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Henrico County Third Offense DUI Charges

For a third offense DUI in Henrico County your charges will likely be treated with extreme severity and prosecuted extremely vigorously. Below a Henrico County DUI lawyer discusses what else you should know about third offense DUI charges. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

Where Are Third Offense Charges Heard in Henrico County?

In Henrico County third offense DUI charges are a felony offense, which means they are heard at a preliminary hearing in General District Court. In this court probable cause will be determined and the case will go before a grand jury for certification.

Next the case will go to the Circuit Court for trial in front of either a judge or jury who will decide whether or not the defendant is innocent or guilty.

How Are Third Time DUI Charges Handled By Prosecutors?

Third offense DUI charges in Henrico County are prosecuted extremely vigorously. With a third offense, there is a clear history of driving while intoxicated and the prosecutors will not be lenient in the punishments they seek, and will in fact seek to impose the maximum penalty they can. Prosecutors are also going to be less likely to negotiate on a third offense charge because of the history that they’re dealing with.  They will take the position that they need to send a message and that message is usually through a long active jail sentence.

Penalties For a Third Offense DUI Charge

A third offense DUI charge would be a felony conviction. If it’s a third offense within five years, it comes with a six month minimum mandatory jail sentence. If it’s a third offense within 10 years then it comes with a 90 day minimum mandatory jail sentence and the sentence imposed can go much higher than that. In addition, a third offense comes with a license revocation so there is no restricted.  Lastly, there is a $1,000 fine.

Enhanced Penalties and Aggravating Factors

The enhanced penalties on a third offense DUI charge will depend on the timing of the DUI. If it’s a third offense within five years, there’s a six month minimum mandatory jail sentence. If it’s a third offense within 10 years, it’s a minimum mandatory 90 days in jail. Other factors that would aggravate that can create even harsher sentences would be if there’s an elevated blood alcohol level, if there’s an accident, or if there’s injuries involved.

If Minors Are In the Vehicle

If there’re minors in the vehicle in a situation like that, it can also result in a further felony charge to include child endangerment, which will result in active incarceration.

Does The Time Between DUI Charges Matter?

The time between DUI is very important in a DUI third offense charge. If it’s a third offense within five years that comes with a six month minimum mandatory jail sentence and if it’s a third offense within 10 years, it comes with a 90 day minimum mandatory jail sentence. The timing of the offenses will greatly impact the penalties imposed.

Your Driver’s License After a Third Offense DUI Charge

Third offense DUI charge you’re license is revoked permanently on a conviction. Upon arrest, it’s administratively suspended for 60 days. But again if there is a conviction, it’s revoked and revoked for at least a minimum of three years. So if you want to get any privileges back, you would have to petition to court for even restricted privileges.

Can You Challenge The Suspension of Your License After a Third DUI Offense?

You can attempt to challenge the administrative suspension. You would challenge that by filling a motion with the court. The only way to really challenge that would be to argue that the prior offenses that are being used to elevate your current offense are invalid. That would be the only real way to overturn the administrative suspension. However if it’s a conviction, there’s nothing you can do to challenge a revocation.

What Should You Look For In An Attorney For a Third Offense DUI?

With a third offense DUI charge, you definitely want a local attorney that understands the procedures and policies in that particular court. You’re going to want an attorney that is familiar with the prosecutors and the judges in that court but you’re also going to want an attorney that has handled felony DUIs previously.

Felony DUIs are very difficult to challenge mainly just because the prosecutors do not like to negotiate on those. So you’re going to need to have an attorney that understands how to challenge prior convictions, see if they are reported correctly and also knows how challenge probable cause but also knows how to review the machine and/or the blood tests that were done to see if they can find any issues with those.