Virginia is known for being one of the states with the strictest drunk driving laws in the country. This is important to keep in mind if you are facing your first ever drunk driving charge or if this is your second or third. You will want to know what you are up against when looking for a criminal defense attorney.
In looking at the differences between a first, second and third, the biggest differences are in how much money you will need to pay if convicted and how long you will lose your license for. Depending on the timeline of prior convictions, jail time also becomes a very real possibility with second and third driving under the influence convictions.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, for a first time DUI offense, a convicted driver can expect to pay a $250 fine and lose their driver's license for an entire year. For a second offense, the fine increases to $500 and a driver's license could end up suspended for three years. Depending, someone could also end up spending an entire year in jail.
With this though, know that the consequences can change dramatically depending on the timeline. For example, if a second offense comes within 10 years of a first offense, there is a 10 day mandatory jail sentence. Within five years there is a 20 day jail sentence.
From here, the consequences also just keep increasing. For example, with a third offense DUI, a driver can expect that their driver's license will be revoked indefinitely.
Reading through these possible consequences, know that not all cases are the same, and therefore, the outcomes can also be different from person-to-person. Given the very real consequences though -- and the fact that these consequences have the capability to greatly impact a person's life for some time -- it is always recommended a driver contact a criminal defense attorney after a drunk driving arrest.