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Conviction and Sentencing

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All states provide for progressively harsher sentencing as DUI offenses accumulate.

What is a first offense?

The first offense is typically a misdemeanor. However, the fine may be several hundred dollars plus a guaranteed increase in automobile insurance rates. Additionally, the court may require driving school, some hours of alcohol rehabilitation classes and suspension of a driver's license for up to a year (driving to and from work is permitted). The driver will also be required to pay program and license restoration fees.

This is the second time I have been pulled over for a DUI. What is going to happen?

A second offense means additional fines and required attendance at driving school and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Attendance at the programs may be required for a lengthier time. Community service may also be imposed. The license suspension will be greatly extended, perhaps to 2 years or more.

What happens if I have a third offense?

In many states, conviction of a third DUI converts the offense into a felony and prison time is imposed. Judges may be required to sentence the defendant to a minimum prison term of up to a year. Drivers' licenses can be suspended for up to 10 years. Additionally, the defendant is now a convicted felon.