Second DUI in Virginia
Facing your second set of DUI charges in Virginia can be a frightening experience, especially since you are looking at harsher penalties and a more adversarial legal system than the first time around. If you are charged with your second DUI, contact Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law for a free consultation on your case.
Your second DUI charge can carry heavy penalties that can strip you of your reputation and your license, and may even cost you your job. However, there are still ways that a Virginia DUI lawyer can work with you to preserve your freedom and your mobility.
Second DUI Cases
The moment an officer observes your vehicle, his or her investigation begins. It continues when you are pulled over and begin speaking to the officer. Your appearance, conversation, and even the way you smell could be written down in the officer’s report. All of this is evidence of your condition and can be used against you in your second DUI case. Breath test results and field sobriety tests are used to help an officer determine whether to make an arrest and get someone off the road who may be impaired.
But not all cases are as cut and dry as you might think. Even though officers may be doing their job, there may be legal issues with their investigation that could help your attorney defend your case. A seasoned DUI attorney will help you investigate and determine if the law and procedures were followed during your arrest.
Facing a Second DUI in Virginia
According to Virginia state legal code 18.2-266, DUI is the act of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. By Virginia standards, a driver who tests with a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08 is considered intoxicated and can be charged with a DUI. If this is your second DUI in Virginia, the charges and the penalties will differ from those you received with your first DUI.
Penalties for a Second DUI
There are two different penalty categories for a second DUI in Virginia.
- Within five years – if the second DUI charge is within five years of your last DUI, you can face:
- One month to a year in jail
- A fine of up to $2,500
- An additional enhanced sentence of a minimum mandatory 20 days in jail
- Within 10 years – if the second DUI charge is within 10 years of your last DUI, you can face:
- Up to a year in jail
- A fine of up to $2,500
- An additional enhanced sentence of a minimum mandatory 10 days in jail
In addition, the potential consequences of your second DUI offense in Virginia largely depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest.
If your BAC is .08 to .14
- Mandatory 20 day jail sentence (if your first DUI offense was within five years of second)
- Mandatory 10 day jail sentence (if your DUI offense was within 10 years of second)
If your BAC is .15 to .20
- Mandatory 30 day jail sentence (if your first DUI offense was within five years of second)
- Mandatory 20 day jail sentence (if your DUI offense was within 10 years of second)
If your BAC is more than .20
- Mandatory 40 day jail sentence (if your first DUI offense was within five years of second)
- Mandatory 30 day jail sentence (if your DUI offense was within 10 years of second)
These jail sentences represent mandatory minimums; if convicted, you MUST serve at least this much time in jail. In addition, you will face up to $500 in fines and a three year driver’s license suspension.
Benefits of Hiring a DUI Attorney
When you are facing a second DUI in Virginia, it can feel like nobody is on your side or that the law is stacked against you. While the potential consequences are more serious for a second conviction, hiring a seasoned DUI attorney can give you the confidence and peace of mind necessary to execute a well-crafted defense.
Your attorney can help you with any court-related preparation and paperwork, and if you happen to live in another state, your attorney can even represent you in court if you cannot be present. Finally, in the event of any license suspension, your lawyer can work with you to take the proper steps to get it reinstated so that you can continue with your life. Don’t walk into the courtroom alone. Contact a Virginia DUI lawyer as soon as possible.