For one reason or another, it is not uncommon for Lexington drivers to be charged with a second DUI offense. Perhaps the driver is unable to fight the temptation of driving after drinking too much; or perhaps the driver is simply unlucky and is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the circumstances of the present DUI charge, the second-time DUI offender needs a vigorous and experienced legal defense in order to maximize his or her chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
What Constitutes a “Second” Offense?
Simply put, a prior conviction for DUI that occurs within five years of the present DUI offense is counted as a “prior” offense that can result in the new DUI charge being considered a second offense. But it is not required that the prior DUI conviction have occurred in the state of Kentucky; in fact, any prior DUI conviction from any state can be considered a “prior conviction.”
What Penalties Do I Face as a Second-Time DUI Offender?
The penalties for a second-time DUI offense are designed to deter the driver from driving while under the influence in the future. The penalties take into account that the driver has already had a chance to reform his or her behavior through the milder penalties of a first-time DUI offense. The penalties include:
1 A minimum of 7 days in jail, up to a maximum of 6 months in jail. The minimum jail sentence is doubled to 14 days if there are “aggravating circumstances” present. “Aggravating circumstances” exist if the driver was under the influence and:
- Speeding more than 30 miles an hour over the speed limit;
- Drove the wrong way on a limited access highway;
- Caused an accident that resulted in a death or serious injury;
- Had an alcohol level that measured more than 0.15 two or more hours after last operating a vehicle;
- Refused to submit to testing; or
- Had a passenger under the age of 12 in the vehicle.
2 A fine between $350 and $500. The fine does not include any other court-ordered costs that may be imposed such as court costs, attorney’s fees, or costs for alcohol or substance abuse counseling.
3 Up to one year of alcohol or substance abuse treatment.
4 Suspension of one’s license for a period of 12 to 18 months.
5 Between 10 days and 6 months of community labor.
How Can Suhre & Associates, LLC Help?
If you have been charged with a second DUI violation, you need to take swift action. Having the advocacy and experience of the attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC on your side can mean the difference between a conviction and hearing the words, “not guilty.” We can investigate your alleged “prior convictions,” ensuring that the court does not consider convictions that are not valid under the laws. Even if you are convicted, our attorneys can successfully argue on your behalf that the court should impose the minimum sentence allowable. Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today at (859) 685-1021.