If you have been charged with a crime in the past, you are all too aware that being arrested again can mean more trouble the second or third time around than it did the first. The more often you are arrested, the more harsh the penalty. And, if all of your prior cases are driving violations, you run the risk of losing your driving privileges. If you are not able to drive, it can be hard to get to work or school without imposing on friends or family, and this can get really old really fast. So, it is important to know how a repeat case is different from a first offense, and what you can do if you are charged a second or even third or fourth time with the same charge.
A repeat DUI is different from a first time DUI in the following ways:
• The potential time you might have to spend in jail with a first offense is between six and nine months, and you may not be incarcerated at all the first time around. But if this is your second DUI, you are looking at nine to twelve months in jail, and for a third time offense the jail time can be up to one year.
• A typical fine for a first time DUI is between $500.00 and $2,000.00, but is between $1,000.00 to $4,000.00 for a second case and $2,000.00 to $5,000.00 for a third time offense.
• You can lose your license from between 180 days to one year for the first DUI you get, but a second offense carries the possibility of loss of your driving privileges for 5 years and a third case goes up to ten years. The amount of time your license is suspended for can be reduced, and you might also have the possibility of obtaining a modified license.
The differences in possible jail time, loss of license, and fines you have to pay for a first time DUI vs. a repeat case are severe. The best way to avoid a repeat offense is to designate a driver or take a cab. But, we understand that even with the best planning, things happen. If you have been charged with a subsequent DUI, it is crucial that you partner with the right defense attorney quickly, and aggressively defend the charges against you. We can help.
If you have questions about first or subsequent DUI charges, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West.