How to know if you have a second DUI offense!

2nd_offenseThe key to determining whether you have committed a second DUI in South Carolina is the ten year look-back period (also known as “wash out period”). In other words, a DUI offense only becomes a “second” offense if it was committed within ten years of another South Carolina DUI. Sentencing is also based on the circumstances of the arrest – Were there children present? Was your BAC over .15? Below are the rules for second offenders.

Administrative Penalties

A second offense DUI in South Carolina results in license suspension from 60 days to one year.

Criminal Penalties

For a second DUI offense in South Carolina, you face the following penalties:

  • A fine between $2,100 up to $5,100 (for a BAC between .08 and .10%). The court may lower the fine to $1,100. There is an assessment fee of 100 percent of the DUI fine in South Carolina, plus a $100.00 surcharge, a possible $12.00 conviction fee and a $25.00 victim’s fine.
  • Minimum jail time of five days up to one year. Community service may be given to reduce jail time.

If the person’s BAC is greater than .10, then he is considered elgible for more serious penalties. BAC levels .10 to .15 carries a jail sentence of 30 days to two years and a fine of $2,500-$5,500, and .016 and above carries a jail sentence of minimum 90 days to three years and a fine of $3,500 to $6,300.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

South Carolina laws considers a second or third DUI offense a misdemeanor. A fourth DUI offense or more is considered a felony.

Plea Options

You may plead guilty, no contest to a lesser reduced charge, such as reckless driving with no intoxication or traffic infractions of speeding, following too close or lane changes or not guilty. An attorney can advise you how to plead depending on your BAC levels and other circumstances surrounding your arrest.

Hiring an Attorney

If you have been charged with a second DUI in the State of South Carolina, you may want to seek legal assistance from a South Carolina criminal defense attorney in order to determine whether to plead guilty or seek a plea bargain.

If you have received a DUI or know someone that has, please contact John Bateman at 844.DUI.ALLY