In Arlington, Virginia there are two ways a drunk driving can be classified as a felony charge:
• a third DUI arrest within a ten-year period
• a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident attributed impaired driving
DUI Laws in Virginia Aggressively Impact Repeat DUI Offenders
Of those jailed on DUI charges or serving a prior sentence for breaking Virginia DUI laws, nearly half have convictions for a repeat offense. That’s why recent changes to DUI laws focus aggressively on reducing driver alcohol consumption by lowering the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit and issuing punitive penalties and fines to help prevent repeat DUI offenses.
In 2013, changes enacted to DUI laws in Virginia (VA code § 18.2-270) were designed to maximize conviction penalties, specify service of jail time, and harshly penalize habitual DUI offenders. Most notable is HB1559, which reads “Any person convicted of subsequent offense is guilty of a Class 6 felony.” Conviction of a repeat DUI offense in Arlington and throughout Virginia is now a federal crime.
Understanding the Role of Repeat DUI Convictions in the Arlington Courts
The consequences for a repeat DUI felony offense depend on your prior convictions. The amount of time since your last DUI conviction primarily determines the severity of your punishment. The mandatory minimum sentence for a DUI felony conviction is a one-year jail sentence, a minimum $1,000 fine and a five-year driver’s license suspension.
What an Aggressive DUI Attorney Can Do to Mitigate DUI Penalties
If you run the risk of conviction as a repeat offender, an experienced Boone Beale DUI attorney will explore the standard DUI defense founded on refuting probable cause and disproving toxicology and procedural evidence. We also take the opportunity to attack prior convictions on a number of grounds. Preventing evidence of a prior conviction from your current case file removes the threat of a felony DUI conviction.
Facing a felony DUI charge in Arlington is serious legal business. The quality and independence of your life will rely on the ability of your legal counsel to work efficiently and diligently to investigate your past legal history and build a strong defense based on your rights under the law. Call Boone Beale without delay.