A driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Virginia can be classified as a felony if it is your third or fourth DUI within a 10-year period. If you have been charged with a felony DUI in Virginia, an Arlington felony DUI Lawyer can advise you of your rights and legal options for fighting these charges.
Forty-five states have felony DUI laws and these types of charges are not uncommon. One study conducted by MADD in 2008 found that there were 2 million third-time DUI offenses and about 400,00 five-time DUIs.
Virginia has a 10-year “look-back” period in which multiple DUIs have a cumulative effect on penalties, with fines and jail time increasing in severity for repeat DUIs. A lot can happen in a decade, and many people accused of felony DUI are surprised to learn that prior convictions from so long ago can impact the sentencing for a current charge. Because cases involving previous DUI convictions are treated differently in court than first-time DUIs, it is important to consult an Arlington felony DUI lawyer with experience handling cases for clients who have more than one DUI charge.
Penalties for a third DUI within a 10 year period include a minimum $1000 fine and 90 days in jail. If you received the third DUI within five years of your last charge, the jail sentence is a minimum of six months.
Regardless of the look-back period, you will face an indefinite suspension of your driver’s license. Because a third DUI is a felony, your vehicle may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
Fourth DUIs are also felony offenses, and carry all the same penalties as a third DUI, except the jail sentence increases to a minimum of one year.
Certain circumstances can also increase the penalties associated with your felony DUI charge. If your blood alcohol content was excessively high, if you were transporting children in your car at the time, if you caused an accident, or if you were operating a commercial vehicle, you may receive additional penalties and jail time.
Felony offenses carry much harsher penalties and create a criminal record that can seriously impact your life in terms of employment, housing, professional licensing, military service, financial aid, voting rights, the right to possess firearms, and educational opportunities. You will need an experienced Arlington felony DUI lawyer by your side if you have been charged with felony DUI in or around Arlington.
While receiving a felony DUI charge can be frightening, it is important to consult an experienced Arlington felony DUI lawyer as soon as possible. In order to access evidence before it is lost or compromised, your attorney will need to begin investigating right away. He or she will be able to craft a defense for you, which is why it is vital to call sooner rather than later.
Whether you made some youthful mistakes that have come back to haunt you, you are struggling with alcohol or drug dependency, or were wrongfully accused of DUI, an Arlington felony DUI lawyer can help.
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