The penalties for a DUI conviction can be serious if you plead guilty or are found guilty during your trial. The consequences for first DUI convictions can range from a small fine to six months in jail.
The consequences of being found guilty of a second or third DUI offense vary depending on the amount of time that's passed since your last conviction, but most judges, juries, and prosecutors take these repeat DUI offenses very seriously. It's essential you understand these penalties to know what you're up against. If you're facing a repeat DUI conviction, you will almost certainly face heavier penalties.
Your Second DUI Offense: Potential Penalties
A repeat DUI conviction within five years of your first is considered a Class One Misdemeanor. What's more, you'll also be fined up to $500 and sentenced to a month in jail at minimum. Depending on how high your blood-alcohol content was at the time it was recorded, you may be sentenced to 10 to 20 more days in jail.
A repeat DUI conviction within 10 years of your first is also considered a Class One Misdemeanor and requires up to a month in jail. However, if your BAC was recorded between .15 and .20, your fine will increase to $1,000 and you may be required to serve an additional 10 to 20 days in jail.
Your Virginia driver's license will also be suspended for up to three years. However, you may be able to use a restricted driver's license after four months to a year. Consult your DUI lawyer for more information on license restrictions.
Your Third DUI Offense: Potential Penalties
A third DUI offense within five years of your last charge may result in a minimum $1,000 fine and a six-month jail sentence. Additionally, regardless of the number of years since your last DUI charge, a third charge is considered a Class Six Felony.
A Class Six Felony means a Virginia judge has the right to sentence you to jail for up to five years with a fine of $2,500. That being said, your vehicle may be seized as well as your driver's license for an indefinite amount of time.
Whether you're innocent or guilty of your repeat DUI charge, it may be in your best interest to hire a DUI attorney from a Virginia law firm. Based on the average caseload, a public defender would need a year and a half to do one year's worth of work. Therefore, if you've been charged with a repeat DUI offense, consider hiring an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.