Getting charged with driving under the influence is a serious charge in Virginia. In particular, when it is a person’s third or subsequent offense, they will be charged with a felony. Prosecutors will also be much stricter because they now view the person as a repeat offender. Having a felony charge appear on a person’s record can impede their future opportunities and current position. Hiring an experienced Henrico County DUI attorney is in a person’s best interests, as they understand the way the prosecution will go about their case and can anticipate questions and strategies a layperson simply wouldn’t be able to.
A DUI can most definitely be a felony offense, which is actually very common. A DUI felony most often results from a third or subsequent offense. In other words, if it is a third DUI offense within ten years, then it is considered to be a felony in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Henrico County.
A DUI felony case differs substantially from a DUI misdemeanor case in a number of ways. First and foremost, the DUI case is finalized in the Circuit Court whereas a DUI misdemeanor case is finalized in General District Court. In addition, a DUI felony case can be tried before a judge or a jury. More importantly, the penalties involved in a DUI felony case are significantly more severe than a DUI misdemeanor case.
The first step you should take in a felony DUI case is to consult with an attorney. You need to understand what your rights are and what sort of penalties you may be facing. In addition, you need to understand what the prosecutors have to prove. In other words, not only do they have to prove that the current DUI is accurate but they also need to show that your prior offenses are accurate as well. One of the things an attorney can often do is challenge the use of these prior offenses in court. There are a number of areas where the felony DUI case differ from normal misdemeanor DUI cases, so it is important to have an experienced attorney who knows how to review these.
It is very important to have an experienced Henrico County attorney represent you in a felony DUI Case. Felony DUI cases are harder for the defense mainly because prosecutors are less likely to negotiate on these sorts of cases. You need an attorney who knows how to challenge a felony DUI, as they should understand how to review your prior record to say if the third offense is proper. Many felony cases have issues regarding how the prior offenses were recorded and how they are being used to elevate your current charge. With a Henrico DUI felony case, they are going to be looking for a conviction with a severe penalty, so you need an attorney who knows how to challenge the state’s evidence, but who can also negotiate with the prosecutors.
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