If you have been arrested for a DUI and you have a previous criminal record for driving under the influence or for a related offense, you may be in serious trouble. Under Alabama law, DUI penalties become progressively worse for repeat offenders. This means you face a longer potential jail term and license suspension, a larger fine and other additional penalties for your second offense that are even worse than the penalties you faced for your first offense. Worse, the options that may have been available to you for your first offense usually are not going to be available to you for a second offense.
This does not mean, however, that you have no hope of walking away from a second DUI without serious criminal sanctions. An experienced Birmingham DUI defense lawyer may be able to help you to avoid conviction, to get the charges dropped or to arrange a plea bargain so you face less serious penalties.
At the Eversole Law Offices, our Birmingham criminal defense lawyers have helped clients in Jefferson, Madison and Shelby Counties and throughout the Alabama area who are facing second-offense DUI charges.
Contact us today at 866-831-5292 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help.
Alabama DUI Second Offense Penalties – Birmingham Criminal Defense
In the state of Alabama, code section 32-5A-191 defines the offense of DUI as driving while impaired by alcohol or controlled substances, and/or driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. This means any time you have consumed alcohol or drugs and are not able to drive safely as a result, you may be arrested for a DUI for getting behind the wheel.
If you have already been arrested and convicted of a DUI or a related drug or alcohol offense, the Alabama legislature sees you as an especially dangerous driver who did not learn your lesson with the first conviction. As such, there are stricter penalties imposed on you for a second offense DUI conviction than there were for a first offense. According to code section 32-5A-191, these potential penalties for a second DUI offense include:
- A minimum of 30 days of community service or 5 days of imprisonment.
- Maximum imprisonment up to one year.
- A fine between $1,000 and $5,000.
- An additional $100 fine to be paid to an Impaired Drivers Trust Fund.
- The revocation of your driver's license for a year.
In Alabama, the suspension of your driver's license after a DUI can be part of your sentence for a DUI conviction but it can also be an administrative penalty imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. According to Alabama Code section 32-5A-304, an administrative suspension may be triggered by either a refusal to submit to a BAC test after a lawful DUI arrest or by failing a DUI test and having a BAC above the legal limit of .08. If you have a previous alcohol or drug related enforcement action on your record during the five years prior to your current DUI, your automatic administrative suspension will be for one year. This suspension goes into effect 45-days after you receive notice of an intended suspension.
With mandatory minimum sentencing and the automatic suspension of your driver's license for a full year, it is clear that a second offense DUI conviction is a serious matter. You need to respond appropriately as soon as you are arrested for a DUI by contacting a Birmingham criminal defense lawyer to help you to deal with law enforcement and build your case.
The Eversole Law Office can help. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to protect your legal rights. That's why it's important to contact Steven Eversole as soon as you know you'll face DUI charges in Alabama. You can call us toll-free, fill out our confidential online case evaluation form or visit our office in downtown Birmingham.