How Second Time DUI Charges Are Different From First Time DUI Charges

In Virginia second DUI charges are often treated much more seriously than first time DUI charges. Below, a Henrico County DUI lawyer discusses the specific ways that a second time DUI charge is treated differently, including consequences and how a defense needs to be built. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

How Is Treatment For a Second Offense DUI Difference From a First?

Second offense charges are treated significantly more harshly than a first offense. Prosecutors are less likely to negotiate or consider mitigating factors without a strong legal defense. In addition, all second offense charges come with an active jail sentence. The way the court and the prosecutors view second offenses is that you obviously didn’t learn your lesson the first time and that there is clearly an issue with alcohol. They will punish these charges vigorously.

Building a Defense For Second DUI Charges

Building a defense in a second offense DUI charge is actually very similar to a first offense what an attorney will be looking at is the probable cause for the stop. They’ll also be looking to determine if the officer followed the correct procedures and how they tested you and if you were advised of your implied consent rights.  What we’re also looking at is how they operated the machine and if the machine was maintained and operated correctly.  In addition, with a second offense we’re also looking to see if the prior offenses can be used to elevate your current charge. If we can show that there is some sort of deficiency with the first offense or if it’s recorded incorrectly, we can sometimes get the first offense removed and have you charge reduced.

How is Defending a Second DUI Different From a First?

With a second offense DUI the prosecutors are less likely to negotiate a settlement. They’re also less likely to consider mitigating factors. You have to develop very strong legal defenses on a second offense DUI for purposes of trying to negotiate with the prosecutors in order to get these matters reduced or at least get the sentence minimized.

Your Drivers License Following a Second DUI Offense

After you’re arrested on a second offense DUI charge, there is an automatic administrative suspension of 60 days for a second offense. If you’re convicted of a DUI second offense charge in Henrico County, there is an automatic three year loss of license.

Do You Challenge Your License Suspension Any Differently For a Second Offense?

There’s no difference between a first offense and a second offense regarding how you challenge a license suspension. You would still have to file a motion with the court immediately. The only real distinct difference would be if you can show that it is not actually a second offense. If the first offense they’re using to elevate it is not correct. Sometimes you can get the administrative suspension reduced from a 60 day to a 7 day if you can show that.