For most second-offense DUI charges in Charleston, prosecutors will treat the case much more seriously than a first-time DUI, and they may be less willing to resolve the case for some alternative resolution other than a plea to a DUI. As such, a defendant should consider retaining a seasoned Charleston second-offense DUI lawyer for help. A criminal defense attorney could be crucial in securing a favorable outcome.

Potential Penalties

The penalties for a second-offense DUI in Charleston are determined by the person’s blood alcohol content. For a second-offense DUI in Charleston with a BAC of less than 0.10, an individual can face a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000 and a mandatory minimum of five days up to one year in jail.

If the blood alcohol content in the second-offense DUI in Charleston is between 0.10 and 0.16, the individual can receive a fine of between $2,500 and $5,500 and a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail and up to two years in prison. If the individual with a second-offense DUI in Charleston has a blood alcohol content of 0.16 or higher, they could be fined $3,500 to $6,500 and be given 90 days mandatory jail time up to three years in prison.

How Courts Treat Second-Offense DUIs

Courts tend to be less lenient on second-offense DUI offenders than they are on first-offense DUI offenders. Factors to be considered are the underlying blood alcohol content, the particular second-offense case, and whether the individual has other convictions on their record concerning substance abuse. Defending a second-offense DUI requires much more attention to detail and to the client’s specific circumstances with regards to underlying substance abuse than with a first-offense DUI.

No diversion programs are available for a second-offense DUI in Charleston. Probation might be offered depending on whether or not the case is an aggravated second-offense DUI.

Building an Effective Defense

An experienced Charleston DUI lawyer knows that in the case of a second-offense DUI charge, an extensive investigation is most important. The lawyer should determine whether the arresting officer is experienced in DUI prosecutions and arrests and address any underlying substance abuse issues that the defendant may have. Using experts as necessary to help and support an individual’s theory of defense on a second-offense DUI is also vital.

The factors that are taken into consideration in a second-offense DUI are:

  • Whether the loss of driving privileges would interfere with the person’s employment
  • The presence of an underlying substance abuse issue
  • Whether the individual has the financial means to hire an expert

A defense investigation may involve determining the presence of signs of impairment and identifying whether the arresting officer is experienced and knowledgeable enough to administer the field sobriety and breathalyzer tests.

Contacting a Knowledgeable Charleston Second-Offense DUI Attorney

If you are facing a second DUI charge, prosecutors will take your case very seriously. It is a mistake to attempt to represent yourself in court. Instead, let a Charleston second-offense DUI lawyer help you reach a favorable outcome in your case. Contact a defense attorney today for help.