New Kent Third Offense DUI Charge

Third offense DUI charges are prosecuted more seriously than first and second offenses. The court treats each subsequent DUI more seriously. While the first and second DUIs are misdemeanors, the third DUI is a felony in New Kent. At this point, a conviction could result in you losing the right to vote, losing the right to possess a firearm, and your incarceration would be with the Department of Corrections, rather than jail.

Because of the serious potential penalties that a third offense DUI charge can have, you should consider hiring a skilled attorney to help your case. If you are facing charges of a third offense DUI in New Kent, an experienced DUI attorney is essential to building your defense.


A third offense DUI charge in New Kent is elevated to a Class 6 Felony. The General District Court does not have jurisdiction to determine guilt in a felony case so, a trial for a third offense DUI will be held in Circuit Court in New Kent. Someone’s preliminary hearing will begin in General District, but, ultimately, it will be adjudicated, if it remains a DUI third offense, in Circuit Court.

A third offense DUI is considered a felony and is punishable up to five years in jail. If it is a third offense within five years of the prior conviction, someone faces a mandatory fine of $1,000 and a mandatory incarceration period of six months. If it is a third offense between five and 10 years from the prior offense, the mandatory fine is $1,000, but the mandatory jail sentence is 90 days.

Driver’s License Treatment

If someone has a BAC of 0.08 or a refusal to submit to testing, there is an administrative suspension that lasts until the case is adjudicated. Post-conviction, their driver’s license is automatically suspended indefinitely. They are not eligible and cannot request a restricted license on a third offense DUI. They are also no longer eligible to attend the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program. Additionally, they are not eligible for getting an ignition interlock installed in their car and they cannot ask the court to have their license reinstated for five years.

Someone can challenge the administrative suspension of their driver’s license by a preponderance of the evidence standard. Post-conviction, they are unable to challenge their driver’s license because that suspension is statutory.

Building a Defense

Defending a third offense DUI charge in New Kent is similar to defending a second offense DUI because the attorney would be challenging the third charge in addition to the prior convictions. It differs from previous types of defenses, because in a third offense DUI, someone’s BAC does not elevate the charge unlike it would in a first or second DUI offense. The attorney’s goal in a third offense DUI case in New Kent, when challenging the prior convictions, is often to have the charges reduced from a third offense to a second or first offense DUI.

Working with an Attorney

When you are charged with a third offense DUI in New Kent, you need an experienced attorney to help you handle that matter. There are subtle nuances that are relevant in a third offense DUI and in most DUI cases. With every subsequent DUI offense, there are additional elements and when the charge is a third offense DUI there is also an enhanced penalty.

Enhanced penalties can result in a sentence of years in prison. This felony charge can also lead to the loss of constitutional rights, so it is important to have a lawyer that thoroughly understands driving under the influence cases. A good attorney should also understand the proper way to try a case in front of a judge or a jury to protect your rights.