Anne Arundel Second Offense DUI Charges

Typically, a second offense DUI charge in Anne Arundel County will result in a conviction rather than probation before judgment which means than an individual will receive points assessed against their driver’s license and a potential license suspension. Courts typically will incarcerate for a brief period of time on a second offense and the typical period of incarceration varies from one weekend to several weekends.

On a first offense, an individual very rarely receives a conviction and very rarely receives incarceration. On a second offense, some period of incarceration is  likely and a conviction is likely as well if the State is able to prove their case. For more information regarding your specific case, call and schedule a consultation with an Anne Arundel DUI lawyer today.

Ways To Build a Defense For Second DUI Charges

Building a defense for a second DUI charge is very similar to the way an attorney would build a defense for a first DUI charge. The first thing to look at is the stop itself and then if there was probable cause to make an arrest. After those it is important to consider the results of the breathalyzer test, the performance on any field sobriety tests, and whether the breathalyzer machine was operated properly. This means everything from operators certifications to machine calibration records. Once you find a place where there is a potential defense, that is when an attorney will begin preparing for trial.

Preparing for trial means gathering evidence for yourself and preparing to challenge any evidence that the state has against the client. If the case is one where there is no possibility of winning at trial, then an experienced defense attorney will begin preparing mitigation by referring their client to the appropriate level of treatment and preparing for mitigation in court.

Evidence in 2nd DUI Offense Cases

Anything that can be used to challenge the legality of the arrest is useful for a defense attorney. These things include:

  • Illegal stops
  • Improper arrests
  • Improperly conducted field sobriety tests
  • Improperly conducted Breathalyzer tests

However with these in mind, it is important to take into account that a second offense DUI case has higher stakes. On a second offense, it’s very likely if convicted that an individual will receive points and some period of incarceration. So in terms of my preparation, a defense attorney is going to analyze every case to see if there’s a way to win. In terms of a client’s preparation where a second offense as opposed to a first offense, it usually means more treatment, more alcohol education, more therapy or perhaps a brief period of inpatient treatment on a second offense where that wouldn’t be appropriate for a first offense.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Second DUI Cases

One is not seeking a competent counsel immediately after the incident. A lawyer can be extremely helpful in the early days of a DUI. They can analyze whether or not it make sense to request an administrative hearing and what’s the best course of action for an individual’s driver’s license. If an individual wants to continue driving until the date of their hearing then they must request an administrative hearing within 10 days of the date of the incident.

Another common mistake is individuals not enrolling in alcohol treatment sufficiently quickly. Enrollment in alcohol treatment is not an admission of guilt and it really does look good in presenting mitigation to a judge. So if an individual enrolls in treatment within a week of the incident that looks much better than if an individual enrolls in alcohol treatment a day before court.

Driving Privileges After a Second Offense DUI

If there’s a conviction, then there will be an additional suspension of the drivers license beyond the administrative suspension that occurs in every case. If an individual is convicted of a second offense especially a second offense within 5 years than its very likely that the MVA will suspend the license. If an individual received two convictions within the 5-year period, the MVA is required to suspend the license and at that point, the question will really only be whether or not there’s any type of modification that’s allowed.

Challenging a License Suspension

Between the first and the second offense, there is some difference not in how you challenge it necessarily but in terms of the potential penalties. First offense, the judges have a lot more discretion after the first conviction than they would after a second. After a second conviction within a 5-year period, the judge is mandated to suspend for 1 year.

However, the administrative penalty is independent of the court penalty. So if an individual loses their administrative hearing and wins the court case, the MVA does not restore the driver’s license. There are sometimes different issues involved, different standards of proof, and different standard of evidence as well. So those two hearings are independent.

Restricted Licenses After a Second Offense DUI

After you’ve been charged, absolutely. The MVA will allow you to have a restricted license for the administrative penalty. Sometimes, that may entail a significant period of time with an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Other times, it may be a simple asking for a work permit. That’s going to be a fact-specific determination. We’re going to have to look at the individual facts of the case as well as the individual’s driving needs to make the determination whether or not they should apply for a restricted or modified license.