If you have previously been convicted for a DUI and find yourself facing another DUI charge, seek help from a seasoned drunk driving attorney right away. A Manhattan second-offense DUI lawyer understands the severity of the charges you are facing and could do everything in their power to give you a fighting chance in court. There is no time to waste.
Penalties for a Second-Offense DUI
The consequences for a second-offense DUI are much harsher than a person receives for their first. Unlike first offenses, individuals who are charged with a second DUI are not eligible for a diversion program. A defendant must go to trial and will either be acquitted, found guilty, or must accept a plea deal. For a second-time DUI charge, the minimum penalties include:
- A fine of at least $1,250
- A drug and alcohol evaluation
- Completion of an outpatient treatment program
- An underlying jail sentence of at least five days served
The five days of jail time must be served consecutively, under no circumstances is a defendant allowed to split the days. Additionally, they are ineligible for work leaves until after serving 48 hours behind bars.
Driver’s License Suspension
For a second drunk driving offense, the amount of time a defendant’s driver’s license will be suspended or that they must use an interlock device is largely based upon their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the incident:
- A BAC of .08 to .145 = a one-year license suspension, plus a one-year interlock requirement
- A BAC of .15 or above = a one-year license suspension, plus a two-year interlock requirement
- Refusal to take a breathalyzer test = a one-year license suspension, plus a three-year interlock requirement
A Manhattan second-offense DUI attorney could examine the administration of the breathalyzer test, as well as the defendant’s medical history, to uncover if any reasonable doubt exists to refute the validity of the test results.
Significance of Time Between DUI Charges
The time between one DUI charge and another holds no significance in the court of law. If an individual were to be found guilty of a DUI today, and was charged again 20 years from now, the penalty would be the same as if they received the second charge two years from now. However, the same is not true of DUIs from the past.
If someone has a DUI on their record that is dated before the year 2000, it is extremely unlikely that the charge will be used against them in court today. That is because there was a change in DUI laws in 2000 that changed the nature of the charge. Thus, the charges of the past do not hold the same weight that they do today.
Defending Against Repeat Charges
An experienced second-offense DUI lawyer in Manhattan could be a valuable ally in this kind of higher-stakes case. They could thoroughly review all the evidence, including reading all of the police reports, watching any available video footage from start to finish, and then closely examining the officer’s conduct and administration of the field sobriety tests.
There are three steps that law enforcement must follow and execute properly, leading up to a DUI arrest: observing the driver’s vehicle operation, stopping the driver and making contact, and administering the roadside sobriety tests. A knowledgeable defense attorney knows what to look for during each phase to determine whether an officer followed the legal procedure correctly. If a lawyer discovers an officer failed to conduct themselves appropriately, the entire case could be dismissed.
Enlist the Help of a Manhattan Second-Offense DUI Attorney
Being arrested for driving under the influence a second time can have severe consequences. While first-time offenders often have an opportunity to attend a diversion program and get their case dismissed, that same luxury is not given to those charged with DUI the second time around. Second offense DUI charges are much stricter, and a conviction results in heavy fines, license suspension, and time spent in jail.
A Manhattan second-offense DUI lawyer could fight tirelessly for your rights and confidently defend your case in court. Reach out to one of our dedicated attorneys today for help with your case.