Second DUI Penalties in California


The DUI penalties depends on whether it is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd  DUI conviction.
If a person is convicted of a second violation of DUI law, that person shall be punished pursuant to relevant provisions of California Vehicle Code. The second conviction mostly is considered to be a misdemeanor.

The second conviction may involve the following penalties:

  • imprisonment in the county jail up to 1-year with “mandatory minimum” of 96 hours
  • by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), plus penalty assessments, for a total of $1500 to $2000,
  • informal probation from three to five years
  • a 18-30 months court-approved alcohol and/or drug education program (a person convicted of a 2nd DUI conviction within a 10-year period is required to attend a state-licensed and approved 18 month multiple offender alcohol and drug program)
  • a 1-year driver’s license suspension

A second time DUI conviction may be removed from the person’s permanent criminal record in case of expungement. It is possible to expunge a DUI conviction while you correspond to the following requirements:

  • The penalty was probation
  • It was successfully completed.

The DUI conviction can affect a person car insurance. It is possible that the car insurance will not be renewed without SR 22 insurance certificate. However, most likely the cost of your car insurance will go up.
It should be noted that the penalty depends on the aggravating circumstances as well. The most common aggravating circumstances can  be having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15% or higher, refusal to submit to a chemical test, having children under the age of 14 in the car, being under 21 at the time of committing DUI and so on. The influence of these circumstances on the conviction depends on the objective circumstances of the arrest as well as the criminal history of the convicted.
In addition, the court may require that a person convicted of a second offense violation of DUI install a certified ignition interlock device on any vehicle that the person owns or operates and prohibit that person from operating a motor vehicle unless that vehicle is equipped with a functioning, certified ignition interlock device. If a person has a medical problem that does not permit the person to breathe with sufficient strength to activate the device, then that person shall only have the suspension option.

On a second conviction under DUI offense, the court shall order the driver to participate in, and successfully complete, an alcohol or drug education and counseling program, or both an alcohol and a drug education and counseling program.

Any person who drives a vehicle 30 or more miles per hour over the maximum, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the maximum, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway, during the commission of a violation of DUI shall, in addition, be punished by an additional and consecutive term of 60 days in the county jail.

Each subsequent conviction within will increase jail time, the fines or license suspension. On the fourth DUI conviction, California laws automatically increase the DUI to a felony charge.


The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. If you have faced accusations of DUI, it is essential to contact an experienced California defense attorney who is will provide legal assistance. We handle every aspect of your case, from the very start through the very last court hearing, all for a flat fee agreed upon before we begin.

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000

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