While you may not have meant to press the leniency of a court, the court may not be so forgiving if you were to return to it as an alleged offender for a similar offense as the last time. That being said, the impact of a Prince William County second-offense DUI is significantly larger than the first time. Thankfully, with the assistance of an attorney, you could have someone work toward a favorable courtroom outcome for you.
After a first offense DUI, there is little time to challenge the administrative suspension, as that suspension is only in place for seven days, although it is possible to request a hearing during that time. More commonly, the court would ask to continue the case until witnesses could be present. By the time they are able to be present for the hearing, the administrative suspension has already ended.
With a second offense DUI, the driver has a 60-day suspension, during which time they could request a hearing. A proactive driver could file a challenge with the court immediately, which often results in a full hearing before the administrative suspension expires.
In addition to evaluating the first offense and determining if the Commonwealth proves that offense, defending a second offense DUI could involve more opportunities for negotiating because there is mandatory jail time associated with the second offense. Mitigating evidence in a second offense DUI case is often more important than it was for the first offense. Attorneys frequently suggest that clients thoroughly prepare themselves for their court date and that they engage in as much proactive behavior as possible outside of court to improve their position when they appear before the judge in an effort to avoid mandatory jail time. To help with that, alleged offenders need to work with an attorney who could help reduce the impact of a Prince William County second-offense DUI.
After a driver is charged with a second offense DUI in Prince Williams County, their license is automatically suspended for 60 days, which is called an administrative suspension, upon being charged with the offense by a police officer. The driver is not required to appear in court prior to their arraignment. If the driver has an out-of-state license, they lose their ability to drive in the state of Virginia for 60 days.
Administrative suspensions may be challenged if the driver charged with a second offense DUI believes there was a mistake or questions whether or not there was probable cause for their arrest. Such issues can be addressed in court, and it will be the Commonwealth attorney’s responsibility to prove that the administrative suspension should remain active; otherwise, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 60 days.
A driver who is convicted of a second offense DUI consequentially loses their license for three years, but they are allowed to reappear in court after one year to request a restricted operators’ license. A driver acquitted of a DUI charge would automatically have their license returned to them. Those who hold a Virginia drivers’ license receive their license upon their acquittal, and no action is required on their part, assuming that the administrative suspension has ended. Drivers within the 60-day administrative period who have their charge dismissed may go to the clerks’ office at the courthouse to retrieve their drivers’ license, and the suspension is automatically over.
The impact of a Prince William County second-offense DUI cannot be understated. Judges are forced to adhere to sentences that could cause you to lose your job. When facing mandatory jail time, it is in your best interest to retain a seasoned attorney who could build a defense, work with the prosecution, and help you present your best self during trial. Reach out today to speak to an attorney.
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