Henrico County Felony DUI Lawyer

While a typical DUI in Henrico County is a misdemeanor offense, under certain circumstances driving under the influence (DUI) can be a felony offense. If it is a third offense, within a five to ten year range, that would be a felony in the state of Virginia. Unlike misdemeanors, which are capped at one year of incarceration, felony offenses can be punished by more than a year in prison. This makes felony DUI charges significantly more serious with more potentially severe penalties. If someone is facing a potential DUI felony charge it is important to consult with an experienced Henrico DUI lawyer who can explain their options going forward and possibly defend against and mitigate penalties associated with the charge.

The Process of a Felony DUI Case

Besides the important differences in potential penalties, a felony DUI case also differs quite a bit from a normal misdemeanor DUI case in the case process. With a felony DUI case, there is a preliminary hearing, the case would then go before a grand jury, and then it would go up to circuit court where it will be tried before a judge and a jury. Consulting with a Henrico felony DUI lawyer can help to clarify this process and the ways in which it should properly be negotiated.

First Steps in Defending a Felony DUI Case

The first step an individual should take in a felony DUI case is to speak with an experienced attorney. An individual is going to want to know, number one, what sort of penalties they may be facing and what sort of defenses may be available. The individual is also going to want to be proactive in trying to take steps to mitigate the punishment on a DUI case and this will typically result in entering into a substance abuse counseling program prior to court. A felony DUI attorney in Henrico County can help in navigating the different options in DUI and substance abuse education programs, and in ensuring that the individual is taking the appropriate steps to lessen the potential consequences of their charges.

Value of a Felony DUI Lawyer

In a felony DUI case, an individual is going to want an experienced attorney who understand felony and DUI charges. A person will want a lawyer that knows how to challenge these sorts of cases and knows how to argue them. With a felony DUI, a third offense DUI, the prosecution is much less likely to negotiate or to offer any sort of plea agreement. In these cases prosecutors will likely seek to get a conviction and seek to get a substantial penalty. These penalties can result in minimum mandatory jail sentences of anywhere from ninety days to six months. It is very important to have an experienced Henrico County felony DUI attorney that knows not only how to argue these cases, but also knows how to negotiate them. With a felony DUI case, issues can be raised about the use of prior convictions and technical defenses like that, which will require the aid of someone experienced in these specific cases.