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What happens if I get a second DUI charge?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | DUI

Receiving a second DUI charge in Pennsylvania leads to severe consequences.

It is important to comprehend the potential penalties and ramifications, which are more severe than for a first offense.

Penalties for a second DUI offense

Pennsylvania law imposes strict penalties for a second DUI offense. These penalties are significantly more severe compared to a first offense and can include fines, license suspension and potential jail time. For instance, a second DUI offense can lead to a mandatory jail sentence of at least five days, or up to six months, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Additionally, the fine for a second DUI offense may increase, and the individual might face an 18-month license suspension.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program

In some cases, individuals charged with a second DUI offense may be eligible for the ARD Program. It offers an alternative to traditional sentencing for first-time and, occasionally, second-time offenders. It allows individuals to complete a rehabilitation program, pay fines and fulfill community service rather than facing the full extent of legal penalties. However, eligibility for the ARD program is not guaranteed for every individual facing a second DUI charge.

Impact on daily life

Apart from the legal repercussions, a second DUI charge can profoundly affect one’s daily life. License suspension can impede the ability to commute to work or meet personal commitments. The financial burden of fines, increased insurance rates and legal fees can significantly strain one’s budget. Moreover, the social stigma associated with multiple DUI charges can impact personal relationships and professional opportunities.

In Pennsylvania, approximately 25% of arrests in 2021 involved drunk or intoxicated driving. For people who find themselves facing a second DUI arrest, it is important to be aware of your rights and understand the potential consequences of another conviction.