Recently on our forum a driver asked, “If I have been arrested a second time within five years for a DUI in Waynesboro, Virginia, will I be charged with a first or second Virginia DUI?”
The state of Virginia has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. For instance, drivers arrested for a first-time Virginia DUI will generally be charged with a misdemeanor; however, if their blood alcohol concentration is .20% or higher, they will be forced to spend 10 days in jail. They may also have to pay fines up to $2,500 and have their Virginia driver’s license revoked for up to one year.
Second Virginia DUI what can I expect?
Now, let’s address the driver’s question. What happens if a driver is arrested for a second Virginia DUI within 10 years? The amount of time which a state will consider a previous DUI conviction is referred to as a “look-back period” or “wash-out period.” States’ look-back laws vary, but in the state of Virginia the look-back period is 10 years.
If a Virginia driver is arrested for multiple DUI offenses within 10 years Virginia’s 10 year look-back law allows:
- An increase of the driver’s third or subsequent DUI offense from a misdemeanor to a felony charge.
- Higher sentencing or punishment for subsequent DUI charges.
- Mandatory minimum sentencing for convicted drivers.
So what does this mean for our driver in question? If his DUI arrest and conviction is within 10 years of his first conviction he can expect stiffer penalties. Under current Virginia DUI laws this means that a second Virginia DUI will require him to pay a minimum fine of $500, receive a license revocation for up to 3 years, and be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on his car (at his expense).
Additionally, all future DUI convictions within 10 years can result in at least 10 days in jail. If an additional DUI conviction is within five years he will spend at least 20 days in jail and his car will be impounded for at least three months. Keep in mind; many of these penalties are minimum requirements that the court will have to impose by law.
Third Virginia DUI penalties and fines
Drivers who are arrested a third time for a Virginia DUI will face more severe penalties, including a felony DUI arrest and a license revocation. In many cases, the driver will also be forced to surrender their car to the state. Jail time will also be required if the Virginia DUI is within 10 years of their previous DUI arrests. Prior convictions within five years may also result in up to six months in jail and fines of at least $1,000.
If you have been arrested for a second Virginia DUI and your last DUI conviction was within 10 years you can expect to be charged and sentenced to higher fines and penalties. It is important to contact a DUI lawyer immediately. They can review your case and determine if the state has sufficient evidence to convict you of a second Virginia DUI.
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