Arlington Second-Offense DUI Lawyer
Prosecutors in Arlington handle second-offense DUI charges more seriously than first offenses. After a first offense, the driver would have had an opportunity to change their actions through classes, restrictions on their license, and even the threat of incarceration. Because a subsequent drunk driving offense comes after the driver had become aware of potential substance abuse issues or the severity of their actions, these offenses are treated very harshly, generally requiring the help of an experienced drunk driving attorney.
While a judge may show some leniency for a first violation, any charges after that will draw more severe consequences. Although more is at stake, an Arlington second-offense DUI lawyer could help you navigate the legal process and potentially mitigate the ramifications.
Second DUI Conviction Penalties
The penalties for a second-offense DUI in Arlington depends on a number of factors. This includes whether it is a second offense within five years of the first or within ten years of the initial violation. It is also important to note that whether the blood alcohol content is above 0.15 or above 0.20, the penalties get much more drastic, involving more than 30 days of mandatory jail time.
While Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine, second-offense DUIs have mandatory jail time. If someone has a DUI that is within five years of the first offense, they are looking at a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail before they start calculating additional enhancements for blood alcohol content, any contraband found during the searching of the car, and other factors. For a second offense in ten years, there is a 10-day mandatory minimum so the punishment is less severe, but few people can afford to spend 10 days in jail.
Building a Defense for a Second Drunk Driving Offense in Arlington
Arlington DUI lawyers build a defense for second-offense DUI charges in the same way they do for first-offense charges, but with additional emphasis on understanding how the person got the conviction of the first offense and whether that would impact the current charge. Some of the attorney’s strategies may be affected if the defendant needs a restricted license as part of their daily living. When it is a second-offense DUI in ten years, it may be easier to obtain a restricted license whereas a second conviction within five years comes with a much longer and stricter term of suspension, and even a skilled DUI defense attorney may have difficulty convincing the judge to be lenient.
Affects on a License After the Second Conviction
According to the Code of Virginia, after a second DUI conviction their license would be suspended for three years. This three-year suspension is similar to the 12-month suspension for a first offense in that it is a three-year loss of license for a Virginia license holder and a three-year loss of Virginia privileges for an out-of-state holder.
When a driver asks for a restricted license for a second offense, they will likely run into a number of issues. The first issue is it is not automatic that the court is going to grant them a restricted license. They may look at the time period between the person’s first and second offenses as well as their performance while having a restricted license to see if they are a good candidate for another restricted license.
Second, if they are convicted of a second offense within five years, they are not eligible for a restricted license for a period of one year. If they are convicted with a second offense within ten years, they are not eligible for a restricted license for several months. Additionally, even if a restricted license is granted, after a second conviction, drivers must install and use an ignition interlock device on every vehicle they might drive, at great expense, to prove that they are sober and able to drive.
How an Attorney Could Help You Fight a Second DUI Charge
While an attorney could challenge a license suspension following a conviction, these challenges are very difficult. It is much better to contact an Arlington second-offense DUI lawyer right away to fight the charge from the very beginning. If you successfully beat the charge, your license will be automatically reinstated, and you can go on your way. To get started on your case and to learn more about your legal options, call a dedicated DUI attorney today and schedule a consultation.