In Loudoun County, Virginia, second offense DUI charges tell the prosecutors and the law enforcement officials that the offender did not take their first offense serious enough. Whether or not this is true depends upon the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
However, as a prosecutor must evaluate what cases should be prosecuted in what manner it is certainly offensive to them when they see a person come back before the court charged with a second offense for the same conduct. Therefore, second offenses are prosecuted very vigorously.
For these reasons, if you have been charged with a second DUI offense, it is important you contact a Loudoun County second DUI lawyer as soon as possible as your case will be taken seriously. A DUI lawyer in Loudoun County is available to help you build the strongest defense possible.
Second offense DUI charges are also Class 1 Misdemeanors pursuant to the Section 18.2 – 270 of the Code of Virginia. However, there are certain additional penalties for someone charged with a second offense DUI depending on how long the time period was between their first offense and the second offense.
Like the prosecutors and law enforcement officials, judges view second offenses very harshly and in particular they view the amount of jail time as the floor not the ceiling. For example, someone convicted of a second offense within five years should expect to receive more than the 20 days mandatory minimum confinement. This is because the judge views the person as someone who has not learned their lesson and has chosen to break the law again even though they went through the stringent process after the first conviction.
This is especially true if the first conviction occurred in Virginia and even more true if that first offense occurred recently and in Loudoun County.
Second offense DUI’s are Class 1 Misdemeanors, however, there are much more serious mandatory punishments for a person who is convicted of a second offense within five years of the prior offense. According to the Code of Virginia, they shall be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory minimum period in jail of 20 days. The actual jail sentence must be between one month and 12 months, 20 days of which shall be considered a mandatory minimum sentence.
If the person has committed a second offense within five to 10 years of their prior offense the conviction still has a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and still a jail sentence of between one month and 12 months. However, the amount of mandatory minimum time decreases to 10 days making it imperative that a Loudoun County second DUI lawyer is contacted as soon as possible.
Additionally, although the second offender will be almost surely be required to perform an extended period of probation in addition to the jail time if they are convicted, there is no diversion programs available that helps a person charged with a DUI offense avoid conviction.
If you are convicted of a second offense DUI in Loudoun County your driver’s license is suspended by statute for a period of three years. In addition, depending on the time period between the first and second offense you may not be eligible for restricted license for a certain amount of time,.
If you are convicted of a second offense within five years of your first offense your license is suspended for three years and you are ineligible for restricted license for the period of one year. If your second offense is between five and 10 years of your first offense again you receive a three-year loss of license but you are eligible to request a restricted license after four months, to discuss your eligibility for a restricted license call a Loudoun County second offense DUI lawyer today.
In addition to all the ways you would build defense against any DUI charge, there are some specific things to consider for a second or subsequent offense DUI. Some of the specific defenses would include finding out more information about the first offense and whether or not it was a constitutionally-firm conviction, which means getting a copy of the warrant and the order of conviction.
The conviction order must be valid to qualify as a prior conviction. This is especially true if that conviction occurred in a state other than Virginia or the person was not represented by counsel at the time of their first offense.
To learn more about building a defense for your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Loudoun County second DUI lawyer today.
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