Even one driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol charge (DUI) is a serious criminal issue, but with a subsequent charge, the stakes are even higher. As with most criminal charges in Mecklenburg County, second offense DUI cases are heard in the General District Court in Boydton, Virginia.
Second offense DUI arrests are handled differently by prosecutors depending on the length of time between charges. Unfortunately, all second offense DUI convictions require mandatory minimum jail time. A subsequent offense is generally seen as more severe as judges usually believe that the accused failed to learn from their prior conviction. If you have been charged with your second DUI offense, it is essential you hire an experienced DUI attorney to pursue the best possible outcome. A Mecklenburg County second offense DUI lawyer could serve as an advocate on your side, fighting to mitigate the consequences of a conviction, or potentially even have the charges dismissed.
Prosecutors tend to be less flexible when prosecuting second offense charges because the person was already found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the same exact offense within a short period of time. The prosecution tends to be less agreeable when it comes to negotiating plea deals and the accused will always face mandatory minimum jail time for their second offense.
Penalties for a second offense DUI in Mecklenburg County depend on whether the first offense was within five years of the second or within 10 years of the second. Penalties include mandatory minimum jail time of five days if it is the second one in five years and 10 days if it is the second one in ten years.
Penalties also include a license suspension of up to three years, with the person becoming eligible for a restricted license after one year. This means that there will be absolutely no way a convicted person can drive a car for an entire year, often severely affecting the person’s ability to maintain employment.
A person charged with a second offense DUI should also expect to have probation and monitoring by a local Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) Office for at least a year, following conviction and completion of any mandatory jail time. Unfortunately, there are no diversion programs for people who have committed their second drunk driving offense.Courts treat second offense DUI charges quite seriously. If the court finds a person guilty of a second offense then the court is going to consider how recent their first offense was, the court is going to be curious about the effects on their life of the first offense, and the court will wonder about how they decided to drive after drinking and be convicted of a second offense.
There will be a lot of inquiry into how the second offense happened and the driver did not learn from the first offense. However, this is all based on the presumption that the court finds enough evidence to convict them beyond a reasonable doubt.
The court will not find them guilty of a second offense unless there is enough evidence to do so. When charged with a second offense, that means that part of the evidence in the case will be the conviction of the person’s first offense. Their attorney must work to prevent the first charge from affecting the second charge as much as possible.
Following your arrest for a second offense, the person’s driver’s license will be immediately put under administrative suspension. This suspension usually lasts throughout the trial period but it may be possible to have the license restored prior to trial depending on how quickly the case is scheduled. While a person may appeal their conviction and receive a new trial with a new judge as a second offense DUI in Mecklenburg County is a misdemeanor, if they are convicted, the license suspension will remain in place. Your criminal defense attorney could guide you through the process of petitioning for a restricted license after suspension.
If you have been charged with your second DUI, contact a Mecklenburg County second offense DUI lawyer today to protect your rights, and fight to mitigate the severe penalties you may face. Call an attorney today to schedule a consultation and start working on your case.
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