Second DUI Offense in Pittsburgh | Defense Help, Charges and Penalties

Call (412) 281-2146 today

With flashing lights behind you and a police officer at your window, the prospect of being charged with a second DUI would undoubtedly frighten anyone. From your first DUI experience, you probably know that DUI charges in Allegheny County can have an extremely negative effect on your life, including the losing your license and possible time in jail. However, depending on your blood alcohol content(BAC) at the time of your arrest, the punishment for a second DUI in Pittsburgh will not only result in a lengthy suspension of your license but also very steep fines and a prison sentence ranging from days to years.

The state of Pennsylvania punishes drivers more severely each time a DUI conviction is added to their record. Although you are innocent until proven guilty, a second DUI offense can be hard to beat given your prior history. Therefore, it is critical that you hire an experienced DUI attorney as soon as you can, so he or she can start working immediately on your defense.


Pennsylvania law will take into account the last 10 years of your driving history to determine if this is your second DUI. If you are caught driving under the influence for the second time, you will face the harsh consequences of another DUI conviction. With a second DUI in Pittsburgh, the possibility of serving time in jail increases sharply in addition to other penalties. An experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney can help you avoid these penalties and defend against severe, long-lasting repercussions.

Pennsylvania’s system for sentencing a DUI offenses is largely based on both the driver’s BAC and whether they have previous offenses. As a second time offender, you might face the following:

If this is your second offense and your BAC is .08 to .099, you risk:

  • Five days to six months in jail
  • One year license suspension
  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for a year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

For a second offense and a BAC .10 to .159:

  • 30 days to six months in jail
  • One year license suspension
  • $750 to $5,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program

For a second offense and a BAC of .160 or more:

  • 90 days to five years in jail
  • 18 month license suspension
  • $1,500 to $10,000 fine
  • Alcohol highway safety school
  • Ignition interlock on your vehicle for one year
  • You may be required to take a court-ordered treatment program
Second DUI in Pittsburgh

Learn what a skilled DUI lawyer in Pittsburgh can do for you if charged with your second DUI.


For anyone arrested for a DUI, you are most likely concerned with the immediate effect to your freedom and ability to drive. Not only will a DUI conviction result in criminal penalties, it can have long-term ramifications on your life for years to come, such as what you pay for insurance, your permanent criminal record, and your professional status.

A DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 10 years and as a result, your car insurance company will likely consider you a higher risk and raise your premiums, causing you to pay more for auto insurance. Another DUI conviction will also appear on your criminal record, which can negatively impact future housing, employment, and/or educational opportunities as the conviction will show up anytime someone does a criminal background check. Additionally, for professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, or CDL drivers, who are required to maintain certain licenses or certifications, another DUI conviction may result in the loss of your current job or create trouble finding future employment.


If you already have a DUI conviction on your record, it’s essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid a second one by going over the incident and advising you on how to proceed. Before you ever appear in court, a competent attorney can begin working on your defense.

It is important to tell your Pittsburgh DUI lawyer everything that transpired so he or she can identify any weaknesses in the state’s case against you, such as the officer’s adherence to proper procedure, or if your condition was accurately assessed because some of the signs of driving under the influence, such as glassy eyes, irregular driving, and slurred speech can be explained by elements like stress, exhaustion, or your overall health.

Also, after your arrest, you will receive a copy of your criminal complaint in the mail. It’s important to show this paperwork to your attorney so he or she can see the exact charges against you.

One of the next steps in the DUI process will be your preliminary hearing. This is the first court appearance for your case and it is critical because at this hearing your options, including a plea negotiation or a trial, will be determined. Your attorney will be able to help you obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.

If you do not choose to negotiate a plea and your case goes to trial, your attorney will have several lines of defense depending on the circumstances. A few of these are:

  • The police did not have probable cause to stop you
  • The police did not have probable cause to test you for DUI
  • The results of your chemical test (blood, breath or urine) were not accurate or inconclusive
  • The testing equipment used was flawed

If the police stopped you without probable cause, your attorney will try to show that the evidence against you should be suppressed (not allowed to be presented to a jury or the court). If your attorney’s motion to suppress is granted by the judge, your case could be reduced or dismissed.


A well-practiced attorney can determine whether your stop was legal and has the ability to advocate for your rights. The DUI lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC have extensive experience working with clients facing a second DUI in Pittsburgh and will deliver high-quality and passionate legal representation to effectively handle your case and keep you out of jail.

Call us today at (412) 281-2146 for a free and confidential consultation with a skilled attorney. We are available 24/7 and are here to stand by your side to craft a strong DUI defense.