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Second-Offense DUI in California

California drivers arrested for a second DUI offense within 10 years face harsh repercussions at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV will attempt to suspend the driver's license in what is known as an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing. However, this process is not automatic. An experienced California DUI defense lawyer in San Francisco will develop a plan to fight for the individual's driving privileges.

Motorists arrested for Driving Under the Influence have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing at the California DMV. If the driver doesn't request a hearing within 10 days, California DMV will automatically begin the process of suspending a driver's license.

The punishment the Department of Motor Vehicles will mete out to drivers with multiple DUI arrests depends on whether the motorist refused to take a chemical test. A driver arrested for a second DUI within 10 years who agreed to a chemical test faces a one-year license suspension and the requirement to file formal proof of insurance (an SR-22) with the California DMV for the next three years. The motorist also is required to enroll in alcohol education classes. The driver may be entitled to a restricted license that allows travel to work and alcohol education classes.

It is best to have a California criminal defense attorney with vast experience in DUI and DMV cases on your side if you want to minimize the consequences against your license. Seek a free evaluation from The Law Office of Robert Tayac, San Francisco DUI lawyers and drunk driving defense attorneys if you want to fight the Department of Motor Vehicles and protect your driving privileges.

Second-time DUI offender who refused a chemical test face more severe consequences. Motorists who refuse a chemical test also face a license suspension of one year, but will not be given a restricted license. The driver must file an SR-22 form in order to have the license reinstated at the end of the suspension period.

The California DMV hearing officer must establish three facts in order to suspend a driver's license - that the arresting officer had a reasonable belief that a crime had been committed, that the arrest was lawful, and that the driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or more. A skilled California DUI criminal defense attorney will challenge all three of these allegations.

Any punishment triggered by an unsuccessful Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing hearing is separate from the consequences that stem from California criminal court conviction. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend a driver's license for two years upon learning of a second drunk driving conviction within 10 years. This suspension is concurrent with, not in addition to, any APS suspension. The DMV also will require the installation of an ignition interlock device and attendance at an 18- to 30-month alcohol education class.

Even though motorists with multiple DUI / DWI offenses within 10 years can risk losing their licenses, both the criminal court and the California DMV case can be successfully challenged. A skilled Northern California DUI defense attorney will defend the driver aggressively at both the California DMV and in criminal court, and fight to retain the driver's license.

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