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Penalties for Third-Offense Arlington DUI

Someone who has been arrested and charged with a DUI for the third time within 10 years can expect very harsh penalties. Virginia law enforcement officials, particularly prosecutors and judges, have a very negative opinion on someone who has repeatedly made the same mistake of drinking and driving.

Since someone who is out on the road operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is also potentially putting other people at risk, the government will try to make sure that person will no longer be able to drive. If you have been charged with a third DUI, discuss your options with an Arlington DUI lawyer today.

Your License After a Third-Offense DUI

If someone is not convicted of a third-offense DUI, they have not been found guilty. The court has no authority to suspend someone’s license unless they are convicted of a lesser offense, like reckless driving, in which the court can suspend a license up to six months. In general, if you are charged, but not convicted of a DUI, you will likely have an opportunity to get your license back.

If someone is charged with refusal to blow into the breath machine and was acquitted of the DUI, but convicted of the refusal, they will automatically lose their license for one year for a first offense. Someone who has been charged with a first-offense DUI and ultimately had their case dismissed will get their license back immediately.

Upon an arrest for a DUI or a DUI second or subsequent offense, Virginia drivers will have their license taken by the arresting officer. They will be given a pre-trial administrative suspension of either seven days for a first offense or 60 days or until the trial date for DUI second or subsequent offenses will be imposed.

An Arlington DUI attorney can guide you through the process of getting your license suspended. He or she can discuss with you if and how you can get your license back following a suspension.

Enhanced Penalties for Third-Offense Arlington DUI

If you’re convicted of a third DUI offense in Arlington, Virginia, you have been convicted of a felony offense. It’s a Class six felony with mandatory jail time depending on your prior convictions. If all three were in the last five years, then you have six months of mandatory jail time. If it was in the last five to 10 years of your last three convictions, then you automatically have a minimum of 90 days to serve in jail.

Additionally, when convicted of a felony DUI in Arlington, you lose your license indefinitely. That means that you cannot drive until you petition the court for the restoration of your driving privilege, which an experienced DUI lawyer in Arlington can help you with.

These are added detriments in a third DUI conviction; first and second DUI offenses are misdemeanors while a third is a felony. There is a very long jail sentence that you could receive of up to five years and you lose your license indefinitely. Additionally, you will have to complete an alcohol program and pay fines of a large amount.

If Minors Are in Vehicle

When someone is charged with driving under the influence and there are any minors in the vehicle, a new law in Virginia punishes that offense more thoroughly than if there are no minors involved. In addition, it can also be an aggravating factor when it comes to sentencing. The judge can take it into account when sentencing you after being convicted of the DUI charge.

Additionally, there is a third charge that could come about, which is reckless endangerment of a minor if you are causing a minor to be in a position of harm by driving in an intoxicated manner. Having an Arlington DUI attorney will be useful in helping you mitigate potential penalties and sentencing.

Impact of BAC on Penalties

The BAC is the blood alcohol content. It is measured by either an analysis of your breath or your blood after being arrested for DUI. It has a significant impact on your sentence in Virginia. In Virginia, if your blood alcohol content is between 0.15 and 0.21, then you face a mandatory five days in jail, even for a first offense. For blood alcohol content that is 0.21 or above, you face a mandatory ten days in jail, even for a first offense.

These added jail sentences also apply when you have a second or subsequent conviction in the elevated blood alcohol content or a felony DUI third or subsequent in elevated blood alcohol content. For higher elevated blood alcohol concentration, there are mandatory jail times that go along with those convictions that the judge must impose without exception.

Hiring a Third-Offense DUI Lawyer in Arlington

A lawyer with local experience is crucially important for any charge whether it be DUI or not, but particularly in DUI cases. Having an experienced attorney who knows the system, the potential outcomes, and what defenses have worked in the past, can analyze your previous convictions to determine whether they apply at the third conviction.

An experienced DUI attorney can also determine whether there have been any constitutional violations by police which is most important to your case and the best way to get a good result when you go to court.

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