Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
A second offense drunk driving charge is more serious because the prosecutors want to deter people from driving under the influence in the future. A person needs to build a defense for second offense DUI charges with the assistance of a legal team. An experienced attorney understands that with a second time driving while intoxicated charge carries a mandatory minimum jail time, there are ways to negotiate with the judge and prosecutor.
Therefore, if you are facing second offense driving under the influence charges, you will want to contact a dedicated Fairfax second offense DUI lawyer. It is essential to have legal counsel while building a defense for second offense DUI charges in Fairfax.
The courts are going to treat a second time DUI charge more harshly compared with a first-time offense. A second offense, especially if it is a second in five years, the court just thinks the person is out of control. They will think the person has a serious substance abuse problem. They are going to come down upon the person pretty hard because they are not only going to be attempting to punish the person for the risk that they placed to the community by unsafe driving but they are also going to go ahead and try to deter them from that behavior in the future. They are certainly going to be harsh on that matter and they are going to punish the person accordingly.
A second DUI offense, especially one within five years and one within 10 years, would carry with it the 20 or 10-day mandatory minimum jail time. It is a little bit harder because the individual has to approach it vigorously just like they do with a first time DUI where an attorney attacks every element of the charge and they look into whatever defenses are possible, but there is also that heightened risk.
If a person decides to go to trial, there is a lot more at stake. When they are building a defense for second offense DUI charges in Fairfax, it is important for their attorney to review all of the evidence. The person needs to understand that if they are found guilty, there is a mandatory 10 or 20 day jail time. That is something that should be extremely deterrent for a client going to trial on a second DUI because what it does is it makes them more likely to want to take a deal where the prosecutor amends it down to a first offense DUI so that it drops the mandatory minimum and then they do some time in jail but it is not mandatory time.
Virginia has what is called a good time for misdemeanor offenses. Whatever active time a person is sentenced to, they actually only do half of that time. For example, if a person has a first offense DUI and they are sentenced to 12 months with 11 months suspended, that is one month to serve but they actually only serve 15 days of that month as long as they are not starting a riot or something in prison or in jail.
What that means is that a person would normally do half the time they are assigned. If a person gets a situation for a first offense or a second offense DUI in five years and they have a mandatory minimum of 20 days hanging over their head then what that means is that if they were sentenced to 12 months with 11 months suspended, they would actually serve 25 days because they have 20 mandatory days and then five of the extra 10. What that would mean is that the difference between a first and second offense DUI in that exact same sentencing scenario is one person serves 15 days and one person serves 25.
When someone is facing their second offense driving under the influence charges, it is critical that they speak with an attorney immediately. The person needs to begin building a strong defense to a minimum the penalties they are facing. Prosecutors and judges are more harsh with the second offense for drunk driving to deter the person from continuing to put the community in danger.
If you are facing your second driving while intoxicated charge, it is important to start building a defense for second offense DUI charges in Fairfax by contacting an experienced drunk driving lawyer. DUI charges can have long-term impacts on your license, ability to drive, and reputation.