In Virginia, multiple DUI charges have serious consequences. Virginia’s penalties for a second, third, or fourth DUI are some of the most severe penalties in the United States. Virginia judges and prosecutors deal harshly with repeat offenders. Under Virginia’s state law, the penalties become more severe with every additional conviction.
If you’re facing multiple DUI charges in Virginia, the criminal defense lawyers at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC. Our experienced criminal defense team will evaluate your case thoroughly and come up with the best legal defense strategy possible. Our lawyers are tough negotiators and trial-ready. Contact our Virginia DUI defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
What Constitutes a DUI in Virginia?
Under Virginia law, it is prohibited to drive while impaired by a drug, multiple drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Those who drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or over will face charges. A defendant’s BAC percentage plays a vital role in how Virginia prosecutors make their case against defendants.
Law enforcement and prosecutors assume that drivers with a BAC of .05 percent or less are not driving while under the influence of alcohol. When a suspect has a blood alcohol concentration between .05 and .08 percent, prosecutors may use the evidence of the BAC, but this level of BAC does not prove or disprove impairment.
Understanding the Penalties for Multiple DUIs
The severity of the penalty for multiple DUIs in Virginia depends on several different factors, including whether the defendant has prior convictions. The experienced multiple DUI defense lawyers at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC will negotiate assertively on your behalf with prosecutors to reduce your charges, when possible. Should your case go to trial, we will fight hard for your rights and to disprove the prosecutor’s case against you throughout the trial.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Virginia
Under Virginia law, those faced with a first-time DUI charge face a penalty of up to 12 months in prison. They might also face a fine between $250 and $2,500. The penalties in Virginia increase in severity for multiple offenses.
Penalties for a Second DUI in Virginia
Defendants convicted of a second DUI in Virginia will face one month to one year of prison time. They will pay a minimum fine of $500. Virginia judges are also required to sentence the defendant to a minimum of 10 days in prison for a second DUI conviction.
Penalties for a Third DUI in Virginia
Prosecutors will charge defendants with a class 6 felony for a third DUI offense in Virginia. Class 6 felonies come with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 90 days as well as a minimum fine of $1,000. Virginia judges have the authority to sentence third DUI offenders with a prison sentence of up to five years. Additionally, defendants convicted of a third DUI will experience a 3-year driver’s license suspension. They can petition the court for a Restricted Operator’s License 3 years after their third DUI conviction.
Penalties for a Fourth DUI in Virginia
Defendants convicted of a fourth DUI within ten years will face the same punishments as those convicted of a third DUI, except the minimum mandatory prison time increases to one year. Several other factors can increase the severity of a fourth DUI in Virginia, including the following:
- Multiple DUI charges within the last five years, rather than the previous ten years
- The defendant had a BAC percentage of .15 or higher at the time of the arrest
- The defendant had a BAC percentage higher than .2 percent at the time of the arrest
- The defendant’s DUI involved the significant injury or death to another person
Administrative Penalties and License Suspension
Defendants will receive administrative penalties for a third or higher DUI conviction. These administrative penalties are in addition to mandatory minimum prison time. The state of Virginia will indefinitely suspend the driver’s license. The driver can petition the court for reinstatement of his or her driver’s license after a certain period.
Successfully petitioning for a reinstated license is not easy in Virginia. If the state of Virginia does reinstate the driver’s license, the driver must pay to have an ignition interlock device installed within a specified period. The Circuit Court judge who hears the reinstatement petition will decide what other terms the defendant must meet as requirements for license reinstatement. Judges often impose the following burdensome requirements:
- The defendant must attend alcohol treatment
- The defendant must drive with an ignition interlock for an extended period
- The defendant must abide by other driving restrictions for a certain period
Involuntary Manslaughter of Maiming
What happens when a defendant charged has a prior conviction of involuntary manslaughter or maiming from a previous charge and the defendant? In this case, prosecutors will automatically charge the defendant with a class 6 felony. Class 6 felony charges come with a prison sentence between one and five years of prison with mandatory minimum prison time of one year. They will also need to pay a fine of at least $1,000.
Defenses to Multiple DUI Charges in Virginia
At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, our multiple DUI defense lawyers always examine whether or not law enforcement officers violated our clients’ constitutional rights. Did the law enforcement officer who made the stop have the necessary probable cause for the stop? Did he or she conduct the BAC test properly?
We often encourage our clients charged with multiple DUIs in Virginia to enroll in substance abuse counseling. Doing so will help us provide the judge presiding over your case with mitigating evidence that is in your favor. Every multiple DUI case is unique. Our lawyers take the time to carefully evaluate our client’s circumstances to find the best possible defense strategy for them.
Contact Our Virginia Multiple DUI Defense Lawyers Today
If you’re facing a multiple DUI charge in Virginia, your freedom is at stake. You need the best possible legal representation. Contact Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC today to schedule your initial consultation.