While mistakes happen, the court rarely grants a second chance for someone who has a history of making the same mistake over. In fact, the penalties for returning to court for the same offense increase in severity drastically. To help your chances of a favorable outcome in court, reach out to a Manassas second-offense DUI lawyer for legal help.
An attorney could help you by drafting a defense or guide you on how to take steps that may mitigate sentences enforced by the county.
Second offense DUI charges in Manassas are handled even more aggressively than first offense DUI charges. There is political and social pressure on prosecutors to harshly deal with these charges, and the punishments are constantly increasing.
Heavier pressure on the courts and prosecutors is especially evident with a second offense DUI because a driver who has been charged with a second offense DUI has already been convicted of, or at least been charged with, a first offense DUI. This only amplifies prosecutors’ and law enforcement’s concerns for drivers’ safety on the road. Because of this no-nonsense policy, alleged offenders should consider working with a Manassas second-offense DUI lawyer for legal help.
There are multiple additional penalties that could result from a second offense DUI in Manassas. Many of these penalties depend on the amount of time that has lapsed between the first and second offense. A second offense within five years of the first is treated much more seriously than a second offense within ten years. A second offense DUI that takes place more than ten years after the first offense is considered the same as a first offense DUI, for most practical purposes.
The difference between a DUI within five years and a second DUI within ten years could be extreme. All second offense DUIs require a longer license suspension that starts with a 60-day administrative license suspension, meaning that a driver who is charged with a second offense DUI would have their license immediately suspended for a period of 60 days. After 60 days, they could drive again until their case is resolved, but a driver who is convicted of any second offense DUI would lose their license for a period of three years and may only apply for a restricted license after 12 months have passed.
In addition to a license suspension, anyone convicted of a second offense DUI must have ignition interlock installed on every vehicle registered to them. This in of itself could present problems and is often expensive for people who drive to work or who drive multiple cars. To make matters worse, it is a timely, arduous process to obtain a restricted license to allow the driver to operate a vehicle without ignition interlock installed. Fortunately, a Manassas second-offense DUI lawyer could help alleged perpetrators fight these allegations against them.
A driver convicted of a second offense DUI has to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) plus any additional treatment or counseling required by Virginia ASAP. Virginia ASAP is responsible for determining the amount of additional probation or additional treatments that are required. The program itself may not be a complete substitution for punishment, but it could be part of a driver’s punishment with their conviction.
Every second offense DUI requires mandatory jail time, which cannot be substituted by a diversion program. A mandatory minimum punishment cannot be lowered or substituted for any other form of punishment.
A driver convicted of a second DUI within five years of their first could receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 days in jail. A second DUI conviction within ten years makes a driver eligible for a mandatory minimum sentence of at least ten days in jail. That ten days cannot be reduced, and there is no credit for good behavior. There is no way around serving mandatory minimum jail time sentences if a driver is convicted of a second offense DUI. The only way to avoid jail time is to avoid the conviction.
Facing the chance of incarceration is no light matter. If you were charged with a repeat DUI, it is in your interests to retain the services of an experienced defense attorney. A Manassas second-offense DUI lawyer could help you fight the charges the court has imposed on you, draft a defense, and work to preserve your rights. Reach out for the legal help you need today.
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