Facing a Meriden DUI is never a pleasant experience, but if this is your second time being charged, you face more serious consequences than you would if it was your first offense. If you are on your second offense, you are likely familiar with the DUI process to some extent. However, the penalties change and become more severe if you are facing a 2nd offense. You can learn more about what you are up against this time around on this page.
Penalties For a Second Offense
The second offense penalties for a Meriden DUI are similar in type to those for a first-time DUI, but they are more serious. Here are the potential penalties that you can face:
- A jail sentence. While a first time DUI can result in a jail sentence of up to six months, the maximum sentence in the event of a second offense is up to two years. There is also a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail. Unlike when dealing with a first offense, it is difficult for the entire sentence to be suspended in the event of a second offense.
- A fine. Again, the fine increases to as much as $4,000 when dealing with a second offense, as opposed to $1,000 maximum for a first offense. Keep in mind that you may also have to pay court fees.
- A suspension of your driver’s license: As with a first offense, the DMV may suspend your driver’s license if you are accused of driving under the influence. This may be the case even if you are found innocent in criminal court. For a second Meriden DUI, the license suspension and ignition interlock device requirement could last for up to three years. This could impact your ability to work, go to school, or just live your day-to-day life for a significant amount of time. Remember that you could fight the DMV license suspension if you request an administrative per se hearing with the DMV.
- A period of probation. As part of your jail sentence, you could receive a period of probation. During that period, you will have to answer to a probation officer and comply with conditions such as maintaining a job or. going to school, not associating with those who have a criminal record, not possessing firearms, not doing drugs or consuming alcohol, etc.
- Participation in a drug or alcohol treatment program. The court may determine that because you are a repeat offender, you have a drug or alcohol problem. They may require that you complete a treatment program as a consequence of your case.
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It is important to seek the help of a DUI defense lawyer in your area if you are facing a second offense because the consequences are more severe than they are for a first offense. You want to mitigate these consequences as best as you can, and a lawyer can help you determine the best defense for your situation. A lawyer can also explain and protect your legal rights throughout this process. If a plea bargain is offered to you or the prosecution wants to negotiate a sentence, your lawyer can make sure that you are not being taken advantage of in the process. To discuss your situation with a Meriden-based lawyer, contact us.