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DUI Penalties: What Happens After My Second DUI Arrest?

DUI Arrest

If you have any previous DUI conviction within the past ten years, not counting any arrests that did not result in convictions, it will count as a “prior” DUI, making this your second DUI offense. A look back period is the length of time that a prior DUI conviction or guilty plea will be factored into your punishment for a new offense. In Ohio, this look back period is ten years, which means that any prior conviction or plea of guilty to a DUI occurring within ten years of your current DUI arrest will be considered a first DUI offense, and the court will then view your case as a second DUI and will impose the statutorily increased penalties.

You should first know that you will be facing significantly tougher penalties than from your first arrest. Most of the penalties, from jail time and fines to driver’s license suspension and alcohol or drug treatment programs, will all increase this time, and it is even more important this time that you hire a qualified DUI defense attorney to defend you. Judges will be much stricter and less forgiving with you as a repeat DUI offender. A second DUI conviction in Ohio will permanently be on your criminal record, and you will have more difficulty finding and keeping a job, paying higher automobile insurance rates, maintaining professional licensures, and maintaining custody of any children.

After your arrest, as with your first DUI arrest, you will face an arraignment, in which you will enter your plea of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” If you enter a plea of not guilty, you will have the opportunity to review and challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and you will therefore have an opportunity for your qualified DUI defense attorney to improve the outcome of the case for you and either lighten the penalties you face or potentially have your charges dropped completely. You may also choose to enter into a plea bargain with the state’s prosecutor, usually as the result of your DUI defense attorney’s efforts. A plea bargain is a document of negotiated terms which both the prosecutor and you accept. Usually, these agreements will have the same administrative but lesser criminal penalties.

What Are Potential Penalties for Second Ohio DUI Arrest?

As your second DUI charge within ten years, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor under O.R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(b). Your charge carries with it a mandatory jail term of ten (10) consecutive days, unless the court issues a finding that jail space is lacking and instead chooses to impose a sentence consisting of both a jail term of 5 days and a term of house arrest for 18 days with electronic monitoring, with continuous alcohol monitoring, or with both electronic monitoring and continuous alcohol monitoring. Also, it should be noted that the minimum mandatory jail sentence is increased to twenty (20) days if your alcohol test was high (.170 or higher) or if you refused to take the chemical test. The court may also choose to impose an additional jail term, at the judge’s discretion, with the cumulative jail term imposed for the offense not to exceed six months. The court will also order you to be assessed by a community addiction services provider, authorized by O.R.C. section 5119.21, and you will be required to follow the treatment recommendations of the services provider.

As a result of your second DUI arrest, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of one to seven years, with a minimum suspension of one year although the court may choose to grant you limited driving privileges so that you can get to school, work, and doctor appointments, etc., pursuant to O.R.C. sections 4510.021 and 4510.13 after 45 days of your suspension has passed. If the vehicle you were driving at the time of your arrest is registered in your name, it will be impounded for ninety (90) days in accordance with O.R.C. section 4503.233, and the license plates of that vehicle will also be impounded for 90 days. Because this is your second DUI offense within the span of ten years, you will be required to purchase a certified ignition interlock device for your car when you are able to drive again. The ignition interlock device is a device installed in your vehicle that will test your breath each time you try to start the vehicle. If it detects any alcohol on your breath, it will not allow the vehicle to start.

If you are convicted of this second DUI charge, your fine will range between $525 and $1,625, in addition to the $475 reinstatement fee to have your driver’s license reinstated after your suspension is over, as well as the cost of a certified ignition interlock device.

What Are Potential Defenses Your Lawyer Can Raise For a Second DUI Arrest in Ohio?

A qualified Ohio DUI defense attorney can use several tools to defend you. Your attorney may be able to challenge the police officer’s probable cause to make the DUI (OVI) stop, or whether the officer properly administered your field sobriety tests. Your attorney can also examine the accuracy of the breath test and whether the proper protocols were followed in administering that test as well as potentially challenging the calibration and proper upkeep of the test devices. Even if the evidence is strong against you, a qualified DUI attorney might be able to negotiate a plea deal on your second DUI charge with the prosecution to keep you from having to serve the mandatory 10 days in jail as well as potentially preventing you from having to pay as much in fines or from having your driver’s license suspended for as long. This is why it is absolutely crucial for you to hire a DUI defense attorney, well-qualified in defending against DUI charges in Ohio, to represent you as soon as possible after your arrest.