A second driving under the influence charge can carry enhanced penalties. If you have been charged with your second DUI, you should consider obtaining an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A Delaware County second-offense DUI lawyer could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable resolution to your case.
Prosecutors are less likely to be lenient with a second-time DUI offender than someone who has received their first DUI. When someone gets a subsequent DUI, the prosecutors believe they are seeing a pattern of behavior. This is especially true if the DUI is within ten years. A second DUI charge will also lead to an increased penalty. Prosecutors take these cases seriously and work hard to secure a conviction. Therefore, it is imperative for a defendant to seek the services of a Delaware County second-offense DUI attorney.
The penalties for a second-offense DUI, if it is within 10 years of the first DUI, are higher in each category of alcohol level or drug intoxication. For a low-level alcohol-related DUI, which is a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 to 0.10, the penalties are five days in jail up to six months, $300 to $2,500 in fines, alcohol highway safety school, license suspension for 12 months, and an ignition interlock device installation for one year.
For a medium amount of alcohol, which is a BAC of 0.10 to 0.16, the requirements are mandatory 30 days in jail up to six months, a $750 fine to a $5,000 fine, alcohol highway safety school, license suspension for 12 months, and an ignition interlock device for one year.
Finally, for the highest BAC, a BAC above 0.16 or drugs in the system, then the mandatories are 90 days in jail up to five years, $1,500 fines to $10,000 fines, alcohol highway safety school, license suspension for 18 months, and an ignition interlock for one year.
When defending a second-time DUI, the defense attorney is going to want to go back and also look into the first DUI offense—even if it is within 10 years based on the case law. If it is close to the ten-year mark, then one of the arguments is that it should be considered a first DUI all over again instead of a second DUI because the penalties will automatically drop to lower mandatories.
While the judge could still give a higher penalty based on their discretion, this will help by lowering the mandatory penalties if it is found to be a first DUI instead of a second. After this is determined, a second-offense DUI lawyer in Delaware County will approach the case as if it is any other DUI charge. These defenses may include challenging the breath or blood tests, seeing if there is any evidence as to the defendant operating the vehicle, and also question the officer’s investigation and credibility of their observation. Also, an attorney will look to see if there were any constitutional issues regarding the arrest or stop.
A second-offense DUI conviction carries significant penalties and long-term repercussions. If you are facing charges, reach out to a Delaware County second-offense DUI lawyer today. Let a well-versed attorney advocate for you.