DUI Third Strike Law in Virginia

September 25, 2020

A DUI charge can have significant consequences. If you have prior DUI convictions, then the potential penalties are more significant if you receive another charge. In Virginia, a third offense within 10 years is a felony and carries mandatory minimum sentences that a court must order. Because of the potential penalties and loss of certain rights that may result from a DUI conviction, you should contact a Fairfax criminal attorney to discuss your options.

What happens if you receive a third DUI?

If you are convicted of a third DUI in Virginia, then there is a 90-day mandatory minimum jail sentence if it is your third offense within a 10 year period. If the conviction is your third DUI in a 5 year period, then there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 6 months.

In addition to the jail time, you will also receive a minimum fine of $1,000 up to $2,500.

Because a third offense DUI is considered a felony, you also lose certain civil rights. This may include the right to vote, hold public office, possess a firearm. A felony conviction can also affect your employment and eligibility for certain benefits.

After serving your mandatory jail sentence, the court may suspend additional jail time and require you to be on probation. While on probation, you may be required to complete substance abuse treatment and be subject to testing. The court will also revoke your driving privileges indefinitely.

Are there defenses available to challenge a DUI?

In order to be convicted of a DUI, the prosecution must be able to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. DUI cases typically involve different tests to show that you were intoxicated. If these tests were not completed correctly and in accordance with established procedures, then you may be able to challenge the validity of the test results.

If your constitutional rights were violated during the case, then there may also be additional defenses available. For example, if the police lacked reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop of your vehicle, then any information or evidence obtained during the traffic stop may be suppressed.

Additionally, to be convicted of a subsequent DUI offense, the prosecution would have to prove all of the elements of the prior DUI conviction(s). This means that they would need to show that those DUIs occurred and were properly resolved as convictions within the relevant time period. This opens up several technical defenses that your Fairfax County DUI lawyer at Rudolphi Law can explore on your behalf.

What should you do if you are arrested for a DUI in Virginia?

If you are arrested with a DUI in Virginia, regardless of whether it is your first, second or third offense, you should contact a Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer Fairfax VA will help protect your rights and advise you about what to do.

Fairfax County DUI lawyers will carefully review your case and the evidence that the prosecution provides to determine if there were any violations of your constitutional rights. A Fairfax traffic lawyer will also seek to identify potential defenses that may result in dismissal or reduction of the charges.

Throughout the case, an attorney will counsel you about the process and help you know what to expect. A Fairfax DUI lawyer will advocate on your behalf for a fair resolution. They will seek to negotiate an appropriate resolution and strive to achieve the best result possible under the circumstances.

When choosing an attorney, it is important to seek out someone who knows the law and has experience with DUI cases. DUI cases have unique and complex aspects, which require special skills to properly provide a defense. At Rudolphi Law, we have the experience and understanding necessary to present a strong defense. If you are facing DUI charges, contact Rudolphi Law to schedule a consultation.