Being arrested and charged with DUI can be an incredibly stressful and costly experience. But if you have prior DUI convictions, you may be facing far more serious consequences than the sentence you received for your first DUI conviction.
Multiple DUI convictions can result in severe criminal penalties, including hefty fines and months or even years in jail or prison. If you have been arrested for a second or subsequent DUI offense, you need experienced legal representation to advocate for your rights and to help you pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Turn to Bence Law Firm, LLC, for the strong defense you need. A trusted Phenix City multiple DUI offense lawyer will be by your side every step of the way.
Contact us today for a free initial case review to learn more about how a tenacious DUI attorney can help you protect and assert your legal rights when facing charges on a second or subsequent DUI offense.
Repeat Offender DUI Laws in Phenix City
In Alabama, any DUI conviction is counted toward the mandatory minimum sentences for multiple convictions if the prior conviction took place within the last five years (also called the “lookback” period). With each subsequent DUI conviction during the lookback period, the penalties you can face substantially increase. After enough convictions, you may face felony charges that can result in having to spend years in prison.
If you had a DUI conviction that took place more than five years ago, and you are arrested and convicted for DUI again, it will be treated as a first-time offense. However, even though that conviction is considered a first-time offense to establish the sentencing ranges, the trial court can consider old DUI convictions as part of the exercise of the judge’s discretion in determining what sentence to impose.
The Core DUI Statute in Alabama
Under Alabama Code Title 32, section 5A-191, a person may not operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, or while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the extent that they have been rendered incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
Motorists under the age of 21 may not have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.02 percent. The 0.02 percent BAC limit also applies to school/daycare bus drivers. A commercial vehicle driver may not operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more.
A first-time conviction for DUI under the statute can result in a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of $600 to $2,100. A driver will also have his or her license suspended for 90 days unless the driver installs an ignition interlock device.
Both the license suspension and the ignition interlock device become mandatory if the driver refused a breathalyzer test, had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, or had a BAC of 0.15 percent or more.
Penalties for Multiple DUI Convictions
Alabama law does not take a lenient view of people who repeatedly drink and drive. As a result, the penalties for incurring multiple convictions for DUI rapidly increase from the penalties that can be imposed for a first-time conviction.
A second DUI conviction (within five years of a prior DUI conviction) can result in a sentence that includes:
- A fine of $1,100 to $5,100
- A possible jail term of up to one year with a mandatory requirement of five days in jail or community service of 30 days
- License revocation for one year
- Requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicles
The court may increase these penalties if aggravating circumstances were involved in your case, such as having a child under the age of 14 in your vehicle or having a BAC of 0.15 or more.
A third DUI conviction carries a sentence that includes:
- A fine of $2,100 to $10,100
- Jail time of 60 days to one year
- Driver’s license suspension for three years
- Requirement to place ignition interlock devices on your vehicles
For a fourth and subsequent DUI conviction, a driver will be sentenced under a Class C felony. Punishments include:
- A fine of $4,100 to $10,100
- A term of imprisonment of one year and one day to 10 years (However, a driver can reduce the minimum sentence to 10 days in jail if he or she completes a substance abuse treatment program approved by the court. Thereafter, a driver may be placed on probation for the remainder of the term of incarceration, which may be served under house arrest or electronic surveillance.)
- License revocation for five years
- Requirement to install an ignition interlock device on vehicles
A multiple DUI offense lawyer in Phenix City can review the circumstances of your case to create a strong defense that could result in lessened or dropped penalties.
How a Phenix City Multiple DUI Offense Attorney Can Help You
If you have been arrested for a second or subsequent DUI, a defense lawyer from Bence Law Firm, LLC, can help you by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation and evaluation of your case to help you understand your legal rights and the possible outcomes of your charges
- Working quickly to identify possible defenses to your charges, such as contesting the validity of breath test results or the legality of your traffic stop, to possibly secure a reduction in the severity of your charge or dismissal of your case
- Negotiating for an outcome that allows you to avoid the most serious consequences of a conviction, such as negotiating for your admission into substance abuse treatment
- Advocating in your defense at trial if you choose to contest your charges
If you have been charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense, you need to act quickly to protect your rights, freedom, and future. Contact a Phenix City multiple DUI offense attorney at Bence Law Firm, LLC, today for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll help you understand your legal options when facing a DUI charge with prior convictions and explain how our firm can help you pursue the best possible outcome to your charges.