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What Happens if You Commit Five DUIs in Delaware?

5 Questions

Committing a single DUI in Delaware is bad enough, but what happens if you commit multiple offenses over the course of your life? As with other jurisdictions, Delaware becomes increasingly strict with those who commit repeated criminal offenses – and this certainly applies to DUIs. Penalties increase with each DUI offense, whether you have committed two, three, four, or even five of these crimes within your lifetime.

Man Commits Fifth DUI Offense 

To understand the consequences of multiple DUI offenses in Delaware, it makes sense to examine recent cases involving these crimes. On October 31st, it was reported that a Greenwood resident had been charged with a Fifth Offense DUI. One day prior to these charges being announced, the defendant was allegedly found slumped over the steering wheel of his truck outside of a gas station.

A state trooper arrived and woke the sleeping defendant, later observing “signs of impairment.” The trooper then conducted a Standardized Field Sobriety Test and determined that he was in fact intoxicated. The trooper then searched the defendant and his vehicle, discovering a quantity of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

After he took the defendant into custody, the trooper ran a background check on the defendant and discovered four prior DUI convictions. As a result, he was charged with a Fifth Offense DUI, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. A Fifth Offense DUI is a Class E Felony in Delaware that carries a mandatory 1.5-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.

Second, Third, and Fourth Offense DUIs 

Now that we know the penalties for a Fifth Offense DUI in Delaware, let us examine Second, Third, and Fourth DUIs. A Second Offense DUI carries a minimum sentence of 60 days in jail – along with a fine of up to $2,500. A Third Offense DUI carries a minimum sentence of one year, and it is prosecuted as a Class G Felony. Like a Fifth Offense DUI, a Fourth Offense is prosecuted as a Class E Felony – and the potential prison sentence is identical. However, the fines are slightly lower for a Fourth Offense.

Sixth and Seventh Offense DUIs 

It is also possible to face consequences for Sixth and Seventh Offense DUIs. A Sixth Offense leads to a minimum of five years in prison – plus a fine of up to $10,000. A Seventh Offense Becomes markedly more serious, with a minimum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

What Is the Lookback Period for DUIs in Delaware? 

There is a lifetime lookback period for DUI offenses in Delaware. However, there is “only” a 10-year “washout period” between the first and second DUI offense.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Delaware? 

If you are facing DUI charges in Delaware, consider discussing your situation alongside a qualified Wilmington criminal defense attorney. Repeated DUIs can lead to serious, lasting issues – and the potential for incarceration rises with each subsequent conviction. It may be possible to avoid or mitigate legal consequences with help from an attorney. Choose Michael W. Modica, book a consultation, and discuss the most appropriate course of legal action today.




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