After your first DUI conviction, you swore to yourself that you would never be in this position again. But now you are facing another DUI charge, and you feel overwhelmed and terrified. A second conviction for driving under the influence can have serious penalties—even more serious than the penalties for your first.
Understanding repeat DUIs in Minnesota
If an offender commits a DUI within 10 years of their first DUI conviction, the state considers it a repeat offense. To deter repeat offenders, the court tends to inflict harsh administrative and criminal penalties for second convictions. These can include:
- License suspension or revocation
- Vehicle forfeiture
- Mandatory enrollment in a substance abuse program
- Community service
- A fine of up to $3,000
- A jail sentence of up to one year
These penalties become even more severe for third, fourth or more DUIs.
Can I avoid these penalties?
The consequences of a DUI can linger for years, affecting your career, reputation and personal relationships. Fortunately, there is no such thing as an open-and-shut DUI case: even though the court has charged you, there is still time to fight a conviction and avoid these penalties. How?
First, do not grant an interview to police officers. When charged with a DUI, you should not speak to law enforcement without a lawyer present. It is far too easy to accidentally give incriminating information. You also should not try to negotiate a bargain with the prosecution. Leave these two tasks to an attorney.
There are many strategies that your attorney may use for your criminal defense. One tactic is to challenge whether the arresting officer followed proper procedures when administering the sobriety tests and taking you into custody. They may also challenge the accuracy of the sobriety tests themselves. Your lawyer may also work to have your charges or sentence reduced to mitigate the penalties of a second DUI.