Second DUI Offense: What Are Your Options?
If you get a 2nd DUI conviction in Pennsylvania within 10 years of the first offense, you unfortunately face increased penalties. Second DUI consequences will depend on several factors, most notably your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time of the offense. The following paragraphs break down potential penalties by BAC ranges:
BAC of .08% to .099%
If your 2nd DUI offense occurs with this BAC, you may face up to 6 months in jail, fines of $300-$2,500, and up to 150 hours of community service. You may have to attend alcohol safety school and use an interlock device on your car’s ignition for up to one year. Your license will also be suspended for one year.
BAC of .10% to .159%
With a second DUI and this BAC level, you could face fines of $750-$5,000 and anywhere from one to six months in jail. Your license will be suspended for 12 months and you’ll need to attend DUI school. In addition, you may be required to complete up to 150 hours of community service, use an interlock device on your car and complete mandatory addiction treatment.
BAC of .16% or higher
At this level, a second DUI becomes a 1st degree misdemeanor rather than just a misdemeanor. Your license will be suspended for 18 months, and you may face 90 days to five years imprisonment as well as fines ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. You may be required to complete up to 150 hours of community service or addiction treatment and alcohol safety school. You will be required to use an interlock device for your ignition for a year before your license can be reinstated.
A 2nd Offense DUI Compared to Your First Offense
When it comes to DUIs, 2nd offense charges have much more at stake. While you may automatically lose your license and face harsher penalties, it may also be harder to get the charges reduced. When it comes to a DUI, second offense charges need to be taken seriously. You’ll want to contact an attorney immediately after you’re charged to protect yourself.
When contacting an attorney about a DUI, consider the performance of the attorney who handled your first charge. The stakes are much higher, so you want to be sure that you are choosing an experienced attorney you trust. In some cases, you could face felony charges and if you lose your license, you may need to apply for a hardship license if you need a car to get to and from work. With a second DUI offense, you’re also more likely to have additional charges levied against you.
House arrest is also an option and an attorney may seek to have you placed under house arrest rather than in jail. In addition, since BAC is so important to second offenses, a qualified attorney will usually work to determine how accurate the BAC results were. If there’s a chance that poor testing results or incorrect testing methods were used, an attorney can gather evidence and work to get your charges dropped.
Choosing an experienced DUI attorney will provide a fresh perspective on your case, and this attorney will be able to focus fully on your second offense DUI rather than your past. Look for an attorney with specific experience handling 2nd DUI charges and an attorney who understands the differentiating factors between first and second offenses. You want to work with someone who will advocate for you, so you don’t face harsh penalties that could threaten your future.
Contact MPL Law
Even if you have made a mistake, you deserve professional legal representation and support. If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Pennsylvania and have a prior DUI conviction, contact MPL Law today. Our professional and compassionate legal staff will listen to the details of your situation. Thanks to our previous cases with second DUI charges, we understand what’s at stake and will work to protect you and your family.
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