Fredericksburg Second Offense DUI Lawyer

Prosecutors are generally less forgiving with a second offense DUI. This means it is much more difficult for the defendant to work out an agreement that would not involve a conviction and jail time. For a first DUI charge, the person is usually not going to be looking at jail time unless there are extraordinary circumstances. However, a second DUI charge comes with a mandatory term of jail time. This is why it is vital that if you are facing your second drinking and driving charge, you contact a Fredericksburg second offense DUI lawyer. Call a dedicated DUI defense attorney today to get started on your case.

Court Location for Second DUI Charges

Second offense DUI charges are almost always heard in the General District Court. Misdemeanors in Virginia start off in the General District Court unless, in rare circumstances, it is directly indicted to the Circuit Court. Most misdemeanors will start off in the General District Court and have a trial at the District Court level with a judge. If the defendant is not happy with the outcome of that trial, the defendant and their Fredericksburg second offense DUI lawyer can appeal the General District Court case to the Circuit Court.

Does the Amount of Time Between DUI Charges Matter?

The amount of time between DUIs can make a difference in the level of the offense charged as well as the outcome. Someone who has been charged with a second DUI within five years would have a mandatory minimum jail term of 20 days, whereas someone who is charged with a second DUI within 10 years would have a mandatory jail term of 10 days. There is also a difference in the outcome of the sentence if the person has two DUIs in a short period. That defendant is going to receive less sympathy from the court and the prosecutor than an individual who has two DUIs that are nine years apart.

Court Treatment of Second Offense DUI Charges

Second offense DUI charges are treated much more seriously by the courts than first offense DUI charges. It is much more difficult for an individual with a second offense to receive a bond. It is also more difficult for a person with a second offense DUI to have the prosecutor or court give them the benefit of the doubt when determining whether or not the defendant is guilty. This is why it is even more important for the defendant to hire a well-trained second offense DUI attorney in Fredericksburg.

Third offense DUI charges are prosecuted much more vigorously than first or second offense DUI charges, because they are a felony first of all, and because the individual already has two prior convictions for the same offense. Not only is a felony a more serious level of charge, it involves much more mandatory jail time and higher penalties all around. From the very beginning, it is much more difficult for someone charged with a third offense DUI to get out of jail and to be on bond waiting for their trial.

Penalties for Second Offense DUIs

Many of the penalties for second offense DUI in Fairfax are the same as for a first offense DUI, except a second offense DUI is more serious. Someone charged with their second DUI is looking at mandatory jail time and a much longer license suspension. Someone who is convicted of a second offense DUI will lose their driver’s driving privileges for three years and will only be able to get a restricted license after 12 months. After that time period, if they may have to install an ignition interlock in their car and receive a restricted operator’s license which will allow them to get to and from work and court.

Drivers who are convicted of a second offense DUI in Fairfax can receive a restricted driver’s license, but not until they completed the mandatory suspension, have been enrolled in ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program) and are able to have ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle. A Fredericksburg second offense DUI lawyer could help an individual get an IID installed on their vehicle, and answer questions they may have about the Alcohol Safety Action Program.

How a Fredericksburg Second Offense DUI Attorney Could Help Build a Defense

In building a defense for a second DUI charge, the first thing that a defense attorney will do is meet with the defendant and determine the facts of the case. In addition to the recollections that the potential client has, Fredericksburg second offense DUI lawyer can get discovery from the Commonwealth Attorney and obtain video cam footage on dash cameras in the police cruiser if there is any. After examining this evidence, the lawyer will review all of the records of the breathalyzer that was involved and the technician who operated the machine to determine if there were any problems with the machine or if that technician has had any problems that make the results of the breathalyzer inadmissible. In addition to working with the facts of the case, it is important for a DUI attorney to make sure that the defendant is in the very best position possible for negotiations.