When handing down a sentence for a DUI, 3rd or subsequent offense in Prince William County, a judge will take into consideration whether the offense comes with aggravating factors. While there are steps you could take to mitigate the potential consequences, you need to understand how aggravating factors to a Prince William County third offense DUI could affect your sentence. Let an experienced DUI lawyer help you both account for the future and work toward a defense that could lead to a favorable outcome.
The most serious penalty enhancement for a third offense DUI conviction is the mandatory jail time. This depends on the number of years that have passed since the first and second DUI convictions. When someone is convicted of a third DUI within 10 years, they will be sentenced to at least the mandatory minimum jail time of 90 days. When convicted of a third DUI within five years, they face the mandatory minimum jail time of 180 days, or roughly 6 months.
The loss of license for a third offense DUI is also much more serious because it is an indefinite revocation of your driver’s license with no ability to have a restricted license in the immediate future.
Additionally, a third DUI conviction within 10 years is a felony offense. The consequences of having a felony conviction are more long-lasting and serious than just a license suspension and jail time. Someone convicted of a felony loses their the right to vote, the right to possess firearms, and the right to serve as a juror in Virginia, among other civil rights. Convicted felons also may have to disclose their criminal record to possible employers and landlords. So, a conviction for a felony DUI can have collateral consequences that affect you for the rest of your life, in addition to the mandatory jail time.
When a minor is in the vehicle, there is an enhanced penalty of an additional five-day mandatory minimum jail sentence. Someone who is convicted of a DUI with children in the vehicle is also likely to face charges for felony child endangerment or misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a child.
Unlike a first offense or second offense DUI in which the mandatory jail terms can be increased by a high BAC, the BAC does not affect the mandatory jail term for a third DUI within 10 years. However, a higher BAC on a third offense DUI certainly could contribute to an enhanced penalty from the judge, even though that is not mandated.
If the DUI, 3rd offense involved a car accident, you could be more at risk for a higher sentence. Driving behavior that results in injuries or property damage will be taken into account by a Prince William County judge, and the judge could impose a higher sentence. You could also face additional charges relating to the accident other than just the DUI, third.
While being charged with a crime is in and of itself a terrifying ordeal, there are still a number of aggravating factors to a Prince William County third offense DUI that might result in enhanced penalties. These factors could end up costing you leniency with the Court and leave prosecutors with little choice but to seek maximum sentences. Let an experienced DUI attorney help you to mitigate these factors.
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