Many people make mistakes and some make the same mistake more than once. Unfortunately, if the error is driving while intoxicated, the consequences for a repeat offense usually include some jail time. Drivers charged with a second DUI who believe they are innocent should retain a specialized attorney immediately so they can fight the charges to avoid time behind bars.
Second DUI Penalties
An initial DUI conviction usually results in fines, temporary license suspension, and participation in an alcohol education or treatment program. Unless they injured or killed another person, most first time DUI offenders are able to remain out of jail. The same cannot be said for individuals convicted of DUI for the second time. These folks are likely to spend some time behind bars as mandated by the DUI laws in the state of residence.
Almost all states require time in jail for a second DUI conviction but the amount of time varies by state. In Tennessee, second-time offenders face between 45 days and 11 months, 29 days behind bars if convicted. Even if they manage to avoid jail, their driver licenses will be revoked for two years, limiting their mobility. In Pennsylvania, drivers with a prior DUI offense face between five days and six months in jail and those with blood-alcohol content of 0.16 percent or more are looking at between 90 days and five years of prison time.
California imposes mandatory jail time for DUI beginning with the first offense. Jail time increases from a minimum of 48 hours to at least 96 hours from the first to second conviction. Many California counties require a minimum of ten days in jail for a second-time DUI offense and some even mandate up to 30 days behind bars for two-time offenders.
Fighting the Charge
Being charged with DUI does not equate to being guilty. In this country, people are presumed innocent until their guilt is proven. Results of field sobriety and chemical tests, among other factors, serve as proof in DUI cases. Field sobriety tests are notoriously subjective and mistakes can be made during the administration and analysis of chemical testing, so retain a lawyer if there is any doubt of guilt.
Good DUI attorneys are difficult to find using conventional methods. Using the Internet is the quickest and most convenient method, so visit FightDUICharges.com and request a free DUI arrest evaluation as soon as possible. An experienced DUI lawyer will review the evidence to identify mistakes and determine whether there is a chance of successfully fighting the charges.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.