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What are the penalties for a second DUI conviction in Virginia?

For Virginians who are arrested, charged, and convicted of drunk driving, the penalties and stigma that surrounds it can be difficult to deal with. There are times when a person who has one conviction will be in a situation in which he or she is charged with the same offense again. There are different penalties for a second conviction on drunk driving charges. Knowing what these penalties are is integral to formulating a strong defense.

The severity of penalties is contingent upon the amount of time that has elapsed from the first conviction to the second. If a person is convicted of the second offense and it is less than five years after the first offense, there will be a minimum fine of $500. The person will have a minimum jail sentence of one month and up to one year. The mandatory minimum incarceration will be 20 days.

For a second offense within five to 10 years of the previous offense, there will be a fine of at least $500. The incarceration will be for a minimum of one month of which 10 days will be mandatory. If the second offense happens within 10 years of the previous one and the blood-alcohol content was a minimum of 0.15 but not more than 0.20, there will be a minimum incarceration of 10 days. For those whose BAC was above 0.20, there will be another 20 days added to the sentence. There will also be a fine of at least $500.

People who were arrested and convicted on drunk driving charges a first time should be aware of the consequences of it happening a second time. Sometimes people make a mistake and are charged again. In many cases, there is a reasonable explanation for the appearance of being under the influence, but the accused individual is arrested anyway. There also could be lapses in law enforcement protocols, thereby leaving crucial evidence tainted. In any circumstance, those who are arrested for a second DUI should be cognizant of what they are facing and contact a legal professional experienced in helping clients charged with drunk driving craft compelling criminal defenses

Source: "18.2-270. Penalty for driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense; prior conviction -- B. 1, 2, 3," accessed on Sept. 17, 2017

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