Under California law, a second DUI conviction carries harsher penalties than a first DUI offense. If this isn’t your first offense, hiring the right DUI attorney is crucial.

At Seyb Law Group, our lawyers have extensive criminal defense experience. They have helped numerous Californians in Orange County and surrounding areas defend themselves against drunk driving charges, including repeat offenders. Your DUI defense lawyer will work tirelessly to get your second offense DUI charges reduced or dismissed altogether.

Contact Seyb Law Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

You Need a Top DUI Attorney for Your Second DUI Offense

Choosing the right attorney to represent your case is vital when facing charges for a serious crime like drunk driving. The most effective DUI lawyer understands California DUI laws and the criminal justice system. Your lawyer should be prepared to analyze every aspect of your case, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and present a strong defense.

At Seyb Law Group, our legal team provides clients the personalized attention they deserve. Our extensive legal resources and proven history of success in defending DUI cases set us apart from other Southern California DUI firms.

DUI laws in California are complex and constantly changing. If your attorney doesn’t have a clear understanding of these laws’ intricacies, you may suffer the consequences. Our seasoned attorneys are passionate and aggressive, helping hundreds of Californians get their charges reduced or dismissed.

We don’t pass DUIs off to junior attorneys — when you hire Seyb Law Group, you work directly with a top Orange County criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience with DUI in California. Contact Seyb Law Group today for a free initial consultation.

Understanding California Law for a Drunk Driving Offense

In California, it is illegal to operate motor vehicles if you are under the influence of alcohol and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. A person under 21 or driving a commercial vehicle is subject to stricter standards under the California Vehicle Code.

California Vehicle § Code 23152 (a) VC

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime in Orange County under Vehicle Code 23152 (a) VC. Driving “under the influence” means that your physical or mental abilities have been impaired to the point that you are unable to drive as carefully as a sober driver. This DUI law allows motorists to be prosecuted even if their blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.

Consequences of a Second DUI Conviction in California

second dui attorney

Second DUI

Most second-offense DUI convictions are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses in California. Still, ultimately, the criminal penalties imposed for a second drunk driving offense are up to the prosecution and the court. Penalty assessments include mandatory jail time, DUI school, license suspension, and other criminal and administrative penalties.

In most cases, the standard penalties for a second DUI conviction in Orange County include the following:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines, plus additional fees and costs
  • Mandatory minimum jail sentence of 96 hours up to a maximum of one year
  • Two-year California driver’s license suspension, plus administrative suspension for DUI offenses involving a BAC of 0.08% or more
  • Three to five years of DUI probation
  • 18 to 30 months of DUI classes

Additionally, certain aggravating factors can result in harsher penalties for a second DUI in California. These include being charged with a DUI speeding enhancement, having a BAC of 0.15% or higher, driving under the influence with a child in the car, or injuring someone in a DUI accident.

Additional Punishments for Second DUI Offenses

In addition to the standard DUI penalties, a second offense DUI conviction can hold harsher penalties in some circumstances.

For example, second DUI offenders may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car as part of their Orange County DUI penalties. An IID, a small device wired to the car’s ignition that requires a breath sample before starting the car, may also be required if:

  • You refused the chemical test
  • You had moving violations prior to the DUI offense
  • You had a BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • You’ve been convicted in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Alameda or Tulare Counties

What To Do After an Arrest for a Second DUI in California

Second DUI in California

Second DUI in California

When facing second DUI charges in California, your freedom is at stake. It’s crucial to understand your legal rights and remember that anything you do or say following an arrest can be used against you in court.

The two most critical things to do after second offense DUI arrests are:

  1. Remain silent: Remember that you have rights, even when under arrest or if you have criminal history, including the right to remain silent. Avoid making incriminating statements that could make your situation worse. You are not obligated to answer police questions without your lawyer present.
  2. Contact a knowledgeable DUI attorney: After being arrested for drunk driving, your first course of action should be to hire an aggressive and competent DUI lawyer who will immediately begin working on your defense. The most effective defense strategy in a DUI case is to prepare early. For the best possible defense in your California drunk driving case, contact a DUI defense attorney immediately following your arrest.

DMV Hearing and Criminal Court

When you are arrested for drunk driving in Orange County, you will face two separate proceedings: an administrative hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and a criminal court case.

After the arrest itself, the officer will take your driver’s license and issue you a temporary permit, usually good for 30 days. You will then have only 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV, the sole purpose of which is to decide on the suspension or revocation of your license.

According to the California DMV website, the hearing “is an administrative proceeding regarding your driving privilege and the circumstances surrounding the arrest, not whether you are innocent or guilty of a criminal act.”

The good news is, if you win the hearing, you can avoid having your driver’s license suspended, although this result will have no bearing on the outcome of your criminal case. However, if you miss the deadline to request a DMV hearing, you will forfeit the ability to challenge the suspension and your license will automatically be suspended at the end of the 30-day period.

The criminal aspect of your DUI case is completely independent of the DMV hearing, but if you hire a private attorney, he or she will most likely represent you at both the hearing and the criminal trial.

Defense Strategies if You’ve Had a Prior DUI Conviction

Under California criminal law, you have the right to defend yourself against any criminal charges you are facing, including a second-time DUI. In California drunk driving cases, there are several legal strategies your attorney can use to defend you against a DUI conviction that could affect the rest of your life.

A DUI defense lawyer with experience representing prior DUI clients in Southern California will have extensive knowledge of Orange County DUI law and valuable information about which defense strategies are most effective in Orange County DUI cases, thereby improving your chances of a favorable outcome in your case.

Some potential DUI charge defenses your attorney may be able to use in your case include the following:

  • The DUI arrest was unlawful
  • You successfully performed the Field Sobriety Tests
  • The Field Sobriety Tests were conducted improperly
  • The BAC results from the breathalyzer test were inaccurate
  • Evidence relating to the blood or breath test was mishandled by police
  • The arresting officer did not have probable cause to make the initial stop

How Hiring a Second DUI Attorney Can Help You

Second DUI Lawyer

Second DUI Lawyer

Anyone or more of these defenses can be used in your Orange County second offense DUI case. However, the defense strategy your attorney decides to present in court will depend on the exact details of your DUI charge and case.

DUI cases differ greatly, so hiring an experienced DUI attorney who represents Orange County drunk driving cases can significantly improve your chances of achieving a favorable verdict. Your attorney will help you by doing the following:

  • Researching, preparing, filing, and arguing motions to exclude evidence, take the focus off your previous DUI, or dismiss the case
  • Outline all possible legal defenses for your case and determine which defense is the strongest
  • Take your case to trial and argue any holes in the prosecution’s case or the existence of reasonable doubt
  • Provide the court with information about you, your career, and your character as mitigating evidence
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor with the goal of getting your charges reduced, securing a plea bargain, or minimizing your punishment

Contact the DUI defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group and let our legal team protect you from significant penalties for a second DUI.


If you are facing charges for a second DUI offense, hiring the right DUI attorney is crucial. In California, a second DUI conviction carries harsher penalties than a first DUI conviction. Hiring the right DUI attorney is crucial if this is not your first offense.

The reputable Orange County criminal defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group can ensure that your legal rights are protected and improve your chances of getting the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation and let us help you avoid DUI penalties.

Submit Your Case
Can't call? Message attorney Spencer Seyb directly and we'll respond to your inquiry promptly.

    Seyb Law
    Seyb Law Group
    law firm
    Recently got into trouble this past year and I was fearing for the worst, but Spencer and his team achieved the best possible outcome for my scenario. Very professional and straight to the point on what will most likely happen with your case. Thank you guys so much.
    Jose R.
    If you’ve been charged with a crime in
    Orange County, call Seyb Law Group at:

    Or fill out our online form to schedule a free and
    confidential consultation.

      CALL US 24/7
      Text Us
      Call 714-676-5554 or complete the form for a free consultation. Phones are answered 24/7.