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Options for multiple DUI's in CA

Laguna Beach, CA |

A woman/mother in our program just received her 3rd DUI. The PD assigned is telling her she will have to do 9 months to a year in custody, but she has an 11 year old daughter...are there any options available that don't include jail time?

Attorney Answers 5


That depends on the county. The statute requires 120 days county jail time for a third with the possibility of some form of alternative service such as work programs, community service or even home detention. Some counties require 210 days county jail up to one year so the PD may be entirely correct in what he is telling her.

Remember that any non-violent crime sentenced after January 25, 2010, will earn day for day credits in county jail. Thus if the sentence were 210 days she would serve 105 days.

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As Mr. Kaman notes, the mandatory minimum jail time when probation is granted in a third DUI is 120 days in county jail.

In addition to the time on her new offense, the defendant may be on probation and the new DUI would be a probation violation. She could receive up to a year for a second DUI and six months on her first, minus time she has already served in those cases, which could easily bump the 120 days up to nine months or a year.

There may be custody alternatives, like house arrest with electronic monitoring, available to her.

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It is highly unlikely that she will be offered a non jail option. Having said that, she may be able to get into an in patient program where the court might allow her to receive day for day credit. Even if a court is willing to do something like that, a judge will probably want some county jail time up front.

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In LA they offer a 30 / 30 program where you do a 30 month DUI program and spend 30 months on SCRAM (electronic monitoring of alcohol in body). You should check with the PD and with probation about home detention.

Both of these options cost money.

Edward J. Blum

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There may be but Orange County is a particularly tough on DUI's and everyone is tough on 3rd timers. If she got a private lawyer who actually spent time defending the case she may do substantially better than going with a PD. Of course every case is fact dependent. She may be better served, with that kind of offer, to go to trial. I would of course recommend if she can pool resources to hire outside counsel with a good amount of trial experience. That alone might help her reduce her time or allow her to explore alternative sentencing. With a 3rd Id also recommend getting her into some kind of live in alcohol program now. It could sway the DA and the court. Were in OC all the time. Feel free to visit our website where you can contact us with further questions.

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I am a Public Defender and take offense to a comment about "actually spending time defending a case". I have seen so many of you so caled Private Lawyers take peoples money only to do nothing and dump it back on us. Why would you continue to foster these stereotypes when you know what you are saying is not true?

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