Third Offense DUI Penalties in Chesterfield County

Being charged with a DUI for the third time will be a different experience than it was during your first charge. The consequences go up significantly, which is why you should work with a skilled DUI defense attorney. It is important that you know about the third offense DUI penalties in Chesterfield County.

Where Are the Charges for a Third DUI Offense?

A third offense DUI charge within five years of the first in Chesterfield County is a Class 6 felony, punishable with a fine and up to five years in prison. The charge is heard with a preliminary hearing in the General District Court, where the defendant will be found guilty or not guilty. If there is probable cause that they committed a crime, the case will be certified to the circuit court, where they would have the option of a jury or a judge hearing their case.

Third offenses are vigorously prosecuted and the defendant’s probability of getting a bond is also greatly lowered. There is a mandatory minimum jail sentence for third offense DUIs which is 60 days; and if it occurred within five years there is a mandatory minimum of six months of jail time.

The likelihood of getting a bond with a 60-day minimum is a great deal less because that is a substantial period of time and the judge will prefer the defendant serve that time straight through.

Does a Person Have to be Convicted Before Receiving Penalties?

If the defendant is convicted, then, unless they are trying to negotiate a deal, they may be asked to do certain things, such as community service, enter a drug and alcohol treatment program, or take a VASAP class prior to coming to the court. If a lawyer is trying to negotiate to get the case dismissed or reduced, sometimes they will give the defendant a list of things to do before they appear in court which might get the charge reduced or dismissed.

The fine is generally $1,000 to $2,500. If they have three DUIs within five years, the mandatory minimum is six months. If they have three DUIs over the course of five to 10 years, it is 60 days. The defendant might also be given an intoxilyzer – or an ignition interlock – that only allows them to drive when they do not have alcohol in their system.

Aggravating Factors

If there were three DUIs in Chesterfield County within five years, the charge becomes a felony; if it is three DUIs within 10 years, it is a misdemeanor. In addition, if they are blowing a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or 0.20, they also get enhancements for having any escalated level of blood alcohol content in their system. A BAC level of 0.15 adds a mandatory minimum of 10 days and a level of 0.20 adds an additional five on top of that.

Minors in the Vehicle

There is an additional penalty for having a minor in the car, which could also lead to a child endangerment charge. It can be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on how the defendant was driving. If they were driving so erratically while drunk that they were endangering anyone in the vehicle, then it can be brought as a felony with a child endangerment charge. If they were just swerving back and forth while drunk, they could get misdemeanor diversion.

Talk with a Chesterfield County Attorney About Penalties for a Third DUI

The consequences of a repeat DUI charge are serious and require a lawyer who will be diligent and focused. Contact one today to discuss third offense DUI penalties in Chesterfield County and how you could manage a defense.

Chesterfield Third-Offense DUI Lawyer