The stakes are high if you have been charged with a second DUI in a handful of years. As a potential repeat offender, the court may hit you with more serious punishments and your ability to drive may be at risk. Make sure you consult with a drunk driving defense attorney and discuss a plan for responding to a second-offense DUI in Florence.
Building a Defense for a Second DUI Charge
A Florence lawyer must gather evidence, such as interviewing the police officer and finding out everything that officer knows about the arrest. They can even record that interview so they have that officer locked into a statement that can be used later if they try to change it. The lawyer should acquire all the officer’s notes and any reports they prepared, as well as a copy of video evidence or a 911 call.
Sometimes a lawyer may go to the scene of the DUI and see where the client was pulled over. It is sometimes valuable to see what the ground looks like, which could be relevant in balance tests. It is important to determine if law enforcement had a valid reason to conduct a traffic stop or to ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test. If they did have a valid reason to order field sobriety tests, a lawyer must determine if they were conducted according to proper procedure.
Then a lawyer must ask if there was a valid reason to ask the driver to submit to a blood test or a breath test. If so, did the officer follow all the proper procedures in conducting the test? Once they find that information, the lawyer can file a motion to address any insufficient issues they discovered. This might be a motion to suppress evidence, the test, or even the traffic stop itself. It is critical to have legal counsel that actually knows the law and what to look for.
How is a Second DUI Charge Different From the First?
The stakes are higher since there is more punishment available, including mandatory jail time. A lawyer will need to obtain a copy of all the evidence related to the first DUI offense.
They must look at what jurisdiction it occurred in, whether their client was notified of all their constitutional rights before they entered a plea, and whether all the court orders were signed by the judges in the appropriate place. They should see if they can attack the prior conviction so the prosecution cannot use that against them on the second offense, which would reduce the potential penalties back to the first-offense level.
Consequences With the Driver’s License
After a second offense DUI charge, there is a mandatory pre-trial license suspension. This means that while their case is going through the system, the driver’s license will be suspended. Their license will be taken away at their first court date and the Department of Transportation will send them a letter stating they are eligible for an ignition interlock device.
They can then drive on that interlock device license. If someone is convicted of the second offense DUI, they have a mandatory 12 months license suspension and they have interlock privileges on that as well.
If someone gets an interlock device, then they can drive whenever they want to, so long as they blow into the device and confirm they are sober. If they do not get an ignition interlock device, they are not allowed to have any vehicle license in their name. They must either transfer their vehicle or surrender their license plates to the county clerk.
Can You Challenge a License Suspension?
There is no challenging a post-conviction license suspension for any DUI in Kentucky. If it is a pre-trial suspension, a lawyer could try to challenge the prior conviction and say this would only be a first offense DUI, in which case, it would not be an automatic license suspension.
Call Our Florence Attorneys to Respond to a Second-Offense DUI Charge
You need experienced legal counsel when fighting a second DUI charge – it is too risky to attempt a defense by yourself. When looking to respond to a second-offense DUI in Florence, make a call to Busald Funk and Zevely. Our team goes the distance to make sure you are treated fairly and have your case heard.