California DUI LAW

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California Vehicle Code VC 23217 - Legislative Declarations: Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Multiple Offenses.

23217. The Legislature finds and declares that some repeat offenders of the prohibition against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when they are addicted or when they have too much alcohol in their systems, may be escaping the intent of the Legislature to punish the offender with progressively greater severity if the offense is repeated one or more times within a 10-year period. This situation may occur when a conviction for a subsequent offense occurs before a conviction is obtained on an earlier offense.

The Legislature further finds and declares that the timing of court proceedings should not permit a person to avoid aggravated mandatory minimum penalties for multiple separate offenses occurring within a 10-year period. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide that a person be subject to enhanced mandatory minimum penalties for multiple offenses within a period of 10 years, regardless of whether the convictions are obtained in the same sequence as the offenses had been committed.

Nothing in this section requires consideration of judgment of conviction in a separate proceeding that is entered after the judgment in the present proceeding, except as it relates to violation of probation.

Nothing in this section or the amendments to Section 23540, 23546, 23550, 23560, 23566, 23622, or 23640 made by Chapter 1205 of the Statutes of 1984 affects the penalty for a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 occurring prior to January 1, 1985.

Amended Sec. 72.5, Ch. 118, Stats. 1998. Effective January 1, 1999. Operative July 1, 1999.
Amended Sec. 11, Ch. 550, Stats. 2004. Effective January 1, 2005.

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California DUI arrests (also known as DWI) trigger two separate cases: the DMV action, where a person's driving privileges hang in the balance, and the court case, where a variety of DUI punishment is available. For anyone charged with drunk driving in California, it is vital to note that persons arrested for DUI have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. If someone arrested for drunk driving does not request the hearing on time, his or her license will be suspended, automatically, on the 30th day following the arrest. It is critical for anyone charged with a California DUI or other drunk driving offense to obtain the services of a California DUI lawyer that understands the relationship between the court and DMV.

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