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Defending Against a Second-Offense DUI Charge: Your Legal Rights

Defending Against a Second-Offense DUI Charge: Your Legal Rights

The first DUI offense may be considered a misdemeanor if no bodily harm or death occurs during a traffic stop or checkpoint. However, a DUI 2nd offense would have more dire consequences. Possible jail time and fines as high as $10,000 may be considered. How long and how much depends on if someone was hurt or killed in an accident. 


Another issue to consider is losing your license for up to two years. Let’s discuss what can happen with a DUI 2nd offense and how getting a DUI attorney can reduce the charges or have them dropped entirely. 


What the Indiana Law Says About a DUI 2nd Offense

A six-level scale is used to judge the severity of a DUI and determine the punishments an individual may face. Level one is the lesser of the offenses, while six is the most severe. If it has been judged over five years and if a second offense occurs within the time frame, what would be a misdemeanor would turn into a felony. 


Every situation varies, and the level of punishment for the second offense depends on the issues around the first. If only a citation and arrest were made on the first offense and no one was injured or killed, the second offense would have its consequences, but not as severe. However, if someone was hurt or died in a DUI accident on the first offense, the second automatically becomes a felony. Then the fine would remain as high as $10,000, but the prison time would increase from two and a half to six years. This circumstance would bring the charges to level five or six. It all depends on what happened during the first DUI and the events of the second one. An attorney will work to reduce or drop the charges, but the judge has the final say in the matter.


Losing your license is another issue to consider because driving is such a privilege that the state law calls for a two-year suspension upon an arrest for a DUI. The only way out of this punishment is if the attorney finds a cause to drop all charges. There are many times mistakes are made in the arrests of DUI suspects. The case will be settled in court if the attorney finds a violation on the arresting officer’s part, with all charges dropped. Even though states have their own set of laws, everything must abide by the U.S. constitutional rights of every U.S. citizen.


Why Do You Need a DUI Attorney in Your Defense?

Representing yourself in court could be a disaster, especially when the prosecution uses legal terms and throws the book with courtroom intimidation skills. It is wise to have an advocate to speak for you in court who knows how the system works.


 In most cases, the attorneys know the prosecution and the judge, which gives them the advantage of knowing how they work. It is in your best interest to have someone who knows the law to help get you out of the bind or lessen the outcome of consequences. 


It is your life that is at stake. A felony will stick for life and ruin the chances of good-paying jobs, mortgaging a home, and other things that most people take for granted. 


There are many loopholes that an experienced attorney knows that can get the charges dropped or lessened. They will go down a checklist starting with the probable cause. The police have to do everything according to the book of the law, or else the case is null and void. If there is no reason for the cop to pull you over, your constitutional rights are violated, and the case will be thrown out of court. These are some other issues the attorney will look into when reviewing the case.


Unconstitutional Checkpoints

Checkpoints are designed to catch impaired drivers in the act. Instead of the police going after them, a trap is set up on a main road, allowing impaired drivers to come to them. Sometimes these checkpoints are not correctly set up according to the law. They also may not be in the proper location. Any slip-up will cause the case to get thrown out of court. 


Medications In Consideration

Some legal prescriptions can cause the driver to seem impaired. It may alter their speech or motions, leaving them uncoordinated and causing them to fail a sobriety test. If there is proof the driver was on the prescription medication and additional tests were not taken at the time of the arrest, then the case is no good.


Faulty Sobriety Tests

There are procedures that the arresting officer must follow. A field sobriety test must be given up to standard and appropriately graded, or the charges will be dropped. 


Inadmissible Blood Tests

Blood tests are the most accurate readings for the alcohol blood count. If the police force the suspect into taking a blood test, then the evidence in the blood test will become inadmissible in court. The Supreme Court ruled that a warrant must be issued if a blood test is required. The blood test could not be used as evidence if no warrant was issued. 


Breath Tests Not Properly Calibrated

Breathalyzers measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath. The driver must breathe into the machine, and the number is given to determine if they pass or fail the test. If there is proof that the device was not correctly calibrated, it delivers a faulty reading. The case will be dismissed.


Contact Trapp Law, LLC for DUI Second Offense

If you find yourself with a DUI second offense, getting an attorney to speak on your behalf is in your best interest. Trapp Law, LLC is experienced in handling DUI cases and works to deliver the best outcome possible in your case, whether it is getting lesser charges or having the matter dropped. If you need a DUI attorney in this situation, contact us immediately!