Understanding the Legal Process for a 2nd Offense DUI

DUI laws are complex. The most important thing to understand is that there are two legal proceedings: civil and criminal.

A DUI is a severe offense in Nebraska. It may result in fatalities or serious injuries. Strict fines and penalties are also in place.

Criminal Charges

Operating a motor vehicle or having actual physical control over one while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited by Nebraska law. It includes not just illegal substances but even prescription and over-the-counter medications.

You will probably face misdemeanor charges if you are pulled over for DUI and your blood alcohol content is 0.08 or more. However, if an officer has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of drugs (and not alcohol) and can convince the jury, you could be facing felony charges.

Your vehicle insurance rates will increase significantly if you are convicted of a 2nd offense DUI in Nebraska, in addition to possible jail time, fines, and license suspension. To get your license back at the end of your revocation period, you must file an SR-22 form that meets the state’s minimum auto insurance coverage requirements. Any future car you own must also have an ignition interlock device installed.

Administrative Penalties

DUI convictions result in several administrative consequences in addition to jail time, fines, and required alcohol education sessions. For example, a DUI conviction may require installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Your rates for auto insurance may also be impacted. Your ability to drive for work may be permanently suspended if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are involved in another DUI.

You have five years to expunge a DUI conviction from your record. If you are arrested for another DUI within those five years, it will legally count as a second offense.

If a prosecutor proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you may have to serve at least 30 days in jail. You could also face a $500 fine, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, and one-year driver’s license revocation. However, a DUI attorney can help you avoid jail time by successfully getting evidence suppressed. It can happen when the arresting officer does not have probable cause to stop you.

Ignition Interlock Device

Most states mandate that drivers install and operate an ignition interlock device in their cars as part of their DUI sentences. These devices force drivers to blow into a breath test before the car starts. The device records each test, and if the driver’s BAC level is above a certain threshold, it will prompt the driver to stop the car.

Most courts also have a period in which an offender must successfully participate in an alcohol assessment and treatment program. Completing this requirement can allow the driver to retain limited driving privileges as long as an ignition interlock device is installed.

Most judges will consider the defendant’s previous DUI history when deciding on their sentence. However, there are many things a lawyer can do to prevent a DUI conviction. For example, if the attorney can get evidence suppressed, this could result in charges being dropped altogether. A successful suppression would be based on either a legal argument or a technical error.

Jail Time

Nebraska’s DUI laws state that driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle is illegal if the driver has a BAC above 0.08%. Those under age have a lower legal limit of 0.02%. In addition, driving in the state is considered to be consent to a chemical test, and refusing to submit to such testing will result in an automatic one-year license revocation.

If someone is arrested for a second offense of drunk driving, they can expect harsher penalties. These could include jail time, heavy fines, the need for an ignition interlock device, and the inability to drive. Depending on factors such as the level of alcohol in their system and prior convictions, they may also face aggravated DUI charges.

Aggravated DUIs are classified as Class I misdemeanors, and the court can order an individual not to drive for up to 15 years. Those who cause injury or death to others while impaired will face more severe Class IIA felony charges.

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