Second Offense DUI Charges in Fredericksburg
Second offenses are handled seriously in the City of Fredericksburg. Second offenses, in general, are viewed as extremely egregious, because the person went through the process for the first time and did not learn their lesson. It is not uncommon that someone may not have served jail time for their first offense, so an officer may look at that and see that the person needs to be punished more severely, even more severely than mandatory minimums.
Because the penalties can be extensive for second offense DUI charges in Fredericksburg, it is important to build a defense as soon as possible. Therefore, if you are facing second offense charges, a Fredericksburg DUI Lawyer will work to build a strong defense and mitigate the penalties as much as possible.
The penalties for a second offense DUI in Fredericksburg vary on a number of factors. The two most common variables are what the blood alcohol content was and whether or not it was the person’s second offense within five years or within 10 years.
For a second offense within ten years, the accused faces a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail. For a second offense within five years, that mandatory minimum is increased to 20 days. In addition, the mandatory minimum for high blood alcohol content is doubled, and then these run consecutive to the mandatory requirements within a given time period.
For example, if a 2nd offense has a BAC above 0.15, the five days become 10. When it is heightened above 0.20, 10 become 20. It is possible for someone facing a mandatory minimum for DUI 2nd offense within 5 years with a BAC above 0.20 to face up to 40 days mandatory minimum.
Second offense DUI charges are heard in the Fredericksburg General District Court. Courts treat them harshly. It is not uncommon for judges to exceed the mandatory minimum punishment if a person is found guilty of a 2nd offense DUI.
Second-offense DUIs are defended, much like a first-offense, with the additional caveat that an attorney is looking at the constitutional issues regarding the first conviction and empirically examining the initial exposure their client may have if the case heads to trial to help mitigate that exposure.
Someone charged for a second offense DUI charge in Fredericksburg may take a breath test or refuse a breath test. If they refuse or register a BAC above 0.08, their license will be administratively suspended for a minimum period of 60 days. It is possible to challenge that administrative suspension by filing a petition with the court, but the petitioner bears the burden of proof to prove the administrative license suspension was improper.
If they are convicted, their license will be suspended for three years. If they are a Virginia driver, they lose their license for three years. If they are an out-of-state driver, their privilege to operate in Virginia is suspended for three years.
In addition, there is a period of time in which they are eligible for a restricted license. For someone found guilty of a second offense in five years, they are unable to ask for a restricted license for a period of one year. If it is a second offense, it is 10 years and they are unable to ask for a restricted performance. An individual cannot challenge a license suspension after the conviction, but they challenge it before the conviction. If someone is acquitted of a DUI, their license will be returned automatically if it has not been returned already.