Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, South Carolina

Second Offense DUIs

Get an experienced attorney to help you fight a second or subsequent DUI charge

South Carolina's driving under the influence (DUI) and driving with unlawful alcohol content (DUAC) laws are designed to punish repeat offenders. While a first offense carries significant penalties, including a mandatory six-month license suspension, second and subsequent offenses can have an even bigger effect on your life. In addition to much stiffer fines and loss of freedom, a second or later offense carries a lengthy license suspension, which can affect your ability to do your job and live your life.

How penalties escalate

If you have a previous DUI or DUAC conviction in the past 10 years - the "lookback period" - then your present DUI charge will carry much heavier penalties. For a first offense, the penalty is a fine of up to $400 or between two and 30 days in jail. That's hardly a slap on the wrist, but it may only be a minor setback. Your license will also be suspended for six months.

A second offense carries a much larger penalty, including:

  • $2,100 to $5,100 fine
  • Five days to a full year in jail

A second offense, however, carries a much larger penalty: $2100 to $5100, and anywhere from five days to a full year in jail. Unlike a first offense, where the court can choose between the fine and jail time, if you're convicted of a second offense, you face both penalties. In addition, the driver's license suspension doubles to a full year.

In both cases, the court has flexibility to reduce the sentence, but only to a point. For a first offense, the court may choose to replace the sentence with community service. For a second offense, the court may suspend the sentence - but even then, you face a fine of $1,100.

A second offense also requires an ignition interlock device (IID) to be installed on your vehicle at your expense. Ignition interlock devices cost about $70-$150 to install and an additional $50-$80 monthly for calibration and monitoring. That means that even in a best-case scenario, you're looking at paying $1200 up front between the reduced fine and the IID, plus the ongoing monthly cost to maintain the IID.

Second offenses lead to harsh penalties. Matt Bodman can help

Facing DUI or DUAC charges is never easy, but the stakes are especially high if you have a previous conviction. You may face significant jail time and lost freedom due to not having a license for a full year - and you'll open yourself up to the even harsher penalties for a third or fourth offense.

As a former prosecutor, attorney Matt Bodman knows exactly how the government will try to convict you of driving under the influence. His extensive experience in the courtroom will help you fight that charge and try to avoid stiff penalties. He's committed to help you resolve your legal issues and move on with your life.

If you've been charged with a second DUI or DUAC offense, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact Matt Bodman today for a free consultation.

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