Facing a 3rd DUI Conviction: WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

Chris Voltin Criminal Law, Traffic Law

A 3rd DUI conviction has a number of serious consequences. A 3rd DUI conviction within ten years results in a mandatory ninety days of incarceration, plus a $1,000 fine and an indefinite suspension of your driver’s license. A 3rd offense within five years has an even stiffer penalty: a mandatory six months in jail. Unlike first or second offense DUI, a DUI 3rd is a felony that is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. In addition, someone convicted of DUI third offense cannot even apply for a restricted driver’s license for three years following conviction.


Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI)

Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI)

Obviously, the stakes are very high for those charged with DUI 3rd offense. One important thing to keep in mind is that the trial of a DUI 3rd offense will be in the Circuit (higher) court, not in the General District Court where DUI 1st offense or DUI 2nd offense trials are held. Circuit Court is more formal than General District Court. Frequently, DUI cases are won by challenging the reason for the stop or the method used to collect the blood or breath alcohol sample. In Circuit Court, challenges to the DUI stop are typically filed in advance in a “motion to suppress.” In searching for an attorney, you will want to ask about their experience filing motions to suppress in Circuit Court. You will also want to ask that attorney about their experience practicing before the Court in which your trial will be held. Although some rules are the same across Virginia, each court has its own procedures and ways of doing things. For instance, if you are charged with a 3rd DUI offense in Williamsburg and James City County, your attorney would schedule your motion to suppress hearing directly with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. However, if you are charged with DUI 3rd in Newport News or Hampton, your attorney typically must first obtain dates from the judge’s clerk or assistant. While the distinction may seem small, having an attorney inexperienced in the jurisdiction in which you are charged can sometimes have a very negative impact on your case.


The attorneys at Goff Voltin are experienced trial lawyers who appear frequently in all courts in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, York County, and throughout Hampton Roads. We are experienced in filing motions to suppress and have won a number of cases by carefully examining even the smallest details of the stop and arrest. One of our recent victories in Williamsburg was featured in the local paper: http://wydaily.com/2015/04/04/charges-dropped-against-two-accused-in-heroin-pot-bust/. If you are facing a 3rd DUI

offense charge in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, York County, or in another Hampton Roads jurisdiction, call our office today for a free consultation.