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Second & Third Offense DUI

Lexington SC DUI cases are taken seriously and even more so when it isn't your first offense. Prior convictions for driving under the influence or driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration within the past ten years can serve to make your current charge a 2nd or 3rd offense. If you have three or more prior offenses they continue to be prosecuted as a 3rd offense, there is no higher level of charge.

Second Offense Driving Under the Influence is a misdemeanor. Third offense is a felony. Both levels of charges are prosecuted in General Sessions and the State will be represented by a professional prosecutor, not the arresting office as is frequently the case for first offenses.

Second DUI Offense Penalties in South Carolina

The penalties for a 2nd offense DUI are all enhanced from a 1st offense as follows:

  • For blood alcohol levels <0.10 - A jail or prison sentence of five days up to one year and a fine of approximately $2,500 to $10,000
  • For blood alcohol levels of 0.10 through 0.16 - A jail or prison sentence of thirty days up to two years and a fine of approximately $2,500 to $11,000
  • For blood alcohol levels greater than 0.16 - A jail or prison sentence of ninety days up to three years and a fine of approximately $2,500 to $13,000

SC DUI 3rd Offense Penalties

The penalties for those convicted of 3rd offense DUI are greatly enhanced from both a 1st or 2nd level offense:

  • For blood alcohol levels <0.10 - A jail or prison sentence of sixty days up to three years and a fine of approximately $7,0000 - $12,000
  • For blood alcohol levels of 0.10 through 0.16 - A jail or prison sentence of ninety days up to four years and a fine of approximately $10,000 to $15,000
  • For blood alcohol levels greater than 0.16 - A jail or prison sentence of six months up to five years and a fine of approximately $14,000 to $20,000

Civil Enhancements

In addition to the criminal penalties for those convicted of a 2nd or 3rd offense DUI, there are also the administrative penalties imposed by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles against your driver's license. Although many 2nd or 3rd offense charges are reduced through plea bargains in Court to a 1st offense, the DMV counts each offense for purposes of its penalties. In addition to a lengthy driver's license suspension, ADSAP and SR-22 insurance drivers convicted of multiple DUI cases will face the cost of a mandatory interlock device and a risk of a potential lifetime suspension due to being declared a habitual offender.

Don't Give Up on Your Case

Many people think that because they have a prior conviction for DUI that there case is hopeless. This is not true. Even though the penalties are higher, the same factual and legal defenses apply as would to a first offense DUI. Many times after we begin an investigation we are able to determine that there are problems with the State's case that can be used to mount a substantial challenge. Although no lawyer can make a guarantee about how any criminal case may turn out, we have found that many 2nd and 3rd offense DUI cases can be reduced dismissed or successfully challenged in Court.

Call a Lexington DUI Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing any Lexington SC DUI case, or a drunk driving charge in Columbia or any surrounding area, contact the DUI lawyers at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, for a free consultation.

Appointments are set at our office located at 123 Harmon Street in downtown Lexington. You can contact our office at (888) 301-3532.

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  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo
  • Accredited Business by the Better Business Bureau
  • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National College for DUI Defense

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