Around 50 percent of people arrested for their first DUI will face the same charges or nearly the same charges if arrested for the same offense in the future. This is the case for Olympian Michael Phelps who was arrested early Tuesday morning in Baltimore on suspicion of driving under the influence, making it his second DUI arrest.
According to reports, Phelps, 35, was stopped at 1:40 a.m. after an officer observed him traveling 85 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer apparently followed the athlete’s White Range Rover northbound through the McHenry tunnel on I-95, where he allegedly spotted him crossing into the other lanes. The officer pulled him over just before a toll plaza.
The officer claims that Phelps exhibited signs of intoxication and asked him to perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer’s report, Phelps performed poorly on the tests and was taken into police custody.
This is the gold-medal winner’s second DUI arrest. His first was in 2004, when he was only 18. He was stopped for running a stop sign. He was charged with DUI, but made a deal and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation for pleading guilty to drunken driving.
A second DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor offense in Florida. A misdemeanor is punishable by a jail term that can extend to 12 months. However if you cause an accident that results in property damage or bodily injury to another person, a second DUI offense can then be enhanced to felony status.
Florida does not have a typical lookback period when it comes to DUIs. All DUIs will remain on your record and can be used for charging purposes in the future.However, if a second DUI conviction happens within 5 years, the offender will be sentenced to mandatory time behind bars for 10 days, and at least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.
The look back period in Maryland is 10 years so Phelps may be able to avoid being charged a repeat offender. If Phelps is charged as a repeat offender, he could avoid some of the harsher penalties attached to this second DUI by working with a DUI Defense Lawyer.
Everyone, celebrity or regular Joe, needs to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. A DUI is not a charge to take lightly, as the repercussions could adversely affect your life in many ways. A solid defense strategy is vital to avoid the harsh ramifications that can accompany a conviction.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI in the state of Florida, a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help. For a free consultation, please call us today toll-free at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.