A third, fourth or subsequent DUI offense in Virginia is a Class 6 felony. Any prior convictions within 10 years of the current arrest will be considered in determining your charges. This includes not just convictions in Virginia, but also convictions for impaired driving offenses that occurred nationwide. As a result, it is imperative you contact an Alexandria felony DUI lawyer if you are being charged with a DUI offense.
Furthermore, if you caused a motor vehicle collision while intoxicated and any victim was killed, including passengers in your vehicle, you could also face felony charges for involuntary manslaughter or aggravated involuntary manslaughter, making it even more important that a felony DUI lawyer in Alexandria is contacted.
A felony charge and/or conviction on a person’s record is rarely a benefit for a person because it is typically viewed as a negative reflection of a person’s character and behavior. They might have trouble with employers, schools, and government filings. While it is not guaranteed, getting a lawyer involved as early as possible provides the possibility that you will be able to fight the charge aggressively.
Class 6 felonies in Virginia carry potential penalties of up to a $2,500, and a term of imprisonment as long as five years.
Virginia Code Section 18.2-270, which specifically addresses DUI penalties, sets the penalties applicable for a felony DUI. For a third drunk driving offense within 10 years of two prior convictions, penalties include a minimum $1,000 fine and a period of at least 90 days of incarceration.
If your third DUI offense occurs within five years of your prior convictions, you will face a minimum period of six months incarcerated. A fourth DUI offense results in a minimum of one year incarceration.
These penalties are mandatory minimum sentences, so there is generally no opportunity to avoid jail time if convicted of felony drunk driving. The risk of mandatory minimum sentencing is why it is so important to speak with an Alexandria felony DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss whether you have any options for avoiding a guilty verdict.
After any arrest for driving impaired in Alexandria, you are entitled to due process. You must be given the opportunity to have a trial decided by a jury of your peers. A prosecutor must prove to this jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you can make the jury doubt whether the evidence is accurate or whether all aspects of the crime were committed, you shouldn’t be found guilty. An Alexandria felony DUI lawyer can help you present evidence to try to avoid conviction.
When you hire a lawyer, they will take the time to walk with you through the course of your case, explaining to you the ramifications and impact of a felony DUI charge on your record.
Other options are also available. You could try to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to reduce potential consequences or reduce charges; or you could try to get the charges dropped.
If you are able to keep evidence from being used against you by showing it was collected in violation of the Constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, a prosecutor may have insufficient evidence. The judge could dismiss the charges or the prosecutor could drop them voluntarily.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.