They say that with three strikes, you're out. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, that phrase applies not only to baseball but can be applied to some DUIs as well.
A third DUI offense in a five-year period means you face a Class 6 felony, which can result in 1 to 5 years in prison, or up to a year in jail, plus a $2,500 fine. Those harsh penalties are on top of the sometimes irreparable damage done to families, careers and reputations.
So who faces a felony DUI in Virginia? Those folks we just described, as well as those who have three DUI offenses within the past 10 years. Again, they face a Class 6 felony with up to 1 to 5 years in prison or up to a year in jail. The mandatory minimum they face behind bars: 90 days in jail. They also have a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.
All of the above drivers also must deal with a 3-year suspension of their driver's license, as well as mandated installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
If you have three DUI offenses in a 10-year period, you can also be designated by Virginia as a habitual offender, which can mean indefinite loss of driving privileges. In some cases, habitual offenders can petition to get restricted driving privileges after three years and can be eligible to petition for reinstatement of full privileges after five years.
Anyone facing that laundry list of harsh punishments for a felony DUI should know that experienced attorneys are available to help you pursue reduced charges or dismissal of charges in negotiations or at trial.