Repeat DWI/DUI Offender Attorney
Serving all of New Mexico
For citizens who have been arrested for DWI and are being charged for their first offense, the penalties are far more lenient than those being charged for multiple offenses. That is not to say the penalties for DWI offenses are not strong; they often carry jail time, steep fines, and a revocation of driver’s licenses even for first time offenders. If the driver had a high BAC, then they may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed. However, the consequences for repeat offenders are much harsher.
This is not without good cause. Not only is it clear that repeat offenders have not learned anything from their experiences, but they are often the most common perpetrators of the crime. Roughly one third of all drunk drivers arrested are repeat offenders. Furthermore, the average drunk driver has driven while intoxicated on 80 occasions before they are arrested for the first time.
Statistics have also shown that suspending a drunk driver’s license does little to stop that person from driving. Up to 75 percent of drunk drivers who have had their licenses suspended for previous infractions will continue to drive, and some continue to drive drunk with their suspended license.
If a person is convicted for drunk driving for the second or third time, then he or she will have to pay much steeper fines, serve certain jail time, and have their driver’s license revoked for up to three years. Second time offenders will begin to see the harsher punishments reserved for repeat offenders. After all, because repeat offenders are the most likely to continue drinking and driving, it is only natural to hope that greater punishments will be incentives to not drive drunk.
Repeat offenders will also have to attend mandatory sessions to assess their drinking problem and begin treatment. Alcohol education courses will be required, and often times the driver’s vehicle will be immobilized or impounded for up to 30 days. At the least, an ignition interlock device will be required. An ignition interlock license will likely be the only type of driver’s license that the driver will be able to obtain until the time of their revocation is complete. At this point, the driver may apply to get another driver’s license.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the other New Mexico cities, the fourth offense of DWI is considered to be a fourth degree felony. This means that the driver will have their license revoked permanently and will face all of the possible sentencing that a fourth degree felony entails.
If a driver is arrested while driving with a revoked license, then the penalties can be quite severe. There are a minimum 7 days of jail time and a mandatory $300 fine. The maximum allowable penalty in this case is a year of jail time and a $1000 fine. While the courts rarely sentence a person to the maximum allowable penalties, even a minimum stay in jail is best avoided.
In the majority of cases, courts will not give convicted DWI offenders the maximum allowable sentences. Instead, they will frequently choose the minimum sentences, often because the offender had the help and advice of strong legal counsel. Some of the larger courts, in Santa Fe for example, may decide to give stronger sentences to repeat offenders, but many manage to get off comparatively lightly. The ones who do not have good legal counsel, on the other hand, will almost always serve worse or stronger sentences than those who hired experienced attorneys.
For anyone seeking the assistance or advice of experienced criminal law attorneys in Albuquerque, New Mexico, contact us at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices.