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What Happens When You Get A Second DUI In PA

The penalties for a second DUI conviction in Pennsylvania within 10 years are more severe than for a first DUI offense. Being a repeat DUI offender exposes you to harsh criminal penalties and other collateral consequences. At a minimum, you will face mandatory jail time, a suspension of your license, stiff fines, and a permanent criminal record if you are convicted. While the penalties for a first DUI are tough, they are much worse for a second conviction. In addition, being convicted of a DUI for the second time can impact other areas of your life, including your career, credit, housing, and education. You could also face other problems with your auto insurance, including trouble getting it or experiencing drastic increases in your rates. Chester County DUI lawyer Michael DiCindio at DiCindio Law can help to defend you against your charges for a second-offense DUI. Here is some information you should know about this type of offense and what you might expect.

How Are Prior Convictions Counted?

Pennsylvania looks back 10 years for prior DUI offenses. This means that if you receive a second DUI within 10 years of a previous one, you will face the penalties for a second DUI. A prior DUI offense for which you participated in and successfully completed the ARD program will also count as a prior DUI conviction.

A second DUI charge might also violate the terms of your first offense. For example, if you accepted a plea agreement for the first DUI conviction for a lesser sentence, but you violated the terms of your probation by getting a second DUI, you could also face additional penalties for your first DUI. If you had some of the jail time for your first DUI suspended and are still on probation when you get your second DUI, the court could order you to serve the suspended time for your first conviction in addition to the penalties you might face for your second offense.

What Are the Penalties for a Second DUI in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has a three-tier system of penalties for DUIs. Each tier carries different penalties that depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) within two hours of your arrest. If you are charged with a DUI based on controlled substances in your system or refused a chemical test, you will automatically face the penalties for the highest impairment DUI.

The three penalty tiers include the following:

  • BAC from 0.08% to 0.099% – General impairment DUI
  • BAC from 0.10% to 0.159% – High impairment DUI
  • BAC from 0.16% or higher – Highest impairment DUI

The penalties are greater based on the number of DUIs you have previously had. A second conviction will result in harsher penalties than a first DUI conviction.

The penalties for a second DUI will also be based on which tier your BAC falls in as detailed below.

Second General Impairment DUI Conviction

High impairment DUI as a Second Offense

If your BAC for your second DUI was between 0.10% to 0.159%, you will face the following penalties:

  • Ungraded misdemeanor on your record
  • Minimum mandatory 30 days in jail up to six months
  • Fine ranging from $750 to $5,000
  • Suspension of your license for 12 months
  • Alcohol Highway Safety School
  • Ignition interlock device installation for 12 months at your expense
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and completion of any recommended treatment

Highest Rate of Impairment as a Second Conviction

If you are convicted of a second DUI offense at the highest rate of impairment within 10 years, you will face the following penalties:

  • First-degree misdemeanor on your record
  • Minimum mandatory 90 days in jail
  • Minimum fine of $1,500
  • Alcohol Highway Safety School
  • Suspension of your license for 18 months
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device installation at your expense
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and completion of any recommended treatment

The following factors can result in more serious penalties than those listed above:

  • DUI with a minor in your vehicle
  • Causing a car accident resulting in property damage
  • Second DUI while driving the wrong way on a highway
  • DUI causing an injury or fatality accident

What to Do if You Are Facing Second DUI Charges

If you have been charged with a second DUI offense in Pennsylvania, the first thing you should do is to meet with an experienced local DUI attorney to discuss your case. Your lawyer can review the reports and evidence and explain the defenses that might be available to you. Write down everything you remember about your DUI stop and arrest as soon as possible. This might provide your lawyer with important information about potential defenses. Gather the information you have about both your first DUI and your second offense, and determine whether you will be represented by a public defender or will retain an attorney.

Get Help From an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for a second DUI within 10 years, call DiCindio Law today to request a consultation. We can help you understand your options and how we might be able to help. Call us at (610) 430-3535.

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Michael DiCindio

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