Prosecutors take their job very seriously in regards to a second-offense DUI. This means it is even more important for you to do likewise and take your case seriously by contacting an experienced Loudoun impaired driving lawyer who has handled serious and complex DUI cases.
Second-offense DUI charges are indeed prosecuted more vigorously than a first offense. This is especially true when the second offense occurs close in time to the first offense. Prosecutors review a second offense as an issue where someone probably did not learn from their initial encounter with law enforcement and the serious penalties received as a result of their DUI conviction.
A second-offense DUI is also a class 1 misdemeanor just like a first offense, but there are more serious mandatory minimums involved. These mandatory minimums fluctuate depending on certain factors, including the time between the first and second offense and what alcohol level was present at the second offense.
For a second offense within ten years of a prior offense there are tough penalties. There’s a mandatory minimum fine of $500 as well as confinement in jail for no less than one month. Ten days of the confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.
While there’s not a mandatory minimum for a first offense, any second offense involves at least a ten-day mandatory minimum. However, if the second offense was within five years of the first offense, then mandatory minimum fine is again $500 and confinement in jail for at least one month.
However, 20 days of that one month period shall be a mandatory minimum sentence and not subject to suspension. What this means in practical terms is that while you may have received a 90-day sentence for a first offense, it is possible that the entire 90 days were suspended.
If you receive a second offense within five years and are convicted of that offense, the very least you could receive in jail time would be 90 days with 70 days suspended—leaving 20 days to serve.
In addition, there are more serious driving license suspensions involved with the second-offense DUI. For a second-offense DUI, your privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Virginia or your Virginia driver’s license will be suspended for a period of three years. If the second offense is within five to ten years of the first offense, you’ll be eligible for a restricted license after four months. However, if your second offense is located five years from the first offense, you will not be eligible for a restricted license for a full year.
Additionally, just as there is no diversion for first offenses, no diversion options are available for a second DUI offense either.
In addition to all of the methods that a DUI 2nd offense attorney in Loudoun uses in building a defense for a first offense, for second-offense DUI charge, I want to pay close attention to the warrant on the initial charge, to inspect the constitutional firmness of the initial conviction. This is especially true if the first DUI offense occurred outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law