Wicomico County Third Offense DUI Lawyer
Third offense DUI charges are heard in the district court of Wicomico. The trial itself will be virtually the same as the first DUI in terms of the charges in question and the evidence gathered and presented to the court. What will be different, however, is the severity of the penalties imposed in sentencing. For instance, there will be a marked difference in how much jail time you are going to be required to serve and what impositions, restrictions, probation, and provisions are imposed. These will all certainly be more aggressive and severe for a third DUI offense. That is why, if you are facing your third set of DUI charges in Wicomico, it is imperative to contact a qualified DUI attorney as soon as possible. A Wicomico County third offense DUI lawyer can help you build the strongest possible defense in light of the charges, and will work by your side to achieve the best outcome possible.
For a first offense there is the possibility of serving up to a year in jail for a DUI, as well as gaining 12 points or a 60-day suspension, and eight points for a DWI conviction. However, in the case of a third offense, the prosecutor has the ability to file a notice of subsequent offender. This alerts the court to the fact that this is not the first time a defendant has been charged with a DUI. The notice then allows the prosecuting attorney to pursue increased jail time for the defendant. Specifically, it could lead to a one-year additional penalty for each prior conviction. In the case of a third offense, this would mean possibly facing three years of incarceration instead of one.
Monetarily, the penalties are not vastly altered. As with the first two times, the court is legally permitted to impose fines in the hundreds or even low thousands of dollars, but that is highly unusual. The more likely scenario with regard to penalties is a greater amount of time served in jail. An important factor that will determine the length of the incarceration will be how much time transpired between the first and second DUI’s, as well as the second and third. It makes a big difference if there are on average 20 years between DUI offenses as opposed to two years, or six months. Three charges within a shorter period of time will certainly affect the severity of the consequences imposed by the court.
Building A Defense
The key to building a strong defense in the case of a third DUI charge is to demonstrate to the court that the defendant is making an honest effort to get more intensive treatment and more intensive help than they did before. Beyond that, the defense is very similar to that of a first DUI with regard to the type of evidence examined and the questions asked. Some possible questions a third offense DUI attorney in Wicomico County may wish to investigate include:
- Did the officer make a mistake?
- Was all the evidence preserved?
- Were all proper procedures followed?
For a third offense, all attempts to convince the judge to minimize the incarceration period will have to be more aggressively approached. This is because the judge will be under the impression the individual in question has not benefited from previous incarceration or treatment, and that therefore a more severe punishment is needed. This may not necessarily be the case and it is up to the Wicomico County third offense DUI lawyer to prove it. There are a number of ways the defendant can demonstrate to the court that they are taking serious measures to correct their behavior. Effective examples include but are not limited to:
- Enrolling in an inpatient program at a reputable facility
- Earning a certificate of sobriety from an aftercare program
- Installing an interlock ignition device in one’s vehicle
- Attending weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
How An Attorney Can Help
The end goal is to establish that jail time would be less effective than allowing the defendant to continue to actively take responsibility for and control over their lives. The most compelling way to make that case is with an experienced attorney by your side. A qualified Wicomico County DUI lawyer will help build the strongest defense possible, as well as guide and advise you throughout the intimidating and often complex process.