Friday, June 21, 2024

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California’s Lookback Period for DUI Offenders: What You Need to Know

Being arrested for DUI is never an easy experience. When an arrest comes after a previous DUI conviction, the stakes can be incredibly high. California takes a tough approach when it comes to multiple DUIs and imposes increasingly severe penalties upon convicted drivers. These penalties include elevated fees and expenses, mandatory terms of imprisonment, lengthier license suspension, required ignition interlock device installation, and more court-ordered alcohol classes, among others.

Because a conviction for a second, third, or fourth DUI is so serious, it’s important for motorists with a prior DUI conviction to know what California law says about multiple charges and elevated penalties. Specifically, it is critical that you understand the lookback period involved in these cases.

The lookback period is essentially an amount of time where your criminal history will factor into your new charge and be used to enhance the charge and penalties you face.

Here are some important things to know about California’s lookback period:

  • California’s DUI lookback period is 10 years. This means that if you have a DUI conviction within 10 years of a new charge, you will likely be charged with a multiple DUI and enhanced penalties.
  • The lookback period allows a court to take any DUI offense into consideration, including wet reckless offenses (which count as priors), and out of state DUIs.
  • In some cases, courts may also choose to consider a DUI beyond the 10 year lookback period. While this varies, it may be done in situations where courts want to impose jail time for an offense that may not necessary warrant a mandatory sentence.

Anyone facing allegations for a multiple DUI should be intent on retaining experienced representation as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., our DUI lawyers have helped many Orange County residents facing charged for a second, third, fourth, and even subsequent DUI. If you need help, visit or call (877) DUI-Queen.

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Virginia Landry

Virginia Landry

Virginia L. Landry is founder of the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., a recognized and proven criminal and DUI defense law firm serving clients throughout Orange County. Ms. Landry is Board Certified in DUI Defense from the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) and the past Board of Director of the Orange County Bar Association. She remains committed to defending the rights and futures of her clients, and has built a reputation for her honest and aggressive advocacy.

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