3rd Offense of DUI
In Virginia law it is a felony if you are convicted of three DUI offenses within a ten year period. In addition to the penalties associated with a DUI charge, you now face a possible prison sentence and being on supervised probation monitored by a probation officer for several years. Also, as a convicted felon, you lose certain civil rights, such as the right to vote, serve on a jury, or possess a firearm, and you are barred from some federal benefits such as student loans. Furthermore, the prosecutor may file a motion to have your vehicle seized by claiming that i was used in the commission of a felony.
DUI Felony Process
A felony DUI case proceeds through the courts like any other felony charge. The first hearing is a preliminary hearing in General District Court. The Court will make an initial determination as to whether there exists probable cause for the charge, and if so, certifies the matter to a Grand Jury in Circuit Court.
In some cases, felony DUI charges can be negotiated. Some prosecutors will offer lesser charges in exchange for some concessions by the defendant.
In some cases, the evidence may not be sufficient to support a felony charge. In those cases, the charges may be reduced and finalized at the preliminary hearing.
If the matter if certified to a Grand Jury in Circuit Court, you then have the option of having your case decided by a judge or by a jury.
The Penalties for Felony DUI Convictions
If convicted of a felony DUI in Virginia, there are certain penalties that are mandatory. The judge has no discretion to waive or suspend the punishments. without any further enhancement penalties, a felony DUI carries a mandatory minimum 90-day jail sentence, a mandatory fine of $1000, and an indefinite revocation of your driver’s license.
In some cases, the mandatory sentence may be increased for aggravating factors. If the third DUI is within five years, the mandatory jail sentence if increased to six months. A fourth DUI offense within ten years carries a mandatory sentence of one year in jail
For over 20 years, The Law Office of James J. McCoart, III, has vigorously represented those accused of Driving Under the Influence. If you, or your family member, are interested in a no-cost consultation regarding a DUI charge in Virginia, then contact The Law Office of James J. McCoart, III, by phone (703) 369-2734, or email.