If you are facing a subsequent DUI charge after you have already been charged with a DUI in the past, it is very important that you consider hiring a DUI lawyer. One DUI offense is bad, but two or more is very serious. In general, the more DUI offenses you have, the worse the penalties will become. Although every state has its own laws about multiple DUI charges, what you can expect in all states is harsher penalties including license revocation and jail or prison time. Even if you did not have a lawyer during your first DUI offense, now is the time to consider having one on your side.
With a second DUI, the punishments may be significantly drastic from that of your first DUI. In nearly all states there will be mandatory jail time for a second offense. This could vary from 3 days in jail to one year. In addition to spending time in jail, you may expect thousands of dollars in fines, as well as, a court ordered substance abuse program. Often you will lose your license until you show the DMV that you have completed this program.
To add to these penalties you may expect several years of probation and mandatory visits to court where you will be asked to show progress reports and other prove of your obligations. Bare in mind that if you are given a probation sentence, you may not be able to travel out of state, or country for that matter, without the permission of your probation officer.
With your second DUI, it is almost certain that you will face a license suspension. Unlike a first time offense, dealing with a second DUI drivers license suspension could mean that you lose your license for up to a year. It may be possible to get a restricted license after 60-180 days. To obtain this type of license you would need to meet certain requirements; for example, your court case may need to be completed.
An ignition interlock device will likely need to be installed on your car. This is a device that will ask you to blow into a breathalyzer machine. If you have been drinking, your car won’t start.
Should you have refused to take a breath test, or any other type of testing, during your second DUI, the penalties are worse. A one to two year license suspension and mandatory jail time is probable.
A third DUI offense will worsen the penalties, especially without a DUI lawyer. In addition to losing your license for quite some time, you might be sentenced to 3-6 months in jail, or up to one year or more. Substance abuse programs, rehab, AA meetings, probation, ignition interlock device installation, and fees are often ordered by a judge.
A fourth DUI within a period of so many years, usually 10, is considered to be a felony in most states. It is not uncommon to be sent to prison for at least a year and to lose your license for life.
If there are any mitigating circumstances in your DUI case, for example, you caused an accident, the penalties can be significantly worse. To add to things your DUI offenses can affect where you live, where you work, where you can travel, your ability to take out a loan, your insurance rates, and more. The average cost of a first time DUI offense is $10000 – $20000 over a 10 year period, when taking fines, fees, insurance hikes, and so forth into consideration. The second DUI offense can cost as much as double as can any further offenses. Most people cannot risk losing this amount of money. Even though you have to pay for a good DWI attorney Virginia offers, the cost of your legal fees could be less than what you would have to pay had you chosen not to have a lawyer on your side.
Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and receiving a second, third, or fourth DUI charge.