The penalties for a second offense for driving while intoxicated can be much more severe than the first offense. Here are some of the common consequences of receiving a second DUI charge and what factors can affect the severity of these penalties.
Your License Will Be Revoked
If you had a great DUI attorney or criminal lawyer for your first DUI case, then you might have arranged a deal to keep your license or to keep driving with an interlock device. This is much less likely in a second DUI offense, and your license will almost certainly be revoked. The judge will look at how much time has passed since your first offense, and offenses that occur only a few months to years after the first offense will not be taken lightly.
You May Be Fined and Serve Jail Time
Each state has its own penalties that are considered standard for a second-time DUI. This may include both jail time and fines, although your judge may agree to give you community service instead of a monetary fine. Ask your criminal lawyer to research your jurisdiction to see what kinds of penalty ranges you're looking at for your DUI offense, or ask the judge directly.
You May Need to Seek Professional Help
Many judges will also require that you get professional help of some sort. Many states offer DUI classes that help people to examine their choices surrounding drunk driving. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may also be suggested or required by your judge. Treatment for chemical dependency may also be necessary.
What Affects the Penalties?
While the penalties above are all options for a second-time DUI, there is still some range in severity; you and your DUI attorney have the chance to argue your case so that you are on the lighter side of the required fines and jail time.
For one, it helps to take steps on your own to show that you are trying to control the problem actively. If you are already attending Alcoholics Anonymous at the time of your trial or receiving treatment for chemical dependency, this can be helpful in making the judge view you in a positive light.
Your criminal defense attorney will also need to do the work of examining the details of your charge. They will need to argue that the offense was not a serious public threat. If no one was hurt in your drunk driving case, it can be a great help in reducing your penalties. Contact a law office like Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC. to get in touch with an attorney.