Second Offense DUI

California Vehicle Code 23540; California Vehicle Code 23542

In court, someone who is convicted of a Second DUI faces:

FINES: A base fine of $390 – $1,000. Usually, the prosecutor will ask for a higher base fine on a second offense. Prosecutors may offer $390 or up to $500, but that’s only the base fine. That amount is then substantially increased by penalties and assessments. It comes out to somewhere around $2,300 in LA county, and it’s over $3,500 in Ventura county.

JAIL: The minimum jail time on a second offense DUI is 96 hours of the county jail, with probation. Your attorney may request to break up the 96 hours into two 48 hour increments, which can be completed over the weekend at a  private jail if permitted by the court. This must be permitted by the Judge and is waived if not requested. There is a maximum of one year in county jail for a second offense. This is important to note because even though most people don’t have to serve much jail time on a second offense DUI, they must know that if they violate the terms of their probation, they subject themselves to a maximum punishment of jail time. In Santa Barbara County, the courts notify defendants at the time of a plea, that they will do a certain amount of jail time if they violate the terms of their probation.

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Someone who is convicted of a second DUI, must complete an 18 month alcohol program, known as the SB38. This program is significantly longer and much more burdensome than the first offender program. A skilled DUI attorney from The Law Office of Ben Mironer can fight to reduce your DUI charges, and potential prevent you from having to take an 18 month alcohol program. If your attorney can reduce your second offense DUI charges to a Wet Reckless driving, then you will not be required to complete the SB38 alcohol program. Prosecutors make it much more difficult to get your second offense DUI charges reduced because they know how burdensome the 18 month alcohol program requirement is. Our office has had many successful results, where our clients charged with a second offense DUI, never had to complete the SB38 alcohol program.


The mandatory action by the DMV is the required suspension that automatically starts the day someone is convicted of a second DUI, in court. The mandatory action suspension on a second offense DUI is a two year drivers license suspension. There is an opportunity to get a restricted drivers license. After 90 days, a second offender may obtain a restricted drivers license under California Vehicle Code 13352. The DMV must receive proof that an Ignition Interock Device (IID) was installed, along with proof of insurance, and proof of enrollment in the sb38. Once an IID is installed, the licensee can drive anywhere at any time. Another option is to get a restricted license, without an IID, after 12 months. This is permitted under California Vehicle Code 13352.5, and allows the licensee to drive to work and back, and to the alcohol program and back.

On the DMV side, someone who lost their DMV hearing faces:

ADMINISTRATIVE DRIVERS LICENSE SUSPENSION:The administrative action by the DMV, is the suspension that the DMV hearing officer decides whether to impose, after an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing is conducted. The license suspension associated with a second offense administrative action is a one year suspension, with no eligibility for a restricted license. However, if you are convicted in court of the second offense, you may get the restricted license under California Vehicle Code 13352 or 13352.5. Only a knowledgeable DUI attorney can inform you of all of your options. An attorney at The Law Office of Ben Mironer will fight your case in court and at the DMV, all while keeping you informed about the proceedings and your legal rights.

REFUSAL: The consequences for a refusal in court, on a second offense, are worse than a regular second DUI. Aside from the sentencing enhancement, it is an enhancing factor that the prosecutor considers in making an offer. An attorney at The Law Office of Ben Mironer can truly help someone charged with a Refusal, because these cases tend to have less evidence for a prosecutor. In a second offense, a person facing mandatory jail if they plead guilty, may find it worthwhile to take their chances at trial. It is usually more difficult to prove levels of impairment, without chemical evidence. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney that the prosecutors know will not hesitate to take a good case to trial.

The suspension from the DMV

The suspension from the DMV is a one year driving suspension for the Refusal, and another year for the second DUI. This means no driving at all for TWO years. Unlike a regular administrative suspension, a suspension for a refusal cant be reversed in criminal court, even if found to be not guilty after trial. The only way to reverse a DMV suspension for a Refusal, is to petition the California Superior Court with a Petition for Writ of Mandate. Our office is proud to be one of the few offices in California to have the Superior Court grant our petitions for writ of mandate. Another key note is that these suspensions (Court and DMV) do not run concurrently, which means if you start serving one, you dont accumulate credit for the other one. Each suspension basically starts a no driving suspension.


UNDER AGE 21 DUI: Someone who is under 21 must follow Californias zero tolerance laws. A DUI either under California Vehicle Code 23152, California Vehicle Code 23140 (.05% – .07% BAC), or California Vehicle Code 23136 carries a mandatory action of a one year drivers license suspension, on a second offense as well. On the DMV side, the licensee again faces a one year administrative drivers license suspension. A request to run the suspensions concurrently must be made with the court, otherwise it is waived. The court has discretion to run these suspensions at the same time, and they usually will allow that. On a good note, after 30 days of suspension, a licensee has an opportunity to get a critical need restricted drivers license from the DMV. This request must be approved by the DMV and by the Court. The case has to be put on calendar in court, to request permission from the Judge. The licensee must also complete an application and submit it to the DMV. The application must give detailed responses as to why there is a critical need for licensee to drive. Typically, there must be a substantial need to drive, and the DMV often limits the amount of driving permitted under the critical need restricted license.

A seasoned second DUI attorney from the Law Office of Ben Mironer knows how critical it is in second DUI cases to keep a close eye on how the court case impacts the DMV side, and vice versa. This is one of the reasons its imperative to hire an attorney that focuses on second DUI defense. An attorney from our office will help ease your mind by explaining all of the legal issues in your case. For more information.