Anyone who has been charged with DUI knows the serious consequences that result. However, if you are charged with a DUI 2nd offense, the stakes are even higher.
I’ve been charged with DUI 2nd…now what?
As anyone who has been convicted of a first offense DUI knows, your license can be automatically suspended under Virginia law before you are even convicted. There is an automatic seven day suspension following an arrest for DUI first offense. If you are charged with DUI second offense, the suspension can last until your trial date. There are ways to appeal this to a judge, which you should discuss with your attorney.
What am I facing if convicted?
If you are convicted of DUI 2nd offense, there is a mandatory minimum term of incarceration of twenty to forty days, depending on your BAC (blood alcohol content) at the time of your arrest. There is also a mandatory minimum fine of $500. The maximum punishment is twelve months in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, what you can actually expect to receive if convicted depends on a number of factors, including the jurisdiction in which you are charged. For instance, if you are charged with DUI 2nd offense in Williamsburg/James City County, the judge will often let you serve your time on weekends or two day increments depending on your situation. However, those charged with DUI 2nd in Newport News or Hampton are less likely to be allowed to serve the time on weekends, though an attorney familiar with those courts can often successfully argue for weekend time. Often, the most serious consequence of a DUI 2nd conviction is the three year loss of driver’s license. The Court is not allowed to even consider granting a restricted license until after the first year following conviction.
What can I do?
Given the consequences of a DUI 2nd offense, it is important to work with an attorney who is experienced in DUI law and is also familiar with area courts. The attorneys at Goff Voltin appear frequently in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, York County, and other Hampton Roads area courts. It is important to have an attorney who can analyze even the smallest details of the stop of your vehicle and your arrest. If the police did not have a reason to pull over your car, or did not follow the procedures in giving you the breath alcohol test, your attorney may be able to avoid a conviction. Given the highly technical nature of DUI law, it is never advised to go into court without an attorney.
The attorneys at Goff Voltin are highly experienced in DUI law and have aggressively defended many individuals charged with DUI second offense. Call the office today for a free consultation.