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If you are charged with a DUI and have a prior conviction for drunk driving within the last five years, the state will consider this instance your second offense, potentially resulting in more severe penalties than your first conviction.

For this reason, it may be wise to contact an experienced Auburn second-offense DUI lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. Read on to learn more about the role a professional defense attorney could play in your case.

Alabama DUI Laws

Any licensed driver 21 years of age or older whose blood-alcohol content level is found to be .08% or higher may be legally considered under the influence of alcohol. If found to be operating a motor vehicle in that state, that driver could be charged with driving under the influence. If the driver is operating a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer or delivery van, then the BAC legal limit is .04%. Furthermore, a driver who is under 21 or a driver who is operating a school bus can be charged with DUI if their BAC is over .02%.

Potential Penalties

Drivers convicted of first-offense DUI in Auburn likely had their driver’s license suspended for 90 days, had to attend DUI education classes, and had to pay $100 to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. They may also have had to pay a fine of between $500 and $2,000 and possibly served some time in jail. As difficult as the penalties for first-offense DUI may have been, a conviction for a second offense will likely result in longer jail time—a minimum of 48 consecutive hours up to a maximum of one year. A conviction on second-offense DUI charges also means a mandatory one-year loss of license, another DUI education class, and another $100 paid to the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. A judge may also impose a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000.

Aggravating Factors

If an impaired driver’s BAC was over .15%, they had a child in the vehicle with them, or they caused a vehicle accident in which someone was injured, the fine can be doubled because of these aggravating factors. They may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for two years once their license is reinstated. Reach out to a professional Auburn first offense DUI attorney to learn more.

Fighting a DUI Charge

There are several steps a skilled Auburn second-offense DUI lawyer could take to prepare a defense against the defendant’s charges. First, they could examine the circumstances that caused law enforcement to stop the vehicle in the first place that led to criminal charges.

In Auburn, a police officer must have probable cause to pull over a driver suspected of drunk driving. If the vehicle was swerving or if the driver was involved in a vehicle accident, those may be considered strong reasons by a judge for police to have stopped a driver and charged them with DUI.

Potential Defense Strategies

However, if it is unclear whether or not the police had a legitimate reason for stopping someone, a dedicated Auburn second-offense DUI lawyer may be able to use that as a legal argument to have the charges dismissed. Other potential defenses include the accuracy of the device used to measure blood alcohol level, the qualifications of the individual who administered the test, and interpretations of any field sobriety tests that were given.

Contact an experienced Auburn second-offense DUI lawyer today to set up a case evaluation and discuss what options may be available to you.