Third offense DUIs can be quite intimidating and could have serious consequences for those who are convicted. All third offense DUIs start in the general district court and then head up to the circuit court because they are felony offenses in the State of Virginia. The consequences of felony DUI convictions include incarceration and lengthy license suspensions. An accomplished Fredericksburg third offense DUI lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to build an individual’s defense. Speak with a capable DUI attorney that could advocate for you.
A third offense DUI charge is handled the same as a first offense by the prosecution and the court, very seriously and sometimes the court will also look at certain aggravating factors and use those to add to the charge. If an individual had a minor in their car, for example, and it was their third offense DUI in five years, not only would it be a felony charge but they would have the six months in jail and an additional five days in jail just for having a minor in the car. That would be a mandatory minimum for the added charge.
They would have indefinite driver’s license revocation and would have to wait three years before they could even apply for a restricted license plus at least a $1,500 fine. It all starts adding up and becomes more serious. An individual could end up with up to five years in jail depending on what else has been added to the original charge. It starts at a mandatory minimum of six months and goes up to five years in jail.
The time span between a second offense DUI and a third offense DUI matters when determining the consequences of the offense. The third offense penalties are more severe but, again, there is the five and 10-year guideline. If it was a third offense within five years (which would indicate that all of the offenses were within a five year period), an individual is going to have a mandatory minimum of six months in jail with a maximum of up to five years in jail, a mandatory minimum of a $1,000 fine, and their driver’s license will be revoked indefinitely.
The penalties for a third offense DUI carries a range of felony punishments, but an individual is going to be facing time in jail. Depending on the specific facts of their case and their criminal record, it could be much higher or much lower, but they are certainly going to be facing felony time. The court has to go by the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines but will take into account the individual’s past criminal record, et cetera, and the fine can be much, much higher as well. They will actually have their driver’s license revoked indefinitely but will be allowed to re-apply for a driver’s license at some point. A Fredericksburg third offense DUI lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
A third offense DUI charge is a felony. A Fredericksburg third offense DUI lawyer would have to fight the previous two charges to form a basis for the defense of the third offense. They would fight the DUI just like they normally would fight any DUI charge except that a third-offense DUI is suddenly at the felony level. At this juncture, the defense attorney would want to try the first two convictions and try to show the court that the first two convictions, or at least one of the two convictions, does not qualify, in an attempt to get the present charge out of that felony range. This is something that will happen at the preliminary hearing where the defense attorney will try to make a showing that the matter is in the wrong court and should not be a felony because there just is not enough evidence that the first two DUIs apply toward the number needed for the felony statute. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, contact an experienced legal advocare that could build your defense.