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Second Offense DUI Charges in Dumfries

Compared with first offense charges, second offense DUI charges are prosecuted much more vigorously in Dumfries and, as with any kind of case, the penalties become more severe upon repetition but particularly with Dumfries DUI cases. Prosecutors, in particular, seek to be harsh and do their very best to seek penalties for these types of charges. With that said, if you have been arrested for a second time DUI, contact a Dumfries DUI lawyer for assistance today. The prosecution is harsh, the penalties are severe, and building a strong defense with a DUI attorney is your best bet at a satisfactory outcome.

Prosecution’s Approach

A second offense DUI charge is something that carries mandatory jail time as well as a three-year loss of license. For that reason, because the stakes are so high, as well as because a second offense shows with the punishment given on the first offense was not effective or a deterrent to drinking and driving in Dumfries, prosecutors will often seek a harsh sentence.

Courts treat second offense DUI charges very seriously. The punishments are always increased on a second offense DUI and there is mandatory jail time required in these cases which are not required for first offense DUIs. Second offense DUI charges which arise in Dumfries are heard at the Prince William County Courthouse. These cases are heard in the General District Court or on appeal, they may be heard in the Circuit Court.

Second Offense Penalties

A second offense DUI in Dumfries will carry a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 10 days. In addition, a person’s privileges to drive in Virginia will be suspended for a period of three years. If it is a second offense within 10 years, they may apply for a restricted driver’s license after four months. But if the second occurs within five years, they are unable to apply for an entire year. Additionally, they will still have to complete VASAP classes, pay a fine, and have an ignition interlock on their vehicle if they do have a restricted license granted by the court.

The amount of time between DUIs does matter. Second DUI offenses are charged differently depending on how long ago the previous charge was. If the previous charge was between five and 10 years, that is still a serious offense, but it is not treated as harshly as a DUI that was committed within the five previous years before the current offense.

Probation and diversion programs are not offered on second offenses, unless it is a situation where there is an excellent defense which has been developed and the prosecutor has serious concerns about their ability to prove their case.

First Offense vs. Second Offense Penalties

First-time charges do not typically involve a mandatory minimum jail sentence. In addition, first time charges almost always resolve in the issuance of a restricted license because the license suspension is for only one year. In a second DUI charge, a restricted operator’s license is never issued the same day as the conviction. The reason for this is that there is either a four month or a one year waiting period in order to get the restricted license depending on whether it’s a second within five or a second within 10.

Building a Defense

There are a couple different ways that the defense attorneys build defenses for the second offense for DUI charges in Dumfries. One of them relates to the sufficiency of the government’s evidence. In other words, a lawyer will look at whether all of the elements including that the person was operating the motor vehicle and was intoxicated at the time that they were operating it can be proven.

An additional factor on a second offense is whether the government can prove that there was a first offense that resulted in the conviction somewhere. Finally, the defense will keep an eye out for constitutional issues such as illegal arrests or illegal searches which may have led to evidence which might be inadmissible later at trial.

License Ramifications

After a second offense charge, the defendant’s driver’s license will be administratively suspended for either 60 days or until the court date, whichever period is shorter. After conviction, the person’s license is suspended for a period of three years and the restricted operator’s license will not be available on the second within 10, for a period of four months and in the case of the second within five, for a period of one year.

There is no difference on how a person challenges the suspension of a license on a second DUI offense from their first offense. As with any DUI offense, the only real way to challenge a suspension from a criminal conviction is to win the case. However, the administrative suspension that happens prior to court can be challenged if there can be a showing that there was no probable cause for arrest.

A person can apply for a restricted license after a second offense conviction. However, they will not be able to do it immediately. If the second offense occurs within 10 years, the individual will have to wait four months before they can apply for a restricted operator’s license. In the case of the second offense within five years, the individual must wait an entire year before a restricted operator’s license may be granted by a court.