Penalties For Second Conviction Of DUI In Chester County PA

When you are arrested for a DUI in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the prosecutor will check your record for the last 10 years to see if you have any prior DUI offenses.

While the law in Pennsylvania treats first DUI offenses with the recognition that people sometimes make mistakes, the judges in Chester County are not very understanding of people who are convicted of second DUIs within 10 years.

The penalties are much harsher for second DUI convictions, and their severity will depend on your blood alcohol concentration within two hours of driving and whether other aggravating factors were present.

Fortunately, DUI charges are not evidence of guilt, and it is possible to successfully defend against these types of allegations in some situations. When you retain a local DUI attorney at DiCindio Law in Chester County, you might increase your chances of securing a successful outcome in your case.

Here is some information about the penalties for second DUIs in Chester County.

The Three-Tiered Penalty System

In Chester County and throughout the Commonwealth, a three-tiered system is used for determining DUI penalties. Each tier represents your blood alcohol concentration or BAC within two hours of your arrest.

People who refuse chemical tests or who are charged with driving under the influence of drugs are automatically penalized at the highest tier if they are convicted, and commercial truck drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or school bus drivers with a BAC of 0.02% automatically face the penalties at the high BAC tier.

The tiers include the following:

The penalties also increase when you are convicted of a second DUI within 10 years.

Penalties for a Second General Impairment DUI

A second DUI conviction at the general impairment level within 10 years will result in the following penalties:

  • Ungraded misdemeanor on your permanent record
  • Mandatory jail from five days up to six months
  • Fine from a minimum of $300 to a maximum of $2,500
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment
  • 12-month driver’s license suspension
  • 12-month installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Completion of alcohol highway safety school
  • Penalties for a Second High BAC DUI Conviction

A second high BAC DUI within 10 years will result in the following penalties:

  • Misdemeanor on your permanent record
  • Suspension of your driving privileges for 12 months
  • From 30 days up to six months in jail
  • Fine from a minimum of $750 up to a maximum of $5,000
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment
  • 12-month installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Completion of alcohol highway safety school

Penalties for a Second Highest BAC DUI Conviction

A second highest BAC DUI offense within 10 years will result in the following penalties:

  • First-degree misdemeanor on your permanent record
  • Mandatory minimum 90 days up to five years in prison
  • Minimum mandatory fine of $1,500 up to $10,000
  • 18-month suspension of your driving privileges
  • 12-month mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and recommended treatment
  • Alcohol highway safety school

If you are convicted of a third DUI within 10 years at the highest BAC level, you will have a third-degree felony. This makes it critical for you to avoid another DUI conviction if you already have two DUIs on your record.

Other Consequences of Second DUIs

People who are convicted of second DUIs also face other consequences beyond the criminal penalties. People who have second DUIs are not eligible for the ARD program and will have permanent criminal records. Employers and landlords that conduct background checks will see this conviction.

A second DUI could also cause your insurance company to cancel your policy or greatly increase your insurance rates. If you have a commercial driver’s license, a second DUI conviction will likely result in a lifetime ban on your CDL and could result in a loss of your career.

Since a second DUI will result in a 12- or 18-month license suspension, it could cause you to lose your job because of problems getting transportation to and from work. You might also have to rely on others for help with running errands or attending important events.

Potential Defenses to a Second DUI Charge

While a second DUI charge is serious, it is possible to defend against it with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will review the evidence the prosecutor and police are using against you to determine the best defense strategies to implement.

Some of the potential defenses to a second DUI charge include the following:

  • Lack of reasonable suspicion to support the stop
  • No probable cause for arrest or search
  • Mistakes made in the administration of field sobriety tests
  • Mistakes made in the administration of a breathalyzer test
  • Issues with the breathalyzer machine
  • Improperly drawn, stored, or transported blood sample
  • Breaks in the chain of custody
  • Improper analysis of a blood sample

Your lawyer can raise the defenses that apply in your case and help you understand whether you should try to secure a plea agreement or take your case to trial. Your lawyer will also appear with you in court and can speak for you.

If you are facing a second DUI charge, the penalties you might face will be more severe than what you received for your first DUI conviction. Getting help from an experienced lawyer might help you to secure a reduced charge or sentence and might allow you to win a dismissal of your charges.

Contact Our DUI Law Firm in West Chester, PA

If you are facing criminal charges and need legal help, contact the West Chester, PA DUI lawyers at DiCindioLaw, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation.

DiCindio Law, LLC

29 S Walnut St
West Chester, PA 19382
(610) 430-3535