Whether you’re facing your second DUI or recovering from your first, there are a few things you need to know. Reaching your second offense comes with serious consequences. Not only are the fines higher and time spent in jail longer, but you could face life-altering repercussions without an excellent DUI attorney. Here’s everything you need to know.
Anytime you are pulled over for a DUI, the officer on the scene does a criminal background check to identify any prior offenses. If you received a DUI in the past ten years, then this will be your second. Keep in mind that the number of years in-between does change from state to state.
After your arrest, you could face up to a year in county jail. Fines range from a minimum of $390 to over $1,000. Penalty assessments are also levied, typically multiplying the amount of your fine by five. That turns a $390 fine into $1,950.
The judge may still choose to wave your fine during trial with a second DUI, sentencing you to community labor instead. In some cases, judges have simple extended the jail time for those who cannot pay the fine.
Losing Your License
Fines are just the beginning of the legal ramifications you stand to face. Nearly every state also revokes your license for a duration of one year. However, a judge can rule that your license be suspended for multiple years if they choose to do so.
Ignition Interlock Device
Each county decides whether or not to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. These devices require you to pass a breathalyzer before your car can start. Counties also decide how much alcohol is allowed in your system by the device. In some cases, you must be under the legal limit. In others, you must be alcohol-free.
Classes and AA Meetings
DUI classes are almost always mandatory, according to a car accident attorney. They last anywhere from 12 to 30 months. Upon completion, your driving privileges are renewed. In the meantime, you’ll have to find other ways to work and your obligations.
AA meetings, on the other hand, are a continuing program that you are required to attend. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is an alternative program you might be able to partake in. These classes are designed to help you make better decisions about drinking in the future.
Time to Recovery
On average, it takes about seven and a half months for your case to conclude. During that time, you must appear at each court date regardless of work or other responsibilities. You will not be allowed to drive during that time, which adds a considerable length to your license suspension.
While you can’t avoid the charges altogether, speaking with an attorney that specializes in DUI cases can help you receive the minimum punishments the law in your county allows. They can help you get back on your feet sooner without a severe financial burden hanging over your head.