While some drivers who are convicted of DUI-OVI never get charged with that crime again in their lives, other drivers are not so fortunate. Perhaps the driver is having a difficult time “fighting his demons”; perhaps local law enforcement knows the driver and are on the lookout for him. Or perhaps the driver is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the cause, the driver who has been charged with a second DUI-OVI crime is likely scared and uncertain about the future. And this is understandable: without the help of a Columbus second DUI attorney, this driver faces penalties that are more severe than those facing first-time offenders.
What is a “Prior Conviction”?
Obviously, a second offense for DUI-OVI presupposes that you have at least one “prior conviction.” This conviction can, obviously, be a previous charge of DUI or OVI. However, there are other convictions or actions that can be considered a “prior conviction,” so long as they occurred within a certain period of time. Your Columbus DUI-OVI defense attorney should conduct a thorough investigation into the prior conviction on which the prosecution is relying. If it is not a “prior conviction” according to the law, it should not be used to support the enhanced penalties of a second DUI-OVI offense.
Penalties for a Second DUI-OVI Conviction
One of the most worrisome DUI-OVI consequences for drivers is jail time. A second-time DUI-OVI offender faces a minimum of 10 days in jail up to a maximum of 6 months. A court has the discretion to sentence a driver to a jail term of less than 10 days and order the driver participate in electronic monitoring, but in order to do so the court must make a special finding that the jail is overcrowded. The minimum amount of time that the driver must spend in jail increases if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17 or greater when he or she is initially pulled over.
Fines can range anywhere from a minimum of $525 to a maximum of $1,625. These fines do not represent the true cost of a second DUI-OVI conviction, as the driver can be ordered to pay court costs, attorney’s fees, costs for an alcohol evaluation and treatment, probation costs, and other fees associated with the case.
A license suspension can be imposed from between 1 and 5 years. This will prohibit the driver from operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock for a period of time. While the driver can apply for permission to drive to and from work or school, he or she must wait for at least 45 days before such privileges will be granted.
Contact Your Columbus DUI-OVI Attorney
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we know that any DUI-OVI conviction can result in serious penalties. That is why we vigorously defend those charged with DUI-OVI, holding the prosecution to its burden, and aggressively fight for a “not guilty” verdict. Even where a conviction cannot be avoided, we can assist drivers in obtaining the least severe sentence as possible. Contact us today at (614) 827-2000.