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What Is The Punishment For A Second DUI In Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, there is a 10-year lookback period for prior DUI offenses. If you were convicted of a DUI within the past 10 years and are charged with a second DUI offense, the penalties you will face will be more serious. The penalties you might face if you are convicted of a second DUI will depend on your BAC level. However, simply being charged for a second DUI does not mean that you will be convicted. When you hire a DUI lawyer in Chester County at DiCindio Law, you can learn about the defense strategies that might work the best in your case.

Second DUIs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania uses a three-tiered penalty system for DUIs in the state based on your blood alcohol concentration within two hours of your arrest. If your BAC was between 0.08% to 0.99%, you will be charged with a general impairment DUI offense. If your BAC was between 0.10% and 0.159%, you will be charged with a high BAC impairment DUI offense. Finally, if your BAC was 0.16% or higher, you will be charged with the highest BAC impairment DUI offense.

In addition to the penalties based on your BAC, you will face more severe penalties when your DUI is a second offense within 10 years.

Second DUI general impairment offense

If you are convicted of a general impairment DUI as a second offense, you will face the following penalties:

  • Misdemeanor on your record
  • Jail from five days to six months
  • Fine from $300 to $2,500
  • Substance abuse assessment and alcohol treatment
  • 12-month suspension of your driver’s license
  • 12-month installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Alcohol highway safety school

Second Conviction for a High BAC DUI Offense

If you are convicted of a high BAC DUI as a second offense within 10 years, you will face the following penalties:

  • Misdemeanor on your record
  • 12-month suspension of your driver’s license
  • Jail from 30 days to six months
  • Fine of $750 to $5,000
  • Substance abuse assessment and alcohol treatment
  • 12-month installation of an interlock ignition device
  • Alcohol highway safety school

Second conviction for the highest BAC DUI offense

If you are convicted of the highest BAC DUI offense and have a prior DUI conviction within the last 10 years, you will face the following penalties:

  • First-degree misdemeanor on your record
  • 18-month suspension of your driver’s license
  • Jail from 90 days to five years
  • Fine from $1,500 to $10,000
  • 12-month installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Substance abuse assessment and alcohol treatment

Depending on your BAC level, a third DUI conviction within 10 years can be charged as a third-degree felony. This means that you should avoid getting another DUI if you are convicted of a second offense.

Collateral Consequences of a Second DUI Conviction

In addition to the criminal penalties of a second DUI conviction, you might face other consequences in your life. When you are convicted of a second DUI, you will have a permanent criminal record that people who run background checks can see, including prospective employers, landlords, banks, insurance companies, and colleges. Some of the collateral consequences you might face after being convicted of a second DUI offense include the following:

  • Higher insurance premium costs
  • Trouble finding an auto insurance company that will insure you
  • Trouble getting a good job
  • Trouble finding an apartment
  • Trouble being approved for a loan
  • Trouble getting accepted by a college

Having your license suspended for 12 or more months can cause problems with your current job because of difficulty getting to work. You also might have trouble attending other events and be forced to rely on friends for help with errands. You might also have to continue making car payments for a vehicle that you cannot legally drive and be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your car at your expense after your license is reinstated.

Collateral Consequences of a Second DUI Conviction

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

A criminal defense attorney at DiCindio Law can evaluate the evidence in your case to determine the defense strategies to use. The potential defenses that might be available to you will depend on the specific facts of your case. Some of the defenses that might be available include the following:

  • No valid reason for your stop
  • Improperly conducted roadside sobriety tests
  • Lack of probable cause for your arrest
  • Improperly administered breathalyzer test
  • Problems with the breathalyzer machine
  • Unqualified technician for the blood draw
  • Use of an alcohol swab before drawing blood
  • Improperly stored blood or urine
  • Improperly transported blood or urine sample
  • Breaks in the chain of custody
  • Improperly analyzed blood or urine sample

Your attorney can talk to you about the best defenses to raise and whether it is a good idea to try to negotiate a plea bargain or to fight your charges at trial. Your attorney can appear at all of your court appearances and speak on your behalf. Your lawyer can also negotiate with the prosecutor to try to secure a favorable plea agreement. Finally, your lawyer can help you to understand your charges and the criminal court process so that you understand what you might expect to happen.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If this is your second DUI charge, you likely have a degree of understanding of the criminal court process. Second DUI convictions can result in more severe penalties than what you received for your first DUI, however. Retaining an experienced attorney at DiCindio Law might help you to secure a more favorable resolution to your charges. Call us today at 610.430.3535 to request a consultation.

 

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Michael DiCindio

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