In January 2008, Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson got busted for driving under the influence in Southern California. Today – nearly two years to the day since that arrest – Jackson’s driving troubles are again making headlines. Sunday night, just hours after the Chargers lost a bitterly contested battle against the New York Jets for the right to continue on in the playoffs — Jackson got pulled over by San Diego police for blasting music from his car. The officer found that Jackson had been driving on a suspended license and had expired tags. San Diego 10 News reported that Jackson was not actually taken to jail — but he did get handcuffed at the scene.
In addition to his January 2008 DUI charge, the troubled receiver is also grappling with a second Southern California DUI charge; his BAC level in that case was allegedly twice the CA legal limit of 0.08%. He got a continuance on this charge last week, but if he’s ultimately convicted, the NFL could suspend him.
What happens when you’re arrested multiple times for driving under the influence in Southern California?
Obviously, penalties increase. But how, specifically? And how might these increased threats impact defense strategies?
In one sense, every case is different. Sentencing can depend on eclectic factors such as:
* the lawyers involved
* the judge you get
* the arguments you make
* the context of the DUI arrest
* your level of contrition
That said, mandatory punishments for first time misdemeanor DUI offenses differ from from mandatory multiple DUI punishments in some key ways.
First-time punishments often include:
* CA driver’s license suspension
* $1000+ fine
* Additional costs levied (can vastly exceed the $1000 fine)
* 48 hours behind bars (six months maximum)
* Forced DUI alcohol school
* Mandatory insulation of an interlock ignition device (IID) — even first-time misdemeanor DUI convicts must install an IID, subsequent to the law that went into effect on January 1, 2010
* Probation and other court imposed terms of release
But if, within 10 years, you get convicted of two+ charges of DUI in Southern California, possible penalties can increase in the following ways.
* Fines: whereas with a first-time misdemeanor DUI, the maximum fine is $1000; with multiple DUIs, this number can go up — way up.
* License suspension: a second DUI nets you a two-year suspension. A third DUI nets you a 18 month suspension. And so forth.
* Minimum jail time: A second DUI leads to a mandatory minimum sentence of 4-10 days behind bars. A 3rd DUI leads to a mandatory minimum of 120 days. A fourth DUI leads to a mandatory 180 days in jail. And that’s all just for misdemeanor convictions.
* Minimum time spent in alcohol school also goes up with each conviction.
* Terms of probation can stiffen with each new DUI conviction.
Fortunately, lawyers like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group — who have worked extensively as prosecutors prior to representing defendants — can draw upon their background to develop more adept and flexible strategies. The difference between retaining a Southern California DUI attorney who’s just “okay” and one who has demonstrated finesse and success at trial is profound.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.