Third Offense DUIs in Richmond
With a third offense DUI, which is treated as a felony in Virginia, it’s a two-step process. There’s a preliminary hearing in the general district court, and then there’s a trial in the circuit court. Prosecutors will move vigorously to convict on third offense DUI charges and seek the maximum penalty when possible.
Penalties for Third DUIs in Richmond
A third offense DUI carries serious penalties and the time between the offenses plays a significant role in what sort of penalty you would receive. If charged as a third offense within five years, it is a class six felony, which carries:
- A six month minimum mandatory jail sentence
- A permanent revocation of your privilege to drive
- There’s also a $1000 fine with that charge.
If it’s a third offense within ten years, this is also a felony conviction. It carries:
- A ninety-day minimum mandatory sentence
- A $1000 fine
- An indefinite revocation of your license
With these charges, the more aggravated they are, the more likely the prosecutors and the judges are to seek higher sentences over the minimum mandatory jail.
Building a Defense for Third DUIs in Richmond, VA
With a third offense DUI charge, we want to take a look at the probable cause for the stop, how the officer conducted the tests, and more importantly was the blood alcohol testing done properly. Also with a third offense, we’re going to look at the prior offenses and if they can be used to elevate this current offense to a third.
One other thing that we encourage highly throughout all DUI cases, but even more so on a second or a third, is that you enroll in substance abuse counseling. Active participation in a substance abuse counseling course can help your attorney provide mitigating evidence on your case.
Looking For an Attorney for a 3rd DUI in Richmond
With a third offense DUI charge, you definitely need an experienced attorney who understands DUI law and understands how to challenge DUIs. Specifically, you should seek out a local attorney who understands how the city of Richmond prosecutes DUIs and procedurally how these cases are handled.
DUI cases often come down to shedding light on technical issues, such as the operation of the machine or the specific tests conducted by the officer. It’s extremely important to have an attorney who understands the DUI defense and has experience in arguing and defending DUIs.