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Vienna Second Offense DUI Lawyer

Second offense DUI charges are handled very seriously in Vienna, depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if the defendant has a second conviction within five years, they would have a much higher sentencing guidelines. Being charged with a second DUI within such a short time span could be a situation where a conviction ultimately gives you a heightened sentence from the judge.

If you have been charged with a second DUI offense, please reach out to a Vienna DUI lawyer and receive a free consultation regarding your case and how a qualified attorney can help.

Penalties in Vienna

The penalties for a second offense DUI are going to depend on a few things: the time elapsed between the first offense and the second offense as well as how high the blood alcohol level of the individual was. If you have a second DUI within 10 years, there is also going to be a bigger base mandatory minimum. and if the defendant has a heightened DUI—for example their blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.15 to 0.19—then they will have additional penalties added to the minimum sentencing requirements and guidelines. The person charged with a second DUI offense in Vienna could face a large mandatory minimum time, which means that even if the judge wanted to give less time, they would not be able to. 

Furthermore, if the second offense was within five years of the first offense, then it is going to be a month to a year in jail, a fine of $500.00 to $2,500.00, and a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail. That is going to be in addition to any kind of mandatory minimum that would be attached to the heightened BAC. If it was 0.15 or above, there is going to be a heightened mandatory minimum number of days in jail. A person could be looking at 20 to 30 days in jail as an absolute minimum sentence, depending on the facts of their second DUI.

The Prosecution’s Perspective

Second DUI charges are prosecuted more vigorously in Vienna. From the perspective of the prosecutor, somebody who has committed a second DUI did not learn the lesson the first time they were charged, and they have thus become a danger to the community. The prosecutors will take the perspective that the accused may have only been caught driving under the influence twice, but it is likely they have driven under the influence many times where they were not caught. The prosecutor will likely see the defendant as a direct threat to the community and the safety of the residents of Vienna. The prosecutors will purse a harsh, even severe, punishment in order to teach the defendant a lesson on the dangers and penalties of a DUI, as well as to deter them from this type of destructive behavior in the future.

Defenses Against Second Offense DUI

If you have been charged with a second DUI offense, contact an experienced lawyer in Vienna immediately. The penalties of a second offense can be quite severe, and the court will not treat you kindly. It is important to contact a lawyer in order to build the best defense possible and avoid greater charges due to the nuances, circumstances, and facts of your case. Do not risk the possibilities of fighting the charges alone when an experienced and knowledgeable attorney is at your disposal.

Building a Defense

For a second offense DUI charge, building a defense will involve all the same things as building a defense for the first DUI charge. This includes looking at the stop itself and whether there was reasonable suspicion to pull someone over, what other indicators the officer noticed, and how the individual did on the breath test.

Every step of the officer’s interaction is something that a good criminal defense attorney in Vienna is going to investigate. Additionally, in situations where somebody is charged with a second DUI offense and there is discussion as to whether or not it occurred within five year or within 10 years not, an attorney is going to need to look very closely to make sure that somebody is charged appropriately and that that the charge does not need to be amended.

Difference Defending First and Second Offenses

Defending a second offense is different than defending a first time DUI offense because there is going to be less likelihood that this is going to be something that will not involve jail time. Prosecutors usually want jail time for second offense DUIs, meaning that they are usually unwilling to amend second offenses to first offenses to allow offenders to avoid the mandatory jail terms. With that said, the stakes are much higher for the client in terms of jail time and the period of license suspension which is 3 years for second offenses versus 12 months for first offenses.

Court Treatment

The courts treat second offense DUI charges very seriously. This is reflected in part by the legislature in Virginia. The laws of Virginia are written in such a way that the second offenses can carry with them very high mandatory minimums, additionally, heightened BAC levels will carry high mandatory minimums too. All of the judges involved in Vienna will treat a second offense DUI case very seriously.

They are concerned about the community and the safety of the community. Most judges live in the community and are concerned about their own families, themselves, and the safety of other drivers on the road as well. They want to not only teach the person a lesson and punish them for driving while intoxicated, but they also want to deter them from doing it in the future. As a result, they hand out very harsh sentences for second-time DUIs in Vienna.

Treatment for second offense DUIs is treated more severely that first offense DUI charges. It is going to be a more intensive treatment, probably with more active probation, and the treatment itself might require more classes. It certainly depends on the recommendations of the office, but second-time offenses carry with them a more heightened treatment.

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