Prince William County Second-Offense DUI Lawyer
Any criminal lawyer could tell you that a DUI is a serious charge and that a second offense can carry even greater weight. A Prince William County second-offense DUI lawyer could clarify the enhanced penalties and impacts that accompany a subsequent DUI. If you are facing your second DUI charge, reach out to a seasoned defense attorney who could advocate for you and help you understand your legal options.
Treatment in Court of Second-Offense DUIs
As with a first-offense DUI, almost all second-offense DUI charges in Prince William County will start in the general district court. As in a first-time DUI charge, the defendant reserves the right to appeal a decision if they are unhappy with the outcome, or if there is some error with the way the prosecution handled the case.
Second-offense DUI charges are handled aggressively by the commonwealth attorney’s office in Prince William County. The prosecution will take a second offense very seriously as there will be concern about the safety of the public if an individual appears to habitually drive while intoxicated. The prosecution likely fears getting too light of a sentence, allowing for further offenses and potentially risking harm to the public. A Prince William County second-offense DUI lawyer could fight to show that a defendant will pose no future danger to their community.
The courts see many people who have serious substance abuse problems, and some of those people cause severe harm to individual members of the public, themselves, or their families. A compassionate judge may see a DUI as an opportunity to intervene in a defendant’s life, and encourage them to get the help they may need to fight their potential addiction.
Penalties for Repeat Offense DUIs
Many of the penalties for a second-offense DUI in Prince William County are the same as a first DUI such as a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. However, the minimum penalties are increased, and the minimum penalty depends on the length of time since the person had their prior DUI. Someone convicted of a second DUI within five years would receive a minimum sentence of 30 days.
Another important difference between a first and second offense is the length of a license suspension. A first-offense DUI carries a one-year license suspension, but a second offense will suspend a license for three years. A driver will be ineligible to obtain a restricted license for the entirety of the first of those three years.
A person’s case can be helped by having a greater length of time between DUIs. The longer the time between charges, the better argument they may have in court with the help of a second-offense DUI lawyer in Prince William County.
A court may give a benefit of the doubt to a first time DUI offender as they may not know that they were over the legal limit, or may have simply made a one time mistake. However, with subsequent offenses, the defendant is expected to learn from their mistake and seek out help or education programs to deal with their potential problem. After one offense, a person is expected to know better than to get into the same situation as before. Consequently, judges usually impose stronger sentences and more restrictive stipulations on a second offense.
Contact a Prince William County Second-Offense DUI Attorney Today
After your first DUI, the courts and law enforcement will be watching your behavior. If they catch you driving under the influence again, the penalties will accordingly more severe. If you have been charged with your second DUI, no matter how long ago the last offense was, you may need a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Call a Prince William County second-offense DUI lawyer today to schedule a consultation on your case.