Defendants who’ve received multiple DWI convictions in Arkansas face serious penalties. In Arkansas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws are harsh. Most drunk driving charges in Arkansas are charged as misdemeanors. Defendants facing a fourth charge will automatically be charged with a felony. Defendants convicted of a felony face harsher penalties. These penalties can include additional prison time, more stringent penalties, and the loss of their driver’s license permanently.
If you’re facing a multiple DWI charge in Arkansas, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is extremely important. Whether you’ve been charged with a second, third, or fourth DWI in Arkansas, you could face jail time and severe fines. At the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, we have a proven track record of successfully fighting for our clients who are facing multiple DWI charges. Contact our Northwest Arkansas criminal defense lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.
What Constitutes Driving While Intoxicated in Arkansas?
Driving while intoxicated happens when someone is intoxicated while operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Additionally, when a suspect has a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher, law enforcement will charge him or her with driving while intoxicated.
When a suspect has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more, prosecutors will charge them with a “DWI per se.” Prosecutors will not have to provide any other evidence to support a conviction when the court convicts the defendant of a DWI per se.
Arkansas has enacted a zero-tolerance law when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 can face charges when their BAC limit is .02 percent or higher. Someone can test at a .02 percent BAC or higher after only having one drink. Arkansas intends to curb underage drinking and driving with this law.
The Penalties for Multiple DWI Convictions Are Serious in Arkansas
The more DWI convictions you have in your criminal history, the greater the penalties you’ll face. Those convicted of a DWI in Arkansas face administrative penalties like fines, license suspension or revocation, and jail time. First-time offenders face up to a year in prison and up fines up to $1,000.
What Is a Multiple DWI Charge in Arkansas?
Multiple DWI charges happen when a court convicts a defendant, then the defendant is convicted of a subsequent DWI charge. Arkansas courts determine whether a DWI is a first offense, second offense, or a subsequent offense. All convictions count towards the determination of multiple DWI charges. Arkansas courts will include DWI convictions that happened in Arkansas, as well as any convictions that occurred in another state.
Penalties for a Second Conviction in Arkansas
Second DWI offenses within five years after the first offense are also punishable by up to a year in prison. The defendant can also face up to $3,000 in fines. An Arkansas court may allow the defendant to complete 60 days of community service instead of a prison sentence. Judges might also impose license suspensions as well as mandatory drug or alcohol treatment in a state-approved facility.
Facing a Third Charge in Arkansas
The penalties for a third DWI conviction require at least 90 days in prison with a maximum sentence of one year of jail time. The minimum DWI sentence for a third-time offense is 120 days of jail time when the driver had a child under the age of 16 in the car. When the court can prove good cause, they can order 90 days of community service instead of jail time.
Those convicted of a third DWI in Arkansas will also face fines between $900 and $5,000. Arkansas judges also require motorists to pay administrative fees. They will also need to complete a pre-sentencing report. Before the court sentences the defendant, the defendant must complete a drug and alcohol evaluation conducted at the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Arkansas judges consider the report when deciding on the defendant’s sentence.
Courts also can seize the defendant’s driver’s license and issue a temporary driving permit. Typically, when the defendant already has two previous license suspensions or convictions within the last five years, the court will suspend the driver’s license for 30 months. Drivers with multiple DWI convictions may be required to install an ignition interlock device as a requirement of driving on a restricted driver’s license.
Fourth and Fifth Charges in Arkansas
Under Arkansas law, those charged with a fourth DWI will automatically face felony charges. Defendants who are charged with a fourth DWI within five years after the first offense face felony charges and a prison sentence of up to 6 years in prison. Arkansas courts can impose fines of up to $5,000. Courts can order the defendants to one year of community service instead of a prison sentence.
Those charged with a fifth DWI offense within five years after their first DWI offense, they face felony penalties of up to 10 years in prison. Courts can also impose up to $5,000 in fines. Courts can order defendants to serve two years of community service instead of their prison sentence.
When it comes to fourth and fifth time DWI charges, Arkansas courts can also choose to confiscate the subject’s vehicle. Courts can also revoke your driver’s license entirely. You may not even have a chance to request a restricted license. You will also need to attend an alcohol education and treatment program that is approved by the state of Arkansas. When the drunk driving caused a motor vehicle accident, another person’s death, or property damage, the defendant can face enhanced penalties.
Contact Our Multiple DWI Charges Defense Lawyers
If you’re facing multiple DWI charges in Arkansas, you need an experienced and assertive criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Bryce Cook, we have an in-depth understanding of the criminal court process in Arkansas. We will fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.