Anyone who has been convicted of a first-time DUI knows that the penalties for this offense can be serious. A first-time DUI conviction can result in up to one year’s imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000, and a 90-day license suspension, not to mention a host of social and professional repercussions.
But even more serious than the penalties for a first-time DUI are the penalties for a second or subsequent DUI charge in Alabama. If you have been charged with a DUI and this is not the first time, the best thing you can do is to contact a skilled DUI offense attorney. At the office of Darley Law, our DUI lawyer will aggressively represent your best interests.
Penalties for DUI Conviction in Alabama
Knowing the potential penalties that you face if you are convicted of a second or subsequent DUI in Alabama is important; this knowledge may help you form your defense strategy, and shape your opinion regarding how you want to plead and whether or not you want to enter a plea deal with the prosecution. Consider these penalties:
Second-offense DUI in Alabama. As explained by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, a second-offense DUI in Alabama can carry both administrative penalties and criminal consequences. These include:
- 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment, with a possible jail sentence of up to one year ora minimum of 20 hours of mandatory community service in place of the mandatory 48-hour sentence;
- A fine of at least $1,000 and up to $5,000, as well as an additional $100 fine assessed for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund; and
- One-year driver’s license revocation.
Third-offense DUI in Alabama. If you are convicted of a third-time DUI in the state, penalties assessed are particularly harsh. These include:
- A mandatory 60-day period of imprisonment which cannot be suspended or waived in exchange for community service (or other conditions);
- Up to one-year imprisonment in the county jail;
- Fine of up to $10,000, but at least $2,000 and the $100 fine for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund; and
- Mandatory driver’s license revocation for three years.
Subsequent DUI offenses. If you are charged with a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within a five-year period of another DUI conviction, you will face a Class C felony charge. This is a very serious offense, and penalties will include:
- Imprisonment of at least one year and up to 10 years;
- Fine of at least $4,000 and up to $10,000; and
- A mandatory five-year license revocation.
In addition to the above penalties, a second-offense DUI will result in the mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device on the offender’s vehicle. The device will be installed following the driver’s license revocation period.
What Happens Immediately Following a Second or Third DUI Arrest?
Keep in mind that a DUI arrest is not the same as a DUI conviction. If you are arrested for a DUI in Alabama, even a second or third or subsequent DUI, the process will likely unfold something like this:
- Following the arrest, you will be booked in jail – you will have your fingerprints and mugshot taken, and you will have the right to request legal representation, which you should absolutely do.
- You will attend a hearing where you will have the charges read against you and will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It is strongly recommended that you seek legal representation during this process.
- If you plead not guilty, you will have the chance to defend yourself against charges. If you decide to plead guilty, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecution where the negative consequences are mitigated as much as possible.
Call Our Alabama DUI Lawyers Today
At the office of Darley Law, we understand the significant effect that a DUI conviction, especially a second or subsequent conviction, can have on your life. If you have been charged with a DUI in Alabama, please call our experienced DUI criminal defense attorney for a consultation about your legal options. You can reach our law office by sending us a message or calling us directly at 251-441-7772. We also encourage you to visit our Mobile law office in person.