Anne Arundel County Subsequent Offense DUI Lawyer
Individuals facing a subsequent DUI charge could be looking at harsher penalties than a first-time DUI offense. Prosecutors and judges take these cases seriously. If you are facing charges, reach out to a dedicated Anne Arundel County subsequent offense DUI lawyer. Let a seasoned DUI attorney fight for you and help you build a defense.
How Prosecutors Handle Second Offense DUI Charges
In regards to handling a second offense DUI or any other DUI case, the burden of proof, the evidence, the procedure, and the trial are all the same. The differences will appear in what the prosecutors propose, offer, or recommend for the sentence if a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty. Alternatively, a person facing their first DUI charge usually does not get jail time unless there is something unusual about the case. On a second-offense DUI, jail time is almost a certainty. The consequences will be far more severe on a second offense, particularly if the two DUIs occurred within a short time period.
Potential Penalties For a Second Drunk Driving Offense
With a few exceptions, the consequences for a second drunk driving offense is the same as the first offense. The penalty for a DUI is one year, while the penalty for DWI is 60 days. It should be noted that if a person has a prior conviction for a DUI, the State can seek an enhanced penalty. A PBJ, or a Probation Before Judgment, will not lead to an enhanced penalty. An enhancement could cause a person to face a year instead of 60 days for a DWI and two years instead of one for a DUI. That is an enhancement that prosecutors could and often do seek on a subsequent offense. Therefore, it is critical for defendants to reach out to a subsequent offense DUI lawyer in Anne Arundel County as soon as possible.
How Courts Treat Second Offense and First Offense DUI Charges
With a second offense DUI, the sanctions, penalties, and punishment will be more severe and can include jail time and higher fines. When dealing with a DUI, especially for multiple offenses, there is a concern that the defendant may have an alcohol problem since they have been charged more than once. Courts typically put far more onerous probation conditions and requirements on the person to ensure any alcohol issues are being addressed.
While probation is not meant to be a punishment, it may seem like one to most individuals.
Building a Defense for a Subsequent DUI Charge
An experienced Anne Arundel County subsequent offense DUI attorney will usually prepare a defense similar to how they would for a first-time charge. They must initially determine whether the State is able to prove its case and then whether it is a first, second, third, or any following offense. If they cannot prove their case, they will prepare to go to trial with a much more aggressive posture towards preparation.
For instance, if a person has a first-offense DUI, their attorney might recommend they do a 12 or 14-hour alcohol class. If it is the defendant’s second offense, the lawyer will recommend a 48-hour inpatient program or something to address any alcohol issues since the judge typically wishes to see the DUI offender takes these types of steps. If someone has gone through the process of being arrested, sat in handcuffs, transported in the squad car, went through the whole court process and was found guilty of a DUI and then finds themselves making the choice to drink and drive again, there are certain significant judgment considerations, concerns, and possibly addiction problems that have to be addressed.
Defending a second offense DUI means the stakes are much higher. The difference is not the factual scenarios, the challenges, or the evidence. For the prosecution, the second-offense DUI is not a matter of will the defendant go to jail, but how much jail they are going to get.
Impact of a Second-Offense DUI Charge on a Driver’s License
If a driver is convicted of DUI, then they are subject to point accumulation on their driver’s license. They will get points for the DUI, which, in addition to the number of the points they already had on their driving record, can trigger a suspension, revocation, and other consequences by the MVA.
If a person is charged with a DUI within five years of the first DUI, the sanctions typically tend to be more significant from the Motor Vehicle Administration. If it is more than five years between the first and second offense, the subsequent DUI not be seen much differently than a first offense, based upon the breath test reading or whether they refused to take the breath test.
Challenging a Second-Time DUI License Suspension
The obstacles for someone fighting a driver’s license suspension after a second time DUI charge will depend on how long ago the prior DUI charge was. If it has been less than five years, the defendant’s options will be far more limited and the sanctions against their license will be greater. If the previous DUI occurred more than five years ago, the second DUI is treated as a first offense with those mandatory minimum consequences.
If acquitted of a second-offense DUI, a person could avoid conviction points. Individuals should note that this will not change the fact that they are subject to suspension based upon either a positive breath test or a refusal to take a breath test. Contact a seasoned Anne Arundel County subsequent offense DUI lawyer to learn more.
Applying For a Restricted License After a Second Drunk Driving Charge
With the help of a subsequent DUI offense attorney in Anne Arundel County, a driver could apply for a restricted license after being charged with a second offense DUI if they file within the requisite timeframe. If it has been less than five years or if it has been less than a certain number of years based on the offense, the defendant is ineligible for a restricted license so long as the driver elected to take the breath test and the result was under .15.
How Third-Offense DUI Charges are Prosecuted
A person who is facing their third DUI offense will almost certainly be considered as someone who has a significant alcohol issue. They will be treated harsher since they have put the public safety at very high risk three times and have not learned from two prior experiences. This means they could face jail time again and for a longer sentence.
The potential penalties for a third offense DUI are initially the same as a first offense DUI. This includes one year in jail for a DUI and 60 days for a DWI. If the prosecutor seeks an enhancement because of the accused’s priors, the consequences could be years of imprisonment.
Prosecutors do not offer diversion programs for a third-offense DUI. Courts treat a third offense DUI very seriously, which is why there is always going to be a period of incarceration for someone who has a third DUI conviction.
Does the Time Between DUI Offenses Matter?
The period of time between DUI charges plays a significant role in determining how severe a sanction the judge gives. If a person had two DUIs when they were 21 years old and are now 60 and get a third, there has been enough time lapse between the old charges and the new charge that the prior charges are not going to be seen as dispositive. However, if all three offenses occurred within a ten-year period, then the judge and prosecution will believe the defendant has a serious alcohol problem and should face enhanced penalties.
How Anne Arundel Attorneys Defend Against Third-Offense DUI Charges
In building a defense for a third-offense DUI, as with any DUI, an experienced Anne Arundel County subsequent offense DUI lawyer would first analyze whether the State has the evidence that it needs to go forward. If the State does not have the evidence required for a conviction, then the lawyer will want to proceed to trial to challenge whether that individual could be found guilty. If the evidence is strong, there are always aggressive preparations the attorney can make. The lawyer will review the facts of the case and see whether there are opportunities for challenges. Very frequently on a third offense, there may be some inpatient extended treatment to address the alcohol issues, as a judge undoubtedly will want the defendant to do.
Impact of a Third-Offense DUI Charge on a Driver’s License
The stakes are a little different on a third-offense DUI charge than the prior offenses. A defendant is subject to an automatic suspension pursuant to either a breath test or a refusal to take a breath test, and in many cases, the person would be eligible to get an interlock device or a limited suspension license. When it is a third offense DUI, the Medical Advisory Board might get involved. They can put a permanent ban on someone’s license until they are cleared or they may do a permanent interlock requirement. Someone might be required to have an interlock device for years if the Medical Advisory Board gets involved in the case. With a third-offense DUI, the defendant may lose their driving
Fighting a License Suspension After a Third DUI Charge
It is not the charges that trigger a suspension. It is the refusal of a breath test or the taking of the breath test that triggers a suspension. There is no difference in challenging a first, second, or third offense DUI charge. If proper procedure was not followed or if there are certain deficiencies in the evidence, the challenge is there to be made. Drivers may be able to apply for a restricted license after a third offense DUI only if their priors were many years ago. Anne Arundel County DUI attorneys who are familiar with subsequent offense cases could help individuals fight a license suspension.
Penalty Enhancements for Third-Offense DUIs
Having a third offense DUI is certainly problematic. The prosecutor can file a subsequent offender notice, which would be a penalty enhancement. If there was a minor or a juvenile in the car at the time, the driver could be subject to greater sanctions. The person could also have other charges that may enhance or aggravate their original offense. These additional charges include fleeing and eluding, a car accident, or a hit and run.
Contact an Anne Arundel County Subsequent Offense DUI Attorney
When someone is dealing with a subsequent offense DUI, the stakes are high. It is important to have a local Anne Arundel County subsequent offense DUI lawyer who is familiar w9tu the judges, the prosecutors, what does and does not work in these cases, and which steps to take.
If you are facing a DUI charge, reach out to an accomplished defense attorney as soon as possible. Let a lawyer fight for you and protect your rights. Call today.