I want to talk to you today about a fact situation where you are charged with a second DUI charge. In other words, you got a prior criminal record, you pled guilty or found guilty of impaired driving a few years back. Will you face a jail term in this situation?
The Criminal Code states that for a second time DUI, you are facing a mandatory minimum penalty of thirty days in jail. So depending on the nature of the case, if it’s more minor impaired charge you are facing, you’re going to go to jail. There’s no question about that. However, there are some situations where if it’s an old record, say for example, over ten years old, just as an example, the crown could exercise their discretion, not to impose a jail term, so that they don’t rely on notice of the prior record. The judge in this situation then, based on joint submissions, could give you a fine. The crown for example, might do that with a very old record or if they perceive that you’ve got a potentially winning case. There are going to be some negotiations with the crown. However, in situations where the prior record occurs say within five years the crown has no discretion, they have directives and policies in the province, that they have to rely on the record.
When the record’s past five years it’s going to depend on the county and the crown as to whether they rely on that record and give you a thirty-day jail term or more. For example, if it’s very high readings, a judge could give you longer than thirty days in jail. So that’s the short answer to whether you are facing a jail term on a second time DUI.