Carroll County Second-Offense DUI Lawyer

When facing the courts a second time for an identical offense, preserving your future should be your first priority. Honest mistakes are a part of life, but habitual mistakes are viewed as far more urgent in the eyes of the court.

If you have been charged with another DUI, you need to consult the services of an attorney. A Carroll County second-offense DUI lawyer could act in your interests and help mitigate the severity of sentencing by guiding you through proactive steps prior to trial.

How Prosecutors Handle Second-Offense DUI Charges

A second offense DUI is given significantly more attention with a harsher request of a penalty than the first offense. The leniency and understanding of a first offense as an honest mistake does not extend to a second offense. Once alleged offenders get the second offense, appearing in front of a judge again for the same charge comes across as negligent. There is no question that prosecutors are going to ask for jail. The legislative statute that says if alleged offenders get another DUI after 10 years, they could get consideration for probation before judgment.

If it has been 20 or 30 years since defendants were charged last, that is a baseline DUI. If they have been a model citizen ever since, they may have to spend 10 days straight in jail, right from the trial’s end. They could appeal that ruling, but there is no appeal bond. They are going to do their time. When they are released, they could appeal a case. However, there is still a significant chance that defendants receive a stricter sentence involving jail time because of the charge being a second offense. The sentence severity has increased since October 1st, 2016 when Noah’s Law was enacted. The subsequent change in the law with harsher penalties, due to enraged public perception, has encouraged judges to be tougher. Judges have responded with tougher sentencing.

With a second offense, the State’s Attorney role does not change. The charged person’s ability to testify is not an option. The prosecutors are probably not going to ask where defendants stand, because in most cases defendants are not going to be able to take the stand. The first question from the attorney is to ask if this is the first time in front of a court for DUI. They have to answer the question honestly. For the sake of self-preservation, people with second offense DUI (or higher) would not take the stand. Even in a case where the defense has great evidence to persuade the judge that the officer’s conduct was questionable, they would likely not call the defendant to the stand.

The odds of alleged offenders going to jail are almost guaranteed. It is unfortunate to say that, but there is going to be a penalty and it is going to be punitive. Given the circumstances, the judge believes that defendants did not get the message the first time.

Potential Penalties for Second-Offense DUIs in Carroll County

Each citation for DUI as charged has its maximum penalties and fines. The State’s Attorney’s Office could file what is called the “subsequent offender”, which means that they are allowed to ask for a harsher penalty. Instead of it being a one year maximum on a DUI, it becomes two. It is the same for a DUI per se. Driving while impaired usually carries 60 days in jail, which could become one year. A second offense not only brings a higher penalty, but the likelihood of jail. The judge is going to weigh in the amount of jail time requested by the State for any subsequent charge. For a first offense, they often start with one-weekend in jail minimum.

How Amounts of Time Between DUIs Matter

With subsequent charges of any crime, including a DUI, timing is everything. If a person received a DUI last year and was recently charged with another DUI year, this lack of time between the two events could seriously impair favorable sentencing. Six, seven, or even eight years in between DUI charges sounds a little bit better, but legally it is not. Under Maryland statute, defendants cannot receive consideration for a second “Probation Before Judgment” for anything less than 10 years in between charges. Even at the 10-year mark (or even a 20-year mark), the judge is likely to make them earn it. The judge could require conditions and if defendants could consistently hit the marks every month, satisfy all the special conditions and standards not getting in any trouble, at the end of their probation, they could ask for a hearing. At that time the judge may reconsider probation Before Judgment. Again, this is only considered if the DUI charges were greater than 10 years apart.

There have been occasions when a person is off probation, and the court holds them in a security emotion for up to five years. They will have to come in once a year to check in.

An Attorney Could Help Build a Defense

While honest mistakes happen, there are times where the leniency of courts wane. It is in these moments that defendants need to consider the services of an experienced attorney. A Carroll County second-offense DUI lawyer could help you mitigate the severity of sentencing after a repeated offense. However, you need to connect with an attorney as soon as possible. Call today for a confidential consultation.