Zeribe Law Offices

Zeribe Law Offices


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Prior DUI record and Plea Negotitations

A prior DUI record will play an important role in any DUI proceedings. If it is your first DUI offense, you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense in all states unless some is severely injured or killed as a result of your drunk driving. In most states, if it is your second DUI offense, you will still be charged with a misdemeanor offense but with enhanced penalties. However if it is your third DUI offense, then in most states, you will be charged with a felony offence. A felony offense is punishable with imprisonment that exceeds one year. In every DUI case, the judge will consider your prior DUI record before determining the penalties. If you have a prior DUI record, then you are unlikely to get away with a fine. Even if you do manage to get away with a fine, the fine will be a substantial amount.


All states have a look back period for DUI offenses. A look back period refers to the time period the court will look into for a prior DUI conviction. The look back period is determined by state law. In some states it is 5 years but it can extend to a lifetime in others. If your state has a look back period of 10 years, and you were convicted for DUI in 2002, and you are subsequently arrested for DUI in 2011, then your 2002 conviction will play a vital role in determining the penalties for your 2011 DUI offense. However if instead of 2011, you are arrested for DUI in 2015, then your 2002 conviction will not be counted. Your 2015 DUI offense will be considered as your first offense.


A prior DUI conviction can have serious consequences. You will be subject to enhanced penalties for your subsequent DUI arrest. Your driver’s license can be automatically suspended in some states. If you have a prior DUI conviction and you are subsequently arrested for DUI, consult with an experienced DUI lawyer. The lawyer will review the circumstances of your case and build a successful defense strategy. The lawyer will ensure that your legal rights are protected.


As a defendant in a criminal case, you can enter into a plea bargain wherein you plead guilty to a lesser offense and the prosecution will not press for the greater offense. In DUI cases, you can plead guilty for wet reckless or reckless driving involving alcohol. The rules for plea bargain are determined by state laws. In most states, plea bargain is available only to first time offenders. A plea bargain must be accepted by the prosecution and approved by the court. If it is your second DUI, the chances of the prosecution accepting your plea bargain and the court approving it are very less. One of the factors that the prosecution and the court will consider in a plea bargain is the prior record of the defendant. When you already have a DUI conviction, then your plea bargain is unlikely to be accepted.