If you have been charged with driving under the influence, and you have a prior DUI conviction within the lookback period (84 months), you can expect that the penalties, both monetary and otherwise, will be significant. And some of the consequences will impact your life for years to come.
The key to dealing with any criminal offense, including DUI, is to understand that just because you have been charged, it does not mean that a conviction is a foregone conclusion. That’s where we come in. Call us today to learn how our lawyers can make a difference in your case.
At Feldman & Royle, our experienced DUI attorneys will examine the evidence in your case, provide you with an accurate and realistic assessment, and develop a strategy that will take advantage of any defenses and arguments on your behalf. It helps, of course, when dealing with the situation, if you understand the penalties you face if you are convicted.
Penalties for Second-Time DUI
If you are convicted of drunk driving or drugged driving for the second time within 7 years, the consequences are similar to, but more onerous than, a first-time DUI. The following categories will present you with an idea of what the potential sentence could be. These penalties could vary depending upon the specifics of your case, including any factors such as a high BAC:
- Jail Time. At a minimum, the statute provides for a 120-day jail sentence. Successful participation in an alcohol or drug screening program could lead to the suspension of all but 60 days. However, if your BAC is above 0.15 the mandatory minimum is a 120-day jail sentence and if your BAC is above 0.20, the mandatory minimum a 180-day jail sentence. None of the aforementioned jail time can be suspended.
- Fines and other Monetary Penalties. The total of the fines, screening fees, jail fees, IID costs, substance abuse classes and other assessments will likely be in the area of $7,500, exclusive of car insurance.
- Community Service. The sentence will include 30 hours of community restitution.
- License Suspension. You will lose your license for a minimum of 1 year.
- When your license suspension/revocation is up, you will need to provide proof of the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The work must be performed by a certified installer, and the cost of the installation, as well as the maintenance fees, will be your responsibility. You may be spared this requirement if your conviction is not alcohol-related.
- The state surcharge (SR-22) is $500 per year (for three years). You can also expect your insurance company to increase your rates by thousands of dollars each year for several years.
Obviously, the monetary penalties, license suspension, jail time and other consequences of a DUI conviction can affect your life in many ways. Everyday tasks we take for granted – traveling to and from work, picking up the children from school, traveling to the store, etc. – become difficult if not impossible. But there are alternatives to a guilty plea. And you may have a valid defense to the charge.
Defending Second-Time DUI Charges in Phoenix
Illegal traffic stops, mishandling evidence, improper breath and/or blood tests, erroneous conclusions from field sobriety tests, denial of your right to contact an attorney and other defenses may exist in your case. And in terms of sentencing, if your prior DUI was more than 7 years ago, you should not be subject to second-time DUI penalties. It may be that you were not impaired; that your BAC was not over the legal limit; or that you were not driving or in physical control of the vehicle. Any of these issues can provide a defense to a DUI charge.
At Feldman & Royle, if a defense exists in your case, we will find it. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.