Orange County 2nd DUI 

What are the Penalties I am looking at for a 2nd DUI? 

A DUI with a prior conviction DUI or Wet Reckless conviction within 10 years counts as a prior for the purpose of a 2nd DUI.

2nd DUI Penalties with vary if there is a probation vioaltion

  • A second DUI in Orange County  carries a mandatory jail time./ The law says the minimum is 96 hours. However, in Orange County prosecutors routinely want 60 -90  days in county jail if there is no probation violation.
  • If there is a probation violation then the numbers can go up higher. When there is a probation violation alleged, prosecutors offers can go up to 120 days.

However, it is important to remember that this is only what the prosecutors want out and the courts are an adverserial system. There are alternatives to doing the jail time as will be diuscussed below. . 

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What Can Happen in Orange County?

Details out the factors for getting Home Confinement in Orange County 2nd DUIs

Staying out of jail on a DUI is important for keeping a job.

What kind of Consequences is a person looking at for a 2nd DUI in Orange County and Is There Jail for a California 2nd DUI in Orange County?

Am I Going to Jail?

A 2nd Offense DUI in California carries with it Mandatory jail time and increased license suspensions. The 2nd Offense DUI will also differ depending on which county the 2nd Offense DUI happened in. For example, Orange County and LA County will treat their second time DUI very differently.

Recency of Last DUI

There are a number of things that come into play in answering this question. The most important one is how long ago your previous DUI was? The bottom line is that if more time was in between then there is a better chance of no jail.

Jail time for 2nd DUI in Orange County

A 2nd DUI within a 10 year period in Orange County can land a person in jail for anywhere from 30 days to 90 days  if the person has not been in trouble recently. However it can go higher if there is a probation violation and the  person is still on probation. 

What About a 2nd DUI After 10 years? 

In addition to this prosecutors will also consider acts of crimes that are not within the 10 year period to enhance the penalties (A 2nd DUI in Orange County is only possible if a person had a prior DUI within 10 years). For example a person had 3 DUIS but none of them are within the 10 year window but this person has received two within the 10 years. The prosecutors will use this to justify going after more time for a DUI.


It is 11/1/2020. Client had a DUI in 2009 and picks up another DUI in 2020. It is a second lifetime DUI however it is outside the window. Prosecutors can't use it as an allegation but can consider it in sentencing.

The Mandatory is only 96 Hours, Why is Orange County Coming after Me for 90 days on a 2nd DUI? 

There is a reason why many people refer to Orange County as the Orange Curtain. For a 2nd DUI in Orange County the state minimum is 96 hours however, standard practice in 2nd DUI in Orange County is a little different that the rest of the state. The bottom line is that if you are convicted 2nd DUI in Orange County Court you are looking at anywhere from 30 days on the low and 90 days on the high end. This is assuming you are not on probation. If you are on probation then the sentence can do higher. It is advisable you make appropriate plans when dealing a 2nd DUI in Orange County.


A 2nd DUI in Los Angeles County may land a person in jail for 96 hours and the person would go into jail and touch the glass and go home. However, that is not the case for a 2nd DUI in Orange County. In Orange County for a 2nd DUI you are looking at Mandatory jail. 

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2nd DUI and Electronic Monitoring

What is it and How Does it Keep Me Out of Jail?

Another common tactic used in Orange County 2nd DUI Defense is House Arrest or Home confinement. Electronic home monitoring means that you get to serve your jail time at home.Often this comes as a best case scenario if the blood alcohol content is high and there is no dispute as to the reason for the pullover and your attorney is able to pull off some kind of plea bargain with the court and the district attorney. Sometimes it is run by probation and other times it is run by a private company. It is sometimes run by a private company because a person does not qualify for it via probation.

Electronic Monitoring in Orange County is a program run by the Orange County Probation Department. It lets low risk offenders do their sentence at home instead of jail. Probation must approve this program. Probation will screen an individual to see if he qualifies for the program. In addition to this, the judge must be on board with the program as well. There are also other requirements such as having a home phone line. This is a viable option  available  to people who did not have a recent DUI. 

 Most people would agree it is a much more comfortable than jail because you are able to stay home and continue with your job. Not everyone can go to jail. Jail would get in the way of school and work. Going to jail would cause most people to lose their job or drop out of school.

 However, there are hurdles that you have to jump through in order to qualify for electronic monitoring. After you get the okay from a judge to apply, you have to go on to probation and it’s subject to probation, whether or not you get it.

This can be done with a private company such as scram. The scram device will also work as an alcohol monitoring device. Alcohol monitoring means a person cannot drink alcohol while they are on the program. If you a person who drinks alcohol while they are on the program then it would be considered a violation.

Curious About Electronic Confinement?

Having house arrest lets you go to work and keep your job.

What are the Limits of Getting Electronic Monitoring in Orange County?

The first and most important step is for your crime to fall into one of the class of crimes which do no disqualify you. That means you cannot have any crime involving violence or drugs. There are exceptions to these rules but they do not come easy. The reason for this is they do not want you committing crimes at home. For example, a person convicted for domestic violence will commit it again at home in the program.

The timing must be perfect and the person’s background must also qualify him or her for house arrest. This must be arranged after conviction and the timing must be done 5-6 weeks after the conviction date. This is worked thru probation. Probation will check the person’s background. The background check is extensive. Probation will look at what happened in a case even if there was no conviction and they will scrutinize a police report.

There are several limitations to Electronic Monitoring. One of the biggest limitations is that you must not have had any violent crimes in the past. This is regardless if you were only arrested or convicted. At least in Orange County, you do not have to be convicted of a crime to have it used against you for the purpose of house arrest. A conviction is the equivalent to being found guilty of a crime or pleading out to a case. I have seen many cases where people have been denied house arrest because of a domestic violence they had 20 years ago which they forgot.

The second step is to work out a deal with the prosecuting agency which will allow qualify you for Electronic Monitoring in Orange County. Some district attorneys will deny it and oppose it as a matter of principle. Others may defer to the court. It’s important that the prosecuting agency does not oppose your application to Electronic Monitoring in Orange County.

Third, you have to get the judge on board to allow you to apply for Electronic Monitoring in Orange County. If the judge denies your Electronic Monitoring in Orange County in advance then you will not get in and it will be a waste of time to applying. Whether it will be denied will depend on a series of facts. Some factors are whether you are still on probation, whether there are priors and etc. Afterwards, you have to resolve your case and ask for a surrender date at the jail further out in the future.  The reason for further out is that you will need time to work things out with probation for Electronic Monitoring in Orange County.

Once that is done a person’s counsel must navigate the case to the right courtroom and the right judge. This is critical as getting an offer from the wrong judge will make your case sticky and cause problems for your DUI in Orange County. For example if a person ask the wrong judge and gets an offer he doesn’t like then it makes things difficult for the next judge to undercut that first judge. It is important to know when to resolve a 2nd DUI in Orange County.

Classes/Proactive steps in rehabilitation in a 2nd DUI

The third way to stay out of jail on a 2nd DUI is to the self-help meetings to impress on the judge are taking care of your problems. This will not work all the time. A person and his attorney will have to come up with a custom plan to show the court in order for this to work. This step involves going to AA classes and maybe even a custom alcohol bracelet to monitor alcohol consumption. You can contact me if you want to know more about this option.

Private Jail

One common Orange County DUI Defense tactic to keep my clients out of jail is private jail. This is exactly what it sounds like. A person will go to jail that is private. They will stay there until  their commitment is over. They will be able to go to work while they are there. However, they must return back to the cell once they are done with work. In addition to this there is also a fee for this which is usually $105-125 dollars a day. These jails are nicer than your county jail.

Beating the Case in Your 2nd DUI

As stated above, your exposure in for a 2nd DUI in Orange County can be anywhere from 30 days to 90 days if you are not on probation. There are also other ways to avoid jail. One of these ways is the beat the case and take the not guilty plea. You need to look at your case and look at the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case. There are various defenses. One of the common ones is the rising defense and the no driving defense. This defense needs to be set up by establishing that you just recently stopped drinking. This defense says the alcohol has not yet affected your body and the no driving defense is a classic. In order to set this up you need to not be caught driving. There are several ways to beat your case and even if you lose your case there are still ways for an expungement which will help with you getting a job and cleaning up your criminal record.

Consider Alternative Sentencing for Your 2nd DUI

The least risky method is going for some kind of alternative sentencing. There is also known as an option of electronic home confinement. This involves

wearing a bracelet which keeps you at home and you must obey the curfew as well. Finally, there is an option of DUI court.This is the most difficult way to stay out because of the commitments. However, it is also premised on the the program not being impacted. There are a number of factors that come into effect when considering your 2nd DUI in Orange County and whether you will stay out of jail with some kind of electronic monitoring. Some of these factors include the 1) court, 2) the judge sitting inside that court room, and 3) probation.

Q: What are Factors that affect my 2nd DUI Alternative Sentencing?
A: The Judge

A (continued): One the most important factors that affects your 2nd DUI Alternative Sentencing is the judge. As of writing this article (6/20/2015) the Santa Ana and Newport Courthouse are the most difficult for a person to deal with if they are caught for a 2nd DUI in Orange County. This is mainly because of the judges. that is not to say that Westminster and Fullerton are a walk in a part by any means a person would be in for a fight to stay out of jail. For example, one particular judge will like their people who have repeat DUI’s to stay on a private electronic monitoring while others do not believe in private electronic monitoring and will not give credit for it.

Probation can stop a person from getting Home Confinement for their 2nd DUI in Orange County

Orange County Probation can cause problem for a person when they want to stay out of jail by denying home confinement. When this happens it is because a person has some kind of criminal background in their past. These criminal backgrounds include that of domestic violence and dealing drugs from home. There are a number of other crimes where a person will be denied home confinement.

The Recency of your Previous DUI

When was the last time you got your DUI? A Judge is more inclined to not oppose home confinement on your case if your previous DUI was very recent. The reason here is because no judge wants to be known as the judge who let out a drunk driver and that drunk driver hit and killed someone. You have a much better chance at staying out of jail if your DUI was more than 6-7 years ago. However, you will have to work to do if your last DUI was just recently. If your last DUI was anywhere from a few months to less than 3 years ago then it will be an uphill battle or getting home confinement and other avenues such as DUI Court or Residential rehab will have to be used to keep you out of jail. You will be treated differently on your case if you have a DUI after 5 years or after 10 years. One other thing to look out for is

Do They Know Its Your  Orange County California 2nd DUI?

It is important to know your options. Sometimes the district attorney will miss out on the previous DUI and file the case as a first DUI. This must be capitalized on. This issue can be spotted by taking a walk over to the clerk court and asking them to take a look at the complaint. The complaint will show allegations if they did not miss it and filed it as a second.

Other Factors that may either mitigate or aggravate your case

There may be proof issues with your case which will affect your California DUI Penalty. When these are here you can use it to reduce your punishment in your case. One of my favorite is the no drive defense. This is when you argue that you were not driving. You can use this to get yourself a better sentence assuming that you have the right facts at your disposal. However,  there are other times when the facts are not good and you are offered a chance to resolve a case favorably at arraignment for less time. For example, if your DUI had a hit and run then it is less likely you will have a no jail time resolution for your case. But an interesting thing to keep inmind is that some DUIs are out of state. When a DUI is out of state, it causes an interesting issue because it may not necessarily be a prior. Many states have statuts  that define their DUI  different from California. If this happens then the DUI will not count as a prior for punishment on a 2nd DUI.

2nd DUI License Suspension in California

2nd Offense DUI  also comes with its own set of driving privilege suspensions. You will be facing  a one year driver license suspension as a result of your 2nd Offense DUI.

However, there are instructions on how to get your license back.   For example, you will need an SR 22. A Sr22 is insurance to show that you will be insured for the next three years. It is the minimum amount of insurance. In addition, you will also need an IID device. 

Other consequences of your second DUI in orange County includes probation. You’re looking at five years of probation, you’re looking at $390 fines, which comes out to $2,500 in addition to that, you’re looking at two year license suspension. There are ways around this and you can get your license back right away if you take the proper steps with the IID device.

There are other things to worry about with a 2nd DUI. One of the main ones is the increased license suspension. This can affect you greatly as in the time you have to go to work. There are different kinds of suspension periods. Driving is a privilege. Your DMV Privilege from the DMV can be suspended for different amounts of times depending on whether you are on probation or not. If you are on probation and you pick up your 2nd DUI then you will be suspended for a year. On the other hand, if you are not on probation then there are other ways to get you back on the road; however the rules for this are different then a first DUI. There will be no restricted license in this case and instead of waiting for 1 month to get a restricted you must wait at last 90 days until you can get back your revoked license.

In addition, there will be increased classes as well. A first DUI will get a person classes ranging anywhere from 3 months to 9 months. However, a 2nd DUI in Orange County will result in DUI classes that can go as high as 18 months. It’s important to keep these in considerations when considerting the outcome of your DUI punishment.

A 2nd DUI in Orange County will also result in increased fines for your case. The fines for a first time DUI in California is about $2,000. However, the fines for a 2nd is substantially more.

Final Advice

The biggest thing that you need to worry about is staying out of jail in a second DUI, the potential jail time could be anywhere from 60 to 120 days in jail. This is on a second DUI and it can go even higher if you’re on probation, you need to qualify and jump through hurdles to get into electronic home monitoring. If you qualify for electronic monitoring, the judge will let you apply. However you have a second hurdle with probation, you have to qualify through them as well.

2nd DUI and Electronic Monitoring

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Recent DUI Case Results -  A history of Success

  • Car was on sidewalk and client passed out
  • DUI Dismissed, client got a drunk in public.
  • Was looking at 1 year in jail.
  • No jail and client is in program
  • Client hit 2 cars,
  • Jury returned Not Guilty verdict in 45 minutes

2nd DUI - Orange County

  • Client accsued of rear ending another on 405 freeway. Hieu Vu stopped the investigation by having client invoke rights
  • District attorney sent back for further investigation.

DUI Accident w Marijuana

  • Intoxicated Client, passed out on off ramp an hit curb. 
  • Charges reduced to Reckless Driving with alcohol

2nd DUI - Fullerton

  • Still on probation for first DUI
  • Able to get client House Arrest

Santa Ana - 2nd DUI

  • Prior DUI 4 years ago
  • Able to get client House Arrest

Santa Ana

  • Prior DUI 4 years ago
  • Able to get client House Arrest


  • Prior DUI 
  • No Jail

Testimonials - What Clients Say About Hieu Vu


Great lawyer I got 2 d.u.I.'s back to back and he managed to keep me out of jail, worked with me all the way through it and gided me through the process. Not expensive and gave me a chance on making payments what more could I ask for in a lawyer!!


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“EAbout a year ago I made the great mistake of getting a DUI right after getting my degree as a registered nurse. At first I was apprehensive whether or not to get an attorney, because I was already in debt from med school. So I spoke to a handful of lawyers, and after speaking with Hieu, I knew right away this was the man I needed - a decision I did not regret it once..”

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Having house arrest lets you go to work and keep your job.

About Hieu Vu


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The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.


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“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu

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