How Will Your DUI Case Change When You're a Repeat Offender?

How Will Your DUI Case Change When You

The consequences for DUI have become harsh even for a first offense. It is the court’s intention to make the punishment strong enough for the offender to get the message not to repeat this violation of the law. Reoffense does not leave you with very many options other than trying to negotiate penalties down through plea bargaining or fighting the case in a court trial. Here are some things you should know about how your DUI case changes as a repeat offender.

Separate Sentencing System

Some states now have special DUI courts with programs for repeat DUI offenders. Given the propensity of alcoholics and addicts to become repeat offenders, these courts recognize how standard sentencing tends to lead to a vicious cycle of relapse and re-offend. 

Those first-offense diversion programs are not available for multiple DUI convictions. Probation is usually revoked or new criminal charges are assigned. Largely, it is nothing more than a matter of going right back to where you started without the sense of any positive progression on the parts of either the courts or the offenders.

DUI Court, Repeat-Offender Programs, and Requirements

The intent of DUI courts is to close the revolving door. Rather than extending the months and even years of jail time, programs that institute intense supervision are meant to get to the root of the problem. Changing the behavior is a more productive way to reduce the recidivism rate for repeat DUI convictions. 

The requirements can include a year and a half commitment for eligible participants who are expected to maintain gainful employment, abide by a curfew, and submit to random drug and alcohol testing. Probation officers conduct home visits, and participants must also complete their required attendance in group treatment.

Get the Help of DUI Lawyer

A second offense often carries along with it jail time, mandatory fines, the implementation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and license suspension, if not revocation, for up to two years. A third offense is far more severe with vehicle forfeiture, mandatory jail time, six-year license restriction, huge restitution fines, the requirement of the ignition interlock, and completion of a drug and alcohol program. 

If you want to avoid these punishments, your best help will come with the support of a DUI lawyer who is practiced in navigating the legal system when facing multiple convictions. They’ll look at the circumstances of your arrest, whether the arresting officer had probable cause to pull you over, and other details pertaining to the case. With their assistance, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding punishments that could seriously impact your life.

More Help Is Better

The distinction in how to help those who are repeat DUI offenders is understanding that they are not typically wanton or reckless criminals. There has been success with intense supervision through drug and alcohol programs that help both the alcoholic or the addict create lifelong habits that can change their behavioral course of actions. This is not to say that this type of program works for everyone since everyone has the free will to act. It is the combination of support and knowing that the collective goal is for the good of those participating to gain the upper hand in controlling their behavior that garners positive results.

Participating With DUI Court

It is not the court’s desire to see people suffer. Having a DUI lawyer on your side helps you navigate the confusing laws and deadlines. Participating in the programs the courts provide as penalties for repeat offenders helps mitigate the harshness of the penalties such as license restriction versus revocation or lower fines. When participants are enabled to conduct their lives as normally as possible, there is a greater sense of self-control, which only adds to the purposeful intent of behavioral modification.

Facing a repeat charge for DUI can be overwhelming. Given the complexity of the legal system and the fact that DUI laws change periodically, it is no wonder one can easily become confused. While a subsequent DUI conviction is certainly challenging, it does not necessarily have to be a certainty.


Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing.

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