Your 2nd DUI Offense in California: Quick Guide

August 19, 2021 by Seppi Esfandi in California  DUI  
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Second DUI? Time for an Attorney

In Los Angeles California, judges and prosecutors take DUI convictions seriously.

Getting convicted with a DUI the first time is a serious issue. So getting convicted a second time naturally brings worse consequences.

If a defendant was convicted with a DUI (again) within a 10 year period, then their new offense gets registered as a second offense.

But, if the defendant’s first conviction was outside California, then it is not considered a second offense.

Sentencing for Second Convictions

If you’re being convicted with a DUI a second time, you will spend an initial 96 hours in jail.

Also, you may receive five years of probation, along with the standard 10 year probation period for multiple DUI offenses.

Rehabilitation is also required. You will need to complete an 18-month SB-38 drug and alcohol education program.

It’s important to note, that in counties like Orange or Riverside, jail time may be more extensive for the second conviction.

What if a Defendant was Still on Probation for the First DUI?

Then it’ll be considered as a probation violation.

In that case, additional penalties will be imposed on the defendant. That excludes the fines and sentencing for second time offense penalties.

Driver License Suspension in Second-Time Offenses

If you got arrested for a first time offense, you’ll receive a four-month driver license suspension.

However, if it is your second offense, then the license suspension will be extended. The minimum suspension period for a second time DUI offence is a year.


  • With the Second DUI, the restricted license is not available automatically
  • But, it is possible for the driver to get a restricted license with an ignition interlock device installed. This is after serving 90 days of hard suspension.

What if a Defendant Refuses to Take a Blood Alcohol Test?

There are some consequences to that, which include:

  • Facing a license suspension period of two full years.
  • The restricted license option will not be available at all.

Important Questions About 2nd Time DUIs

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Is jail time mandatory for second DUIs?

A convict is subject to spend mandatory jail time from 96 hours, worst case up to one year.

Are DUI alcohol meetings mandatory?

If you get arrested for a second offense, you’ll need to attend a mandatory rehab program for 18 to 30 months.

Note: the judge may require you to attend other programs such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) programs, or others.

What does “Wet Reckless” mean?

The term “wet reckless” is another name for the California Vehicle Code section 23103 charge of reckless driving.

Wet Reckless is sometimes used by lawyers to get you a better deal. But, wet reckless still count as a prior offense.

Therefore, if you get convicted with another offense within 10 years, that offense will be considered your second and the penalties will be applied accordingly.

Can I Get Community Service instead of Mandatory Jail Time?

Generally the Judge cannot remove jail time for the second offense, but your attorney may go to bat for you and get a better deal.

Multiple DUI Chart

Multiple DUI Infographic Chart
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You Should Hire An Attorney

If you get arrested for a second offense, then get in touch with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer and fast. Your lawyer will tell you how to navigate the situation. Also, they will try to get you the best possible outcome in court. Deal with your second time DUI offense, and contact us now!

With more than 20 years of experience, the Esfandi Law Group’s Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will fight hard for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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Lara S.
December 3, 2019
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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