutting off other drivers, racing other vehicles on the road or driving directly at oncoming cars.3. California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC - Having a Passenger Under 14 in the Vehicle
Another penalty enhancement that will significantly increase the jail time imposed for a Pasadena DUI conviction is defined under California Vehicle Code Section 23572 VC and applies where the driver had a passenger under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time of the offense. This enhancement will add an additional 48 hours in custody for a defendant’s first DUI offense. If the defendant has one prior DUI on his or her record, an extra 10 days will be assessed. For a defendant’s third DUI, this penalty enhancement will add 30 days to the underlying sentence and 90 days where the defendant has three or more prior DUI convictions within the previous ten years. A defendant in this situation may also risk being prosecuted for child endangerment under California Penal Code Section 273(a) PC. This offense is a wobbler which can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Other factors can also affect the sentence imposed for a Pasadena DUI offense. Where the driver had a blood alcohol content of .15 percent or above or if the driver refused breath or blood testing, additional penalties such as jail time, a longer alcohol education program or community labor and/or service may be required.
If you have been charged with a Pasadena DUI offense and there is an additional penalty enhancement alleged, it is very important that you speak with a Pasadena DUI Attorney immediately. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Pasadena DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut is highly respected by judges, prosecutors and law enforcement as a dedicated advocate who knows how to effectively fight DUI cases.
For more information about Pasadena DUI penalty enhancements, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Pasadena DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 626-345-1899.