If you are facing second DUI charges in Prince William County, you are familiar with what to expect from the legal process. However, you should also be aware that the stakes are higher this time, since penalties grow more serious for repeat offenses.
In these situations, one of the most important things to remember is that just because you were convicted in the past does not mean that the elements of the case are necessarily any different. With the help of an experienced DUI attorney in Prince William County, you may be able to avoid a guilty verdict and another notation on your criminal and driving records.
Whether you were represented by a lawyer for your first case or not, it’s imperative that you seek out sound legal advice following a second DUI arrest. With more serious potential penalties on the table, fighting charges or negotiating a favorable plea agreement is more important than ever before.
Your attorney can review the date of your last DUI case to see if it is possible to argue the first conviction occurred too long ago to count against you. In addition, he or she can also provide advice and insight into options for facing these new charges.
Perhaps the most crucial role of an attorney in a Second DUI case is to impress upon the prosecution, judge, and/or jury that the focus should remain on the facts and evidence available, rather than the implications suggested by a previous DUI conviction.
Because the American criminal justice system holds that defendants are innocent until proven guilty, it is every person’s right to retain effective legal counsel who understands how to protect his or her rights in court.
A conviction for a second DUI under Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 results in a minimum fine of $500 and a three-year driver’s license revocation. There is a mandatory minimum period of 10 days incarceration for defendants whose second DUI was within 10 years of the first offense.
There is also a mandatory minimum of 20 days imprisonment for a second offense within five years of the first conviction. The maximum possible jail term that a defendant could face for a second DUI is one year imprisonment.
After the lengthy period during which defendants are unable to drive due to a revoked license, beginning to drive again requires the purchase of costly auto insurance. As such, the long-term financial consequences of a conviction can be substantial, especially as a record of impaired driving convictions can result in disqualification from jobs in which a clean record is required.
A Prince William County lawyer with experience representing clients facing second DUI charges can provide you with invaluable legal advice regarding the development of a strategy for responding to an arrest. Do not allow a second conviction to go on your record without a fight—contact our law offices as soon as possible to determine how to plead and to begin building your defense.
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