What To Expect After A Second DUI Arrest In Delaware
When you have previously been through the criminal process for a violation of Delaware’s statute on drunk driving, you probably assume that you learned a lot the first time around and that your case will generally be the same. This notion is true to a certain extent, but the differences far outweigh the similarities when you are facing charges for a second DUI. In the eyes of the law, you made the same mistake again by operating a vehicle after drinking alcohol. Another lapse in judgment is not looked too kindly upon by the prosecutor seeking a conviction, or the judge and jury who will be deciding the outcome.
Because of the complications when you have a previous drunk driving conviction, it is important to contact a Wilmington driving under the influence (DUI) attorney right away to assist with specific tasks. You might also find it useful to know what to expect after a second drunk driving arrest in Delaware.
You cannot take advantage of the first offender program (FOP) election. Delaware has implemented a way to resolve DUI charges through a form of probation, in which a defendant can avoid a conviction by complying with the court’s terms. The FOP still appears on a criminal record, but the individual will not face the same harsh penalties and a year-long driver’s license suspension. Understanding eligibility for the FOP comes from the name itself, as you will not qualify if this is your second DUI. Other disqualifying criteria include previous moving violations, a BAC of .15 percent or more, and causing an accident.
Criminal penalties increase with subsequent DUI arrests. It should come as no surprise to learn that the criminal sanctions for a second drunk driving conviction will be heftier than a first-time offense. Delaware imposes a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail for a second DUI, but the judge could sentence up to 18 years in prison. Plus, you may be ordered to pay a fine ranging from $750 to $2,500.
Consequences for your driving privileges also raise the stakes. Besides the criminal penalties, there are ramifications for your driver’s license when charged in a subsequent drunk driving case. Your BAC is a critical factor, so your driving privileges will be suspended for 18 months in a second DUI. If chemical tests return results of .15 to .20 BAC, the suspension period is two years. A BAC of .20 or higher could lead to a driver’s license suspension of 30 months. When you are not able to drive for lengthy periods of time, there can also be collateral consequences that affect your life professionally and personally.
Trust Your Case to a Skilled Wilmington, DE DUI Defense Lawyer
It is helpful to understand what to expect when you were charged for a second DUI in Delaware, but it is equally important to retain skilled legal counsel as soon as possible after your arrest. Our team is prepared to tackle the challenges, so please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica to set up a consultation at our offices in Wilmington, DE. You can call 302.600.1262 or fill out an online contact form.