How Felony DUI Cases Are Treated in Fauquier County
Third offense DUIs are treated extremely seriously by courts and prosecutors in Fauquier County. In addition to harsh penalties, including the lengthy period of incarceration, indefinite loss of driving privileges, and high fine, the court may also order extensive substance or alcohol treatment and intensive probation as a requirement. Many judges increase the mandatory minimums whether it be 90 days, if the first and third offense are within a period of 10 years, or six months if the third offense is within five years.
This means that if a person is convicted of three DUI offenses within a five-year span then they should expect to serve at least six months in jail. These serious penalties make contacting a DUI lawyer in Fauquier County imperative.
Building a Defense for Felony DUIs in Fauquier County
In addition to all the typical defenses that would be used for first offense, such as looking into the stop and the breath or blood test, an attorney will also look into the prior two offenses to try and find potential defenses in the constitutional firmness of the conviction.
This is especially true for convictions that occur out of state, convictions that occur when someone was not represented by counsel, or convictions that occur for offenses that may or may not be considered DUI offenses by Virginia.
A third offense DUI is different from first or second offense cases, because it is a felony and felonies have constitutional rights to a jury trial and they can exercise that. However, there is also a substantial risk in taking a third offense DUI to trial due to the fact that the jury and the public at large do not view kindly on someone who is accused of committing the same crime three times during a set period of time.
Typically people who violate DUI law times repeatedly are viewed as a danger to the public and to themselves. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your Fauquier County DUI attorney about potential risks associated with any third offense DUI case.
Looking For An Attorney for Fauquier Felony DUI Charges
If you have been charged with DUI third offense in Fauquier County you should look for experienced DUI counsel. This includes attorneys who practice DUI law right here in Fauquier County, work regularly with Fauquier prosecutors, law enforcement officers and judges. You should also look for attorneys who have handled third offenses with regularity.
Third and subsequent offense DUIs are quite different than first and second offenses and will require a different level of understanding of the statutes, a different level of understanding of citations and a different type of conversation with potential client about risks and potential outcomes.
The Value of Local Experience
Local experience absolutely matters. Fauquier County prosecutors have certain ways that they would like to do things, for example they like to communicate and distribute discovery in a set manner, negotiate cases on certain timelines, and leave other issues for trial, all of which an attorney who has dealt in this jurisdiction frequently should know.