A DUI, or driving while under the influence, is one of the most common traffic charges. In the United States alone, approximately every 52 minutes someone dies in the wake of a drunk driving accident. Each year, on average, more than 10,000 people die from collisions involving a driver who was under the influence.
The penalties for a DUI conviction can be cumbersome, but they become even more stringent for those who have repeatedly been convicted of impaired driving. If you are facing a conviction for driving while under the influence and it is not your first offense, it is important that you understand the potential consequences.
What Constitutes a Repeat Offense
Having been convicted of driving while under the influence in the past does not necessarily mean that offense will affect your current case. A repeat offense is typically considered one that occurs within 10 years of the previous conviction; therefore, if you had a DUI conviction in your teens and then went more than 10 years without another incident, this previous event would not have an impact on your current Virginia DUI First Offense Penalties.
Financial and Monetary Penalties for DUI Repeat Offenses
The penalties for repeat DUIs become more severe the more times you are convicted. Upon a second offense within 10 years of the first, you will be expected to pay a mandatory minimum of $500 in fines, a third DUI will double that mandatory fee, to $1000. After a fourth DUI or subsequent, the mandatory minimum fine remains $1000. The maximum fines can be expected, particularly if the offenses are within 5 years or less of each other and, or include elevated blood alcohol levels or other aggravating offenses.
Jail Time for Repeat Convictions
In addition to fines, you can expect to serve active jail time as a requirement following conviction. Fines and jail time are not mutually exclusive; paying a fine does not relieve you of the order to go to jail. Most repeat DUI convictions carry both a fine and mandatory jail time.
On the second offense within 10 years, you will be ordered to the mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail; the third offense increases this mandatory time to 90 days, unless it occurred within 5 years which will increase the mandatory time to 6 months.
A fourth or subsequent DUI within 10 years is a mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail. The judge is permitted to determine exactly how long your jail sentence will be; an experienced criminal defense attorney will present your facts with the goal to reduce those penalties as much as possible.
Driver’s License Consequences After Multiple DUIs
If you have been convicted of a DUI, you will also face consequences related to your ability to continue to drive or hold a driver’s license. Even a first offense DUI in Virginia will require a temporary license suspension; it should not be surprising to learn that with a second offense, your license will be revoked.
This revocation can last for up to three years, which means that during this time, you are not permitted to operate a vehicle. This can have long-lasting impacts on your day to day responsibilities, such as going to work, attending school or providing childcare. If this is your third or subsequent DUI offense, your driver’s license may be revoked indefinitely.
Additional Penalties in Specific Circumstances
The most common penalties associated with a conviction for driving while under the influence are fines, jail time and loss of your driver’s license. However, in certain circumstances, you may also be required to make a payment to the Trauma Center Fund, which helps to offset the state’s cost of providing emergency services as a result of DUIs.
If you were underage, driving a commercial vehicle or if you maimed someone or were charged with involuntary manslaughter as a result of your DUI, you may be required to pay an amount set by the court to the Trauma Center Fund.
Work with an Attorney to Reduce Penalties When Possible
The pending consequences of a repeat DUI charge can be overwhelming. You may be concerned that the fines will financially harm you or that the license revocation will cause you to lose your job. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge will gladly work with you to help you understand all of the options available in your specific case.
Contact our offices to schedule a consultation. By reviewing the details of your unique situation, an experienced attorney from our office can outline the potential opportunities to mitigate penalties in your case with our professional representation in court.