Alexandria Second Offense DUI Charges

Consecutive DUI offenses will result in serious consequences. Second offense DUIs are heard in the general district court in Alexandria. A second DUI offense, whether it is within five years of the last conviction or within ten years of the last conviction, is still a misdemeanor. If you are being charged with this offense, contact an Alexandria second offense DUI charges attorney, who will defend and guide you through the process. A dedicated DUI defense attorney can help you right away.

Penalties

Courts treat a second offense seriously and they treat them more seriously than first offenses. Like a first, there is going to be an immediate suspension of the individual’s driver’s license at the time the charge is made. And that will last either 60 days or until the individual gets to court and the trial is heard, whichever of those things comes first. Beyond that, if an individual is convicted, they can expect tougher penalties than the first time. These can include mandatory jail time, completion of the VASAP program, and fines.

License Suspension

In addition, on a second offense DUI conviction, an individual’s driver’s license is going to be suspended for a period of three years. Depending on the kind of second offense the individual is convicted of, they will be eligible for a restricted driver’s license at some point in the future. In the case of a second within ten years, an individual is eligible for a restricted driver’s license after four months. In the case of a second offense within five years, they are eligible for restricted driver’s license after one year.

A person can challenge the initial suspension of their license that happens during the first 60 days after their arrest, if they can prove to the court that there was no probable cause for arrest. As a practical matter, that is very rare. In terms of challenging a license suspension post-conviction, there really is no way to do that. By challenging the case and prevailing in the case, an individual can avoid that suspension, which is essentially the only way.

If a person is acquitted of a DUI, then the suspension will be reversed once the initial 60 days after arrest have come to an end. Their license will once again be completely valid and usable.

Restricted Licenses

A restricted driver’s license is still available after a second offense. However, regardless of whether it is a second within five years or second within ten, there is going to be a waiting period before that restricted driver’s license can be issued. In the case of a second within ten, a person will have to wait for four months before they can apply for a restricted license. And in the case of a second within five, they will have to wait a year before they can apply for a restricted license.

Alternatives to Sentencing

Unfortunately, there is no diversion or first offender program for second time DUI charges. These are treated very seriously and the most that one can typically hope for in terms of an offer is either to have a second within five reduced to a less serious charge, second within ten, or to have a second within ten reduced to a first offense by way of plea bargain. But there is no program available to allow someone to have the charge dismissed.

Building A Defense

Building a defense for a second offense DUI charge is similar to other DUI charges. There are always specific ways to challenge the government’s proof, as well as to look for violations of an individual’s constitutional rights. The added layer with a second offense is that the government has to prove that there is a previous DUI either that occurred in Virginia or that occurred under the laws of another state, which are substantially similar to the laws of Virginia.

This can be a very tricky area because there is such wide variation across the country in the different kinds of DUI laws, but just because someone has a previous DUI conviction in another state does not necessarily mean that it is going to be counted as a previous conviction for purposes of the second offense in Virginia.