If you’ve been convicted of DUI before, facing your second offense can be doubly scary. No doubt you remember what you went through the last time you were convicted of DUI. And you probably know that, since you’ve already been found guilty of driving while intoxicated before, the court will be even tougher on you this time. This time, if you are convicted, you will definitely spend at least some time in jail, you will definitely have your license suspended, and you will pay fines that could add up to thousands of dollars. Plus, since a DUI conviction is already on your record, you might think the court will be even more likely to convict you again and certainly less likely to believe your side of the story.
Even worse, your second DUI conviction in Adams County is going to go on your permanent record, just like your first one. That means that for the rest of your life, your permanent record will show that you have been found guilty of driving while intoxicated two times, and that anyone who might want to learn about your “dirty laundry” will be able to know it. Your permanent record is part of the public record, and everything on it is there for everyone to see – every person who might hire you, or loan you money for a house, or help you start a business… you won’t be able to hide the truth. And that will be true even if this is the very last time you ever break the law.
You will probably remember part of what is going to happen next based on the last time you were charged with DUI. Once again, you’ll be charged according to the B.A.C., which stands for Blood Alcohol Concentration, that the police found in your bloodstream when they arrested you. You can expect to face higher penalties than last time because this is your second offense, and those higher penalties will also increase based on how high your B.A.C. is. If you did not take the blood or breath test and the police report that you refused it, you will be charged as if you were in the “Highest Impairment” category, and the penalties will be extremely high.
The three different categories are as follows.
General Impairment — B.A.C. between .08 and .099%, only in cases where the driver is at least 21 years old and there has been no injury and no property damage. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense in this category, expect to spend five days-six months in jail, lose your license for a year and pay a fine ranging from $300 to $2500.
High Impairment — B.A.C. between .10 and 0.159%, also a General Impairment B.A.C. for a driver under 21, or a General Impairment B.A.C. with an accident or an injury to another person. School bus drivers with a B.A.C. between 0.02% and .159% and Commercial Vehicle with a B.A.C. of .04 to 0.159% also fall under the High Impairment category.
A conviction for your second DUI offense in this category are much higher, including 30 days to six months in prison, a suspended license for a year and a fine of at least $750, and possibly as much as $5,000.
Highest Impairment — B.A.C. of .16% or higher. People who are accused of driving under the influence of drugs, or who refuse to take a blood or breath test, are also charged in this category. If this is your second offense and you are convicted, you will wind up with a first degree misdemeanor on your permanent record. Plus, you’ll be sentenced to 90 days to five years in jail, your license will be suspended for 18 months and you’ll be fined at least $1500, and possibly as much as $10,000.
If you’ve been accused of your second Pennsylvania DUI, you have reason to feel nervous and concerned – punishments like automatic time in prison, loss of your license and high fines have the power to change your life. But you may not realize that you also have some power to fight back. If you hire an aggressive, DUI attorney to represent you, you can give yourself a fighting chance of avoiding a second DUI conviction. Not every DUI case is winnable; you even second offense DUIs can be beaten in some circumstances. However, you basically have no chance whatsoever of winning your case if you don’t hire someone to represent your interests against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
If you’ve been arrested for your second DUI and are ready to fight back, call The McShane Firm . We’ll meet with you as soon as possible and figure out the best way to protect you and your future.