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A second DUI charge within seven years of a previous conviction leads to harsh consequences. You can expect mandatory jail time, license suspension, substantial financial penalties, and significant demands on your time as you must complete traffic school, alcohol screening and counseling, and community service requirements.
A second-offense DUI conviction impacts your life in other ways. If your job involves driving, your employer might terminate you. Many professional licensing bodies will impose suspensions or other conditions on your license. A DUI conviction can impact your immigration status if you are not a citizen, and a judge could consider it when making child custody decisions.
You can defeat a DUI charge, but you need help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you were arrested for a second-offense DUI in Chandler, contact Grand Canyon Law Group immediately.
DUI with one prior offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, just like a first DUI. However, Arizona penalizes repeat offenders more harshly than first offenders. When the accused has a prior DUI conviction, the penalties increase significantly.
Someone convicted of a first DUI could serve only 24 hours in prison. However, conviction on a second offense requires them to do at least 30 days of a 90-day minimum sentence, with a maximum of 180 days. The license suspension for a second DUI is one year, and the fine could reach $3000 plus surcharges.
Someone convicted of a second DUI offense must attend traffic school, complete drug and alcohol screening, and engage in any recommended treatment. A second DUI conviction also requires 30 hours of community service. Those facing second DUIs should work with a skilled Chandler attorney to avoid these penalties.
The penalties described above apply when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than .149. Higher BACs trigger more serious charges with more severe penalties, as our second-offense DUI lawyers can explain.
According to Arizona Revised Statute §28-1382, the charge is extreme DUI when a driver’s BAC is between .15 and .199. If a driver’s BAC exceeds .20, the charge is super-extreme DUI. A conviction for extreme DUI requires an offender to serve at least 120 days in jail; for super-extreme DUI, the sentence is 180 days. The fines are $3250 and $3750 respectively, plus surcharges.
In addition, certain conditions can change a second-offense DUI from a Class 1 misdemeanor to an aggravated DUI, a felony. Aggravated DUI applies if the driver’s license was suspended or revoked, they were traveling the wrong way on the highway, or they had a passenger younger than 14.
A second-offense DUI charge is appropriate only if the accused has a DUI conviction on their record that occurred within seven years of their arrest. If a local attorney can show that there was no conviction, the charge was unrelated to driving under the influence, or the offense happened more than seven years ago, the prosecutor must reduce the second-offense charge to a first-offense DUI.
Additionally, police officers must have reasonable suspicion of a crime to stop a vehicle and have probable cause to administer a sobriety test. If legal counsel can show the police conducted an improper stop or illegal search, the judge could dismiss the charge.
Attacking police credentials and procedures can be an effective defense. Questioning the officers’ training to administer sobriety tests, the tests’ reliability, the maintenance and calibration of testing equipment, and the lab work could yield positive results for an accused person. In addition, certain medical conditions could affect the results of a chemical test for alcohol. The Chandler lawyers at our firm will explore every potential defense to defeat the second-time DUI charges.
A second-offense DUI charge carries harsh penalties. If convicted, you must serve significant time in jail in addition to other sanctions.
A skilled attorney is your best bet at mounting an effective defense and avoiding the severe consequences of a conviction. When you face a second-offense DUI in Chandler, Grand Canyon Law Group should be your first call. Contact us today to get started on your case.