Second time DUI in Orange County

Orange County 2nd DUI - Everything You need to Know and Staying Out of Jail

Table of Contents



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. This article will talk about 2nd DUIs in Orange County. 

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

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 and involves a mandatory jail time. A second DUI in Orange County carries a mandatory jail time. The law says the minimum is 96 hours. However, the Orange County Dsitrict Attorneys  routinely want 60 -90 days in county jail if there is no probation violation. 

Orange County is Different from Los Angeles County when it Comes to 2nd DUIS. 

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

This is how it has been in Orange County for years as DUI is a political issue.  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..

Complaint with prv 1

This is a complaint which alleges the prior DUI and a probation violation which means the person was looking at a second DUI. A Second DUI in Orange County carries jail time. 


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. 

Factors That Affect Jailtime in Orange County for 2nd DUIs

There are factors that will eitehr bring up your jailtime or lower it in Orange County. A few are listed below. 

Getting a 2nd DUI while being on probation for the 1st will increase the likelihood of jailtime.  

If you are on probation for the first then you get a 2nd DUI then there is a 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 for the DUI and probation violation.

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. 

probation violation grounds 2
Recency of Last DUI will Affect How much Jail Time you Get on Your Second DUI in Orange County

How much jail time am I looking at for a 2nd 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, your blood alcohol concentration, whether or not you are still on your license suspension, any substance abuse and whether or not this is a felony.

The length of time from your last DUI and current one will make a world of difference. 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.

Other Factors Affecting Jail Time. 

Other factors that will affect jailtime will be a High Alcohol Reading or an Accident with your DUI. If there was an accident then the court will look at if there was bodily injury done to the victim.  

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. .

Other Penalties of a 2nd DUI in Orange County

Increased Classes 

A second DUI in Orange County will result in enahnced classes. A first DUI will get a person classes ranging anywhere from 3 months to 9 months. However, a 2nd DUI 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.

More Fines

A 2nd DUI 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.

Probation will be 5 Years instead of 3 for a 2nd DUI.

Other consequences of your second DUI 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.

FREE DUI Checklist

Know what is going on in your case before you start evaluating your options. It’s important to have all the information at your fingertips so you will know which questions to ask.

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Do I Need a DUI Attorney For A 2nd DUI in Orange County?

Yes. You will need a DUI attorney in Orange County  to avoid the penalties associated with the criminal action on  2nd DUI in Orange County within ten years..  

A DUI Attorney will look for mistakes and shortcuts on your Case. 

The attorney will analyze your arrest, the circumstances and help you reanalyze the blood tests you were ordered to do. With the legal representation your team will go over whether the  police officer stop at the time of driving was legal(make sure your rights as a defendant was not violated by the police officer during the stop) and whether the field sobriety tests was done correctly as there are several ways to defeat a DUI

Prosecutors will not always see your Prior DUI. 

Sometimes the district attorney will miss out on the previous DUI and file the case as a first DUI. If this is the case then you can get away with a first penalties. This must be capitalized on when it happens without alerting the prosecutors.  One way to tell if they missed it is by looking at the complaint. 


At an arraignment is where you will get a complaint against you filed by the district attorney.


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.

Not All DUIs from Out of State Counts as a Prior in Orange County

But an interesting thing to keep in mind 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 and this results in your 2nd DUI being dropped to a 1st. 

Rising Blood Defense

One of the common ones is the rising 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 you were below .08 at the time of driving. 

No Drive Defense 

The no driving defense is a classic. In order to set this up you need to not be caught driving. This can involve a scenario where you are sleeping in your car and accused of a DUI

Damage Control and Keeping you Out of jail.

 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.

 If your attorney is local to Orange County then they can represent you for the purpose of getting house arrest (electronic monitoring in Orange County)  They will also represent you at court for the purpose of reducing your jail sentence(probation terms formal/informal probation, the amount of community service you will be subject to for your dui offense ). If you are in a treatment program it is also possible to get credit for the time you are getting treated. 


Classes/Proactive steps in rehabilitation in a 2nd DUI

Your criminal defense attorney will need to negotiate with the judge showing you are deserving of this.  (need to keep job, remorseful, in a treatment program) and that this criminal charge will not happen again because it is bad luck.  If the judge denies your Electronic Monitoring in in advance then you will not get in and it will be a waste of time to applying.

Another  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.

What About a 2nd DUI After 10 years? 

Prosecutors will also consider acts of crimes that are not within the 10 year period to enhance the penalties (A 2nd DUI in is only possible if a person had a prior DUI within 10 years).

The 2nd Lifetime DUI 

Prosecutors in Orange County are only allowed to file DUI with priors if the DUI happened within 10 years. In otherwords if a person had a DUI 11 years ago then they can only file it as a first DUI. But many in Orange County have gotten clever and have started asking for jail time or jailtime equivalent in Orange County. 


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.


2nd DUI and Electronic Monitoring

Orange County 2nd DUI Home Confinement Chart

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


Another common defense strategy used in 2nd DUI Defense is House Arrest or Home confinement.

What is Electronic monitoring Like in Orange County? 

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. 

Electronic Monitoring Can be Done either thru Orange County Proation Deprtment or a Private Company. 

Sometimes it is run by probation and other times it is run by a private company such as diversified monitoring. It is sometimes run by a private company because a person does not qualify for it via probation or the jails are taking too long to process people.  It lets low risk offenders (drunk driving) do their sentence at home instead of jail. 

If you go thru probation
Get Judge Approval First by Showing Equities

You have to get the judge on board to allow you to apply for Electronic Monitoring with probation.  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.

Qualify with Probation

 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.

A probation officer must approve this program. Then Probation will screen an individual to see if he qualifies for the program.  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.

Orange County DUI Defense Stay Out of Jail on 2nd or 3rd DUI 2

An ankle bracelet used to monitor a person on house arrest.

If you go thru private a company. 

 You will want to coordinat things with your attorney and the courts to make sure you get credit for putting on the bracelet. This is often done in the pretrial stages where you would get credit for your bracelet before the case resolves. 

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.

Pros and Cons of Secured Eletronic Confinement in Orange County. 

Most people would agree it is a much more comfortable than jail because you are able to stay home and continue with your job. However, thre are hoops to jump thru. 

Advantages of an Ankle Bracelet

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, drop out of school, and not able to atend their alcohol school thus making the installation of the . As long as you follow the term of probation you will be able to stay out of jail. 

Uncertain If you Will Get it.

However, there are hurdles that you have to jump through in order to qualify for electronic monitoring.

After you get the decision from a judge to apply, you have to go on to probation and it’s subject to probation, whether or not you get it and there is a potential that you will be rejected on your surrender date. If this happens then you have to appeal or go to jail.

Requires a Backgound Check

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.

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

Stay out of jail

Make an appointment and stay out of jail

The first and most important step is for your crime to fall into one of the class of crimes which do no disqualify you.

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.

Violent Crimes Disqualify You From House Arrest in Orange County

 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. 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.

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 while you are at home for your second time dui. . 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.

Other Crimes That May Disqualify You from House Arrest. 

A history of drugs, driving outside your driving privilege or restricted license is frowned upon by the probation department. Probation will say you will they have no way to enforce you not driving during you suspension period and pick up a new felony charge while beingon house arrest.

Orange County 2nd DUI Home Confinement Chart

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

Curious About Electronic Confinement?

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

Alternative Sentencing instead of Jail for a 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 and even if you are facing a DUI there are still ways for an expungement which will help with you getting a job, cleaning up your criminal record and ultimately keep you out of jail. 

Private Jail

One common 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.

Orange County DUI Court

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.

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Schedule a free Consultation and see if we can get you on house arrest.

 2nd DUI License Suspension in Orange County

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. See here for instructions on how to get your license back.

Stop the Immediate License Suspension by Setting an APS Hearing with Orange Driver Safety Office. 

Orange Count DUI Attorney Infographic

You will also get representation and legal advice with the department of motor vehicles administrative per se hearing for your 2nd dui arrest. 

For the purpose of stopping or at least delaying your driver’s license suspension. The DUI attorney will go over the circumstances of the field sobriety tests and whether it was done correctly and even get you on a restricted driver license.

You can read more about this process at Orange Driver Safety Office here. 

Avoiding Consecutive Suspensions

In addition, if your driver license is later facing a a DMV suspension then a criminal defense attorney will time your court case for your dui offense to align with you installing your ignition interlock device so yo do not have to do consecutive suspensions. This involves letting you know when the best time to enroll in DUI school is so you do not have to be in school with a suspended license.

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.

Getting your License Back with as Little Downtime as Possible.

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.

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.

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Recent DUI Case Results - A history of Success

DUI - .Cypress - .22 Blood alcohol level - DACA Client

  • Car was on sidewalk and client passed out
  • DUI Dismissed, client got a drunk in public.

3rd DUI - Picked up 3rd in Westminster while 2nd case was Pending.

  • Was looking at 1 year in jail.
  • No jail and client is in program

DUI with Accident - 5 different drugs- City of Orange

  • Client hit 2 cars with 2 independent witnesses
  • 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

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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.

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