Fredericksburg Third Offense DUI Lawyer

Virginia treats third offense driving under the influence charges very seriously. For someone charged with a third DUI, it is going to be difficult for them to receive a bond because the court is concerned that they will repeat the same driving behavior. Even in circumstances when someone has three DUIs that are spread out across a 10-year period, a judge’s first concern is that the individual is going to drive again and cause an accident if they are granted bond. If you have been charged with your third DUI, it is essential that you contact a seasoned lawyer immediately. An attorney could fight by your side throughout the legal process to ensure that your rights are being protected.

Diversion Programs and Probation

Because a third offense DUI is a felony, the range of jail time can vary, which means that sometimes a prosecutor offers a Diversion Program or the court has an alternative punishment available for them. However, there is a mandatory minimum punishment for a third offense and a Diversionary Program does not count for that mandatory time. For example, the sentencing guidelines suggest that they should have a full year in prison but the lawyer is able to work out a deal with a prosecutor for the defendant to have a Diversionary Program instead of prison time, they will have to serve the mandatory minimum jail sentence before starting the program.

Building a Defense

In many ways, a third offense DUI charge will be treated the same as a first offense DUI. The elements the prosecutor needs to prove are the same except for the additional element of two prior convictions for DUI. Therefore, many of the things that an attorney does to build a defense are going to be the same steps. The lawyer will be getting all of the information the defendant has available, establishing whether or not there is dash cam footage from the police cruiser, subpoenaing the evidence from the breathalyzer machines and the breath technician, and looking over any other history of driving behavior and the facts that are involved in the present case.

Also, because a DUI third offense is a felony in Virginia, there are other things that the defense attorney needs to do with the defendant to prepare for the possibility of a preliminary hearing and even a felony trial. This involves a thorough background investigation and discussion of any history with substance abuse and the discussion of what treatment would be beneficial to the defendant in going forward.

How a Local Attorney Could Help

One reason to seek an attorney with local experience, especially for a DUI charge, is because that attorney will have more knowledge of the prosecutors who will be handling each individual case and will know how to work with each prosecutor. There are also differences in the local rules regarding procedures for a felony. In Fredericksburg, in order to have certain motions heard, the defense attorney has to give the prosecutor two weeks’ notice and may have to schedule the motion on an unordinary date. Having a working knowledge of both the prosecutors and the judge’s who will hear a case and is able to quickly contact the judge’s clerk in the instance of any issues that arise, will be beneficial to the defendant. If you are facing your third offense DUI charge, contact a Fredericksburg third offense DUI lawyer today to get started on your case.