Second-offense DUI charges in Richmond are heard in the John Marshall Courts building off Ninth Street. It is on the second floor and there are two courtrooms that hear those kinds of cases.
Generally speaking, judges and prosecutors are very strict on second-offense DUI charges. The sentencing and the imposition of the jail sentence are pursued very vigorously by the court. The prosecutors and the judges are less likely to negotiate on a second-offense DUI mainly because they believe the individual clearly has an issue with alcohol and that the court needs to send a strong message by being tough.
As a result of this, it is imperative that those facing a second DUI consult with a Richmond DUI lawyer as soon as possible to give themselves the best chance at overcoming this type of charge.
Depending on when the first offense was, a second-offense DUI comes with a three–year loss of license and a minimum-mandatory jail sentence. With second-offense DUIs, it is very important when the first offense occurred and the timeframe between each offense. If it is a second offense within five years, the courts will seek to impose a 20-day, minimum-mandatory jail sentence.
In addition to that, there will be a three-year revocation of your license and you cannot apply or receive a restricted license for one year, which means you will be walking for one year.
If it is a second offense within ten years, there is also a three-year loss of your license. However, you can apply for a restricted license after four months. There is also a 10-day, minimum-mandatory jail sentence. As you see, the penalties on a second-offense DUI can be extremely severe.
There are no diversionary programs on DUIs or DUI second offenses in the City of Richmond and none are being offered by the prosecutors.
Compared to first-offense charges, courts are much harsher on second-offense DUI cases. Not only because they are dealing with a repeat offender, but also because this individual clearly has an issue with alcohol. The courts do not grant leniency in DUI second-offense cases, especially if it is a second offense within five years.
They will not give you the benefit of the doubt regarding counseling or claiming it was an isolated incident. It is imperative to develop strong legal arguments to fight these cases because the courts can be extremely harsh on a second offense, especially a second offense within five years with an elevated blood alcohol level.
On a second offense DUI, once you are charged your license is automatically suspended for 60 days. This is an administrative suspension. In addition, if you were previously convicted of a DUI within five years your license will be suspended for three years and you will be walking for one year. In other words, you cannot get a restricted license for at least one year.
If it is a second-offense DUI within ten years, there is also a three-year loss of license, but in that case you will be walking for four months. In other words, after four months you can apply for a restricted operator’s license. Any restricted operator’s license that you receive will also come with a requirement that you get an Ignition Interlock device installed in the vehicle.
With a second-offense DUI, you build a defense much the same as a first offense or a third offense. What we try to analyze is whether the stop that started the whole incident was proper. This is secondary to how you performed on your tests.
Again we want to establish if there was probable cause for the stop and an arrest after your tests were conducted. We want to make sure that the officer followed all their procedures in analyzing when and where you were operating the vehicle and if you were impaired while operating the vehicle.
We also want to review tests that were conducted as well as the blood alcohol test to determine what your blood alcohol level was. In addition, we will look at the first offense they are using to elevate your current offense. In other words, we try to determine if the first offense was proper and if the time-frame within which the conviction is being used was proper.
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