(a) A person is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or confinement in a county jail for not more than one year and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) if that person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, and the offense occurred within 10 years of any of the following:
(1) A separate violation of Section 23152 that was punished as a felony under Section 23550 or this section, or both, or under former Section 23175 or former Section 23175.5, or both.
(2) A separate violation of Section 23153 that was punished as a felony.
(3) A separate violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code that was punished as a felony.
(b) Each person who, having previously been convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 191.5 of the Penal Code, a felony violation of subdivision (b) of Section 191.5, or a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 192.5 of the Penal Code, is subsequently convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or confinement in a county jail for not more than one year and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(c) The privilege to operate a motor vehicle of a person convicted of a violation that is punishable under subdivision (a) or (b) shall be revoked by the department pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352, unless paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352 is also applicable, in which case the privilege shall be revoked under that provision. The court shall require the person to surrender the driver’s license to the court in accordance with Section 13550.
(d) A person convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 that is punishable under this section shall be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of three years, subsequent to the conviction. The person shall be advised of this designation under subdivision (b) of Section 13350.
Facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in California, especially with a prior felony conviction, underscores the need for immediate legal attention. As outlined in California Vehicle Code 23550.5, a DUI coupled with a previous felony DUI conviction could escalate the severity of your penalties. Given this landscape, it becomes paramount to arm yourself with in-depth knowledge about the potential consequences and to judiciously evaluate your legal avenues. Turn to us for robust guidance: our seasoned team is primed to offer unparalleled expertise, ensuring you’re equipped to traverse this demanding legal terrain.
Enhanced Penalties for DUI With Prior Felony Conviction
If you have a prior felony conviction, it’s important to understand that a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge is considered an aggravated offense. As a result, the penalties for a subsequent DUI are significantly more severe than for a first-time offense. This distinction is based on the belief that individuals with past felony convictions have demonstrated disregard for the law and pose an elevated risk to public safety.
For those with a prior felony DUI conviction, the consequences of being convicted for another DUI can be substantial. According to California Vehicle Code 23550.5, individuals in this situation face enhanced penalties, which include:
- A mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail, significantly longer than the 48 hours for a first-time DUI offense
- A mandatory minimum of 18 months in a DUI education program, in contrast to the three-month program for a first-time DUI offense
- License suspension or revocation for a duration of up to four years
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for a period of up to three years
- Potential impoundment of the vehicle involved
- Fines and fees that can exceed $1,000
In addition to these heightened penalties, a DUI conviction with a prior felony conviction can have lasting repercussions. It could negatively impact employment prospects, housing options, and even the ability to secure loans.
Fortunately, if you find yourself facing a DUI charge with a prior felony DUI conviction, you still have legal options available for your defense. Seeking the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. A skilled attorney can help you navigate through the process and develop a strategic defense tailored to your unique circumstances.
Some potential defenses that an attorney may explore include challenging the legality of the traffic stop or arrest, questioning the accuracy of field sobriety tests, breath tests, or blood tests, arguing that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or negotiating a plea bargain for reduced charges or penalties.
Remember, working with an attorney who specializes in DUI defense can significantly impact the outcome of your case. By carefully examining the details of your arrest and charges, an experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and advocate for the best possible resolution.
Call the Inland Empire Criminal Defense Team
For top-tier legal representation, connect with the Inland Empire Criminal Defense Team. If you or someone close to you faces a DUI charge compounded by a prior felony conviction, it’s imperative to act swiftly. Don’t navigate the complex waters of California’s DUI laws alone—rely on our seasoned criminal defense team. We’re eager to offer a complimentary consultation, delving into your legal options and arming you with critical insights. Our track record, boasting years of successfully defending California clients against DUI charges, underscores our unwavering commitment to championing your rights and liberties. Launch your defense by engaging with our experts at 909.281.0391.