How Do Prior DUI Convictions Impact Current DUI Charges in Virginia?
A clean criminal record can be critical to finding new employment, new housing opportunities, or education. Additionally, oftentimes repeated criminal offenses over the years result in harsher penalties for the convicted. So, it makes all the sense in the world to wonder and worry about how long a past DUI conviction remains on your record.
A DUI remains on your driving record for 11 years and it’ll remain on your criminal record for the remainder of your life.
What’s the difference between your driving record and your criminal record? The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps track of our driving histories. This history can include past guilty verdicts or guilty pleas for DUI charges. A DUI adds six points to your license, potentially resulting in license suspensions or increased insurance rates. Your criminal record, meanwhile, can result in new penalties for consecutive charges.
When is a DUI Considered a Felony in Virginia?
A DUI is typically charged as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Three circumstances may turn a DUI into a felony charge: it is your third DUI offense, it brought harm to others, or you had any previous felony DUI.
Harm to others can include involuntary manslaughter, serious injuries, or aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
What Are the Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offense?
Even if this is your first-ever DUI offense, you could still face up to a year in jail and fines between $250 and $2,500.
There are mandatory minimum sentences which are decided by your blood alcohol concentration. If your blood alcohol levels are between .15 and .19, you must spend at least five days in jail. A blood alcohol level of 20 or more results in a minimum of 10 days in jail.
What Are the Penalties for Your Second DUI?
Criminal penalties increase with each subsequent conviction. If you’re being convicted of a second DUI, the mandatory minimum jail time is 20 days. You may also receive a jail sentence between one month and a year. Additionally, you may face fines between $500 and $2,500.
Having more than one DUI in the same ten-year span can also affect the penalties. To learn more, please speak with the Virginia-based DUI defense attorneys at our law firm.
What Are the Consequences of a Third DUI?
A third DUI offense within the same ten years is automatically a Class 6 Felony. This comes with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days. Additionally, you could face between one to five years in jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, sometimes, a judge shortens the jail sentence in favor of increasing the financial penalties up to $2,500.
Those convicted of three DUIs within a five-year span will likely face a prison sentence of at least one year and fines in the thousands of dollars.
What Other Factors Could Complicate Your DUI Offense?
If you receive a DUI while on probation, the DUI could negatively affect your probation status. How it affects your case may differ from anyone else’s because of all the unique factors in play. To learn more about how a DUI may affect your parole, please contact our criminal defense lawyers immediately.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while a minor is in the car with you can also have harsher consequences. You will face five days of jail time or more. And you could be required to pay fines between $500 and $1,000.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Experienced DUI Attorneys Today
If you are facing DUI charges, you should contact defense lawyers for Virginia DUI offenses to represent your case, regardless of whether it is your first, second, or third offense. At the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, our legal team has years of experience representing clients with DUI charges. Don’t make the mistake of facing these criminal charges on your own. Work with our DUI lawyers to defend your interests and potentially argue for lesser penalties.
To speak with a member of our team, please call our Roanoke-based law offices at (540)-384-4585. We look forward to speaking with you.