Driving under the influence is a serious charge, and it normally requires the experience of a criminal defense attorney. Scott D. Henry is a leading lawyer in the Southern California area so you have a chance at an acquittal almost immediately following your charges. If this DUI is your second charge, however, our law firm’s services are even more important than ever. A first offense is treated much differently than a repeat offender. Take a look at some of the details surrounding a second offense and how to avoid it.
THE MAJORITY ARE FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS
If you’re ever charged with intoxication, it’s helpful to know that you aren’t alone. There are hundreds of people each year who’re charged with driving-under-the-influence for the very first time. Our criminal defense team can help those first-offenders move past this charge. In most cases, those people will never experience another pullover again because they’ve learned their lesson.
First-time offenders are usually making a mistake in their lives. Alcoholism isn’t an issue, but they may have simply left a holiday party with too much cheer. Their everyday actions are honorable, and they simply need a strong lawyer to help them maneuver through the legal system. Because it’s a first offense, the penalties are relatively benign.
The court understands that mistakes happen, which is the reasoning behind the relaxed first-offense penalties. If you’re caught for a second offense, however, the court system has a different perspective. In fact, adults should be accountable for their actions in these cases. You will expect to hear many penalties associated with a second offense, including:
- One year of jail
- Fines between $390 and $1,000
- Driver’s license suspended for two years
- Eighteen to 30 months of driving-under-the-influence education classes
- Up to five years of probation
As your attorney will advise you, a second offense is only possible if the charges are brought up within 10 years of your first offense. If it’s been 20 years since a first offense, your allegations are now considered another first offense.
BUILDING YOUR CASE
Being pulled over and charged with drunken driving is an intimidating process. You might believe that you’re outright guilty, and there are no options in your case. When you feel like this, it’s time to contact an experienced legal professional. There are several reasons why your case may not be so concrete, such as:
- No probable cause to pull you over
- Poorly calibrated breathalyzer
- Improper search of your person or property
If any of these situations are applicable to your police experience, lawyers can easily defend your position. They might have the charges thrown out or reduced altogether. Alternatively, they can negotiate a plea deal that reduces those harsh penalties.
The best way to avoid a second offense is simply staying off of the roads. If you’re a social drinker, designate a sober driver for each party or evening out. Invite friends to your home, and keep the party going there as an alternative. When you have to be out for a gathering at a club, restaurant or other location, use local taxis, buses and trains to arrive home safely. Taking responsibility for your actions means that you, innocent bystanders and any property will be safe from possible harm. Drinking on the road is dangerous for everyone.
Call our law firm today at 888-900-0951. We are known as the Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County’s leading DUI defense law firm. Whether you’re struggling with a first or second offense, our services can help you through this difficult time and emerge as a safe driver in the end.