People say never to make the same mistake twice, but inevitably, it happens. When you’re charged with DUI but have a past conviction on your record, here’s what that means.
South Carolina Lookback Period
You may assume that if your DUI was multiple years ago, you’re in the clear for being considered a repeat offender. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. South Carolina has a ten-year lookback period for DUIs. This means that if you are arrested for DUI within ten years of your prior conviction, it will be considered a repeat offense.
How A Past Conviction Impacts Sentencing
Having a prior DUI conviction on your record is never ideal when facing new charges. When the courts see that you have already been convicted of the same or a similar offense, they will be less likely to offer a lenient sentence.
A second DUI already comes with enhanced penalties, including:
- Up to one year in jail (with a mandatory minimum of five days),
- Fines up to $5,100,
- Required completion of an alcohol and drug safety action program, and
- Required ignition interlock device for two years.
In some cases, a repeat offense may automatically be charged as a felony. This is what happens if you have two prior convictions; your third DUI within ten years will be classified as a felony.
Can DUIs be Expunged in South Carolina?
DUI convictions cannot be expunged in South Carolina. Once it is on your record, it is there permanently. Therefore, it’s especially important that you do not get any repeat convictions within the ten-year period.
Mt. Pleasant DUI Defense Attorney
Attorney Joe Good specializes in DUI law and dedicates his practice to helping individuals charged with this offense. Whether it is your first, second, third, or fourth DUI, contact Joe Good, Attorney at Law for dedicated legal defense.