Los Angeles Multiple DUI Attorneys

If you are facing DUI charges for the second, third, or fourth time, it is important to know that you face more severe penalties. Without a lawyer on your side, multiple DUIs can affect every aspect of your life and future. 

Driving under the influence is a crime that can have serious implications for your life. It's important to get an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer on the case from day one, because all cases are winnable - no matter how they may appear in court!

At Chudnovsky Law, our experienced Los Angeles DUI Defense lawyers know that building a defense after multiple DUIs is more difficult. It requires a law firm with extensive experience taking these cases to trial and winning. Our law firm can do just that. 


Experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorneys 

At Chudnovsky Law, our Los Angeles DUI attorneys are former prosecutors with significant defense experience. We know the Los Angeles judges, prosecutors, and licensing boards that may be a part of your case, and this helps us build a more solid defense from the start. 

When you choose us to represent you, you can rest easier knowing you have an aggressive and reputable legal team fighting for your future at every turn.

Los Angeles Multiple DUI Attorneys

While fighting multiple DUI charges can be difficult, it is not impossible. Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers can help get your DUI charges dropped or reduced in many cases. We can even prevent your driver's license from being suspended. With a track record of securing over 8500 favorable jury verdicts and/or settlements, you can trust us to handle your DUI case. 

Learn more about the penalties for multiple DUIs, how courts calculate prior convictions, and why Chudnovsky Law is your choice for Los Angeles DUI defense. Call us today!

We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.

Call (213) 212-5002 for a Free Consultation

If you are looking to hire a drunk driving lawyer, we invite you to call (213) 212-5002 for a Free consultation.


The Penalties for DUI With Prior Convictions

The penalties for a DUI with prior convictions increase according to the number of prior convictions the defendant has:

  • One prior DUI conviction in ten years can result in a jail term of ninety days minimum to one-year maximum and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Two prior DUI convictions in ten years can result in a jail term of 120 days minimum to one-year maximum and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Three or more prior DUI convictions in ten years can result in a minimum sentence of 180 days in jail, up to three years in state prison, and a fine of up to $1,000.

When the courts convict a person with three or more prior DUIs, the law also requires them to have a habitual traffic offender designation. This applies for three years after the most recent DUI conviction.

Habitual Traffic Offender Status

Section 14601.3 of the Vehicle Code creates the habitual traffic offender designation. This is not just a title - it is a separate criminal charge that carries separate criminal penalties. Courts can sentence habitual traffic offenders to as many as 180 days in the county jail and a fine of $2,000.

This is in addition to the separate penalties for the DUI charge.

Drivers will also face the suspension or revocation of their driving privileges, depending on the number of points against their driver’s license.

Multiple DUIs are not the only reason for a habitual traffic offender designation. The law gives this status to anyone who accrues enough points on their license within twelve months.

A driver can exceed the count with:

  • Two convictions for serious offenses (DUI, reckless driving, etc.) that each carry two points
  • Three convictions for less serious convictions (speeding, etc.) that each carry one point
  • Three or more reportable accidents
  • Any combination of convictions or accidents that results in a total of three points or more

Under these rules, it is possible to get habitual traffic offender status with only two DUIS, provided they both occur in the same twelve-month period. This is just one more reason you should hire a DUI defense lawyer for any case. Even if a court has charged you with a misdemeanor, and even if it is only your second offense, a conviction can still trigger many additional consequences that will complicate your life for years after the conviction occurs.


In addition to jail time and fines, DUI defendants usually serve a probation period. The probation period for a second offense DUI is generally three to five years. DUI probation is usually informal, meaning that the probationer does not have to report to a probation officer.

A probationer must meet strict requirements. A probationer can lose their probation if there is a new arrest or conviction. Once a license suspension is over, DUI probationers cannot drive with any detectable level of alcohol in their systems.

Probation terms might also include community service, installing an ignition interlock device, and attending a MADD victim impact panel. (This is an event where drunk driving victims and family members share their stories with those who have DUI convictions.)

Follow all probation requirements carefully. Violations can result in arrest, jail time, fines, and other penalties. A violation can also complicate your ability to have a DUI conviction expunged from your criminal record.

How Courts Calculate Priors

The lookback period for prior DUIs is ten years. A prosecutor will search for any prior arrests within ten years of the most recent DUI arrest to determine if any of those cases resulted in a conviction. A conviction must be an allegeable prior, meaning that the offense meets the legal requirements of a prior conviction. Under California law, these offenses include driving under the influence of any alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. Reckless driving can also constitute a prior offense under certain circumstances.

Separate statutes cover reckless driving involving alcohol (a wet reckless) and reckless driving without alcohol (a dry reckless) in some states. California only has a single offense for reckless driving. Offenders can resolve some DUI cases with a guilty (or no contest) plea to the lesser offense of reckless driving. When this happens, the Vehicle Code requires the prosecutor to state on the record whether alcohol was involved or not. If the record shows impairment, a prosecuting attorney can use the reckless driving charge as a prior offense for DUI sentencing.

FAQs About Multiple DUI Convictions

Are multiple DUIs always a felony?

Not necessarily.

Prosecutors can charge DUIs as felonies if:

  • The driver caused an accident that resulted in serious injuries or death
  • The driver has had three (or more) prior DUIs within the past ten years
  • The driver has a prior felony DUI within the past ten years

This means that up to three DUIs can be charged as misdemeanors within ten years if no one was seriously injured or killed. There are, however, other felony offenses that might apply in such a case, so it is not a sure thing that a person will have three misdemeanor DUI cases without any felony charges.

Any time you face multiple charges, the consequences grow more severe. Police, prosecutors, and judges all like to come down hard on drivers who they consider unsafe. Always have a defense lawyer on your side in any case where there are prior offenses, multiple charges, or other complicating factors.

How long will a DUI stay on my record?

A DUI stays on a person’s California driving record for ten years. After that, the conviction can no longer be an allegeable prior offense for DUI sentencing and comes off the record. This administrative record is different from your criminal record.

A criminal conviction stays on your criminal record forever. A court will agree to seal or expunge a criminal record in some cases, but this is not guaranteed. The defendant bears the burden of proving to the court that there are legal grounds for an expungement.

Does a DUI count as a prior if the conviction was in another state?

Out-of-state convictions can count as priors in California, but not always. To qualify as a California prior, the conviction must contain the same elements as a California DUI.

For example, in one case, the police arrested a driver for DUI in San Diego, and the prosecutor alleged that he had a prior DUI conviction in Arizona. The Arizona prosecuting attorney charged the offense as impairment to the slightest degree. Because that law did not require the prosecution to prove a blood alcohol level of 0.08, it was not a qualifying offense under California DUI law.

Out-of-state convictions present complex legal issues. Hire an experienced DUI lawyer in these cases because you have the right to challenge the improper use of an out-of-state conviction as a prior offense. This can save you from added jail time, fines, and points against your driver’s license.

Does zero tolerance apply if I have a prior DUI conviction?

California has a zero-tolerance law that prevents certain people from driving with any amount of alcohol in their system. Under this law, an eligible driver can be charged with a crime even if they have a blood-alcohol level below 0.08. Zero tolerance applies to any driver under the age of 21 and anyone currently on probation for a DUI conviction.

Note that zero tolerance does not apply forever once you have a DUI conviction. If the court places you on probation for a DUI offense, zero tolerance will apply only during that probation period. Your terms of probation will also prevent you from declining to take a blood or breath test when requested by an officer. (Other drivers may decline, although the government can suspend their driver’s license for doing so.)

How do I expunge a DUI from my criminal record?

In some cases, we can expunge a DUI from your public criminal record. If a court did not sentence you to prison time, you might petition for expungement once you complete all terms of probation. (Most misdemeanor DUIs carry jail terms, but these county jail sentences do not count as state prison terms.)

Successful completion of probation includes:

  • Traffic school.
  • Community service.
  • Paying fines and fees.
  • Having an ignition interlock device.
  • Any other orders a court made at the time of your sentencing.

Expungement only keeps the offense off your public record. You do not have to disclose it to employers or landlords, but law enforcement agencies can still view it. An expungement will not remove online news accounts about a DUI.

Can courts consider an expunged DUI as a prior conviction?

Yes! An expunged DUI record is still available to law enforcement agencies. Expungement can help you move forward in other areas of your life (such as housing and employment), but it will not stop prosecutors from using a prior DUI against you within the next ten years.

Our DUI lawyers can help you with expungement, prior offenses, new DUI cases, administrative appeals through the DMV, and all other issues related to DUI cases.

If I don't have prior DUIs, do I need to hire a defense lawyer?

Yes! Even if you have no priors (or prosecutors cannot use your priors in court), you face serious consequences. Jail time, fines, fees, license suspension, ignition interlock, community service, probation, and other conditions can affect your life for years to come. You also have important constitutional rights that you must protect throughout the case process.

A defense lawyer will protect you from police questioning, illegal searches, improperly seized evidence, and other violations of your constitutional rights. Prosecutors do not have to respect these rights. When they violate them, your own lawyer may fight back for you.

A defense lawyer can keep evidence out of court. In some cases, the prosecution may have to drop the charges entirely if they do not have enough evidence. Your defense lawyer can protect you from violations and mitigate the damage that a DUI - even a first DUI - will have on your life for years to come.

Experienced DUI Lawyers For Cases Involving Prior Convictions and Multiple Offenses

Tsion Chudnovsky Criminal and Professional License Defense Attorney Chudnovsky Law
Tsion Chudnovsky, Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyer

Los Angeles multiple DUI cases are complicated. If you face a DUI charge with prior offenses, you need legal advice as soon as possible. The DUI defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law have experience handling all DUI charges. Our lawyers have the experience to get the case results that our clients expect. We are familiar with local courts, and we know how to work with local judges and prosecutors to get a fair resolution for any DUI charges.

We fight hard to protect our clients’ legal rights during a criminal investigation, at DMV hearings, during the charging process, throughout plea negotiations, and - if necessary - at trial. We tailor individualized defense strategies considering the circumstances of each arrest and our client’s prior criminal record.
Contact us online or call (213) 212-5002 for your free consultation. Don’t wait to get an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney on your side, as we can often improve the outcome of your case.

Chudnovsky Law


844 325-1444

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