Do you already have a DUI conviction and now face another? You may wonder how it got to this point. You swore it would never happen again, that you learned your lesson the first time after all the consequences you received.

Regardless of how it happened, the fact is that another DUI conviction will bring harsher penalties than before. South Dakota law regarding multiple offenses of impaired driving are as follows.

  • Second offense: Your second time still counts as a misdemeanor. You will lose your license for a year and stay a brief time in jail.
  • Third offense: The fine goes from the hundreds to the thousands, and the crime becomes a felony if all occurrences have happened in the last 10 years.
  • Fourth offense: The classification of the felony continues to grow more severe. In addition to significantly higher fees and jail time, you also lose your license for two years.
  • Fifth offense or more: License revocation lasts for three years.

Other penalties include mandatory sobriety testing, programs, counseling and ignition interlocks. Consequences reach beyond the justice system, as well. Not having a license for so long will affect your employment and daily living. It is possible to get limited driving privileges, but it is not a guarantee just because you have a job. Your insurance rate will go up, and having the label of a felon will hinder your work, housing and relationship opportunities.

What you can do to prevent another conviction

While prevention is always best, it is obviously too late for that. But it is not too late to create a strong defense with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney to avoid receiving a conviction, especially a felony. Even if it is only the second DUI, you do not want it to lead to worse punishment should another incident happen, so it is important to take each offense seriously. A lawyer may help you protect your rights, reduce the charges, get into DUI court and maintain driving privileges.