Under Virginia law, anyone who has three DUI offenses “committed within a 10-year period will be guilty of a Class 6 felony upon conviction of the third offense. A DUI can also be charged as a felony when there is an accident involving injuries. In Virginia, a DUI becomes a felony for your third or subsequent offense. Any DUI case that is a third offense within 10 years is considered a felony in Virginia.
For this reason, if you are charged, it is imperative that you understand exactly what you are facing and that you consult with an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer to help you build your defense and minimize the harm of your offense. For more information, read this webpage and consider calling our VA law offices to schedule a consultation with an attorney. A DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. Unfortunately for anyone convicted of DUI in Virginia, that criminal conviction will stay on their criminal record forever.
There is no time limit for when a DUI conviction will be canceled or when a convicted driver can have their DUI removed. The only way to keep a DUI conviction out of your criminal record is to avoid a criminal conviction in the first place. In some cases, the defendant will plead guilty even if they have done nothing wrong just to avoid the maximum possible penalties of a DUI conviction. Officers generally don't have enough evidence to arrest you for DUI while you're inside your vehicle.
There are 5 general ways to receive DUI charges in Virginia, all of which will result in the loss of your license, fines and possibly even jail time. Because of these long-term consequences, it is essential to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who can build a strong defense against the charges you face. The first step I always take in a DUI felony case is to sit down with the defendant and discuss everything they remember in as much detail as possible. Finally, an often overlooked step in the process is that your vehicle may be subject to forfeiture depending on the circumstances of your DUI.
Your best chance to fight a DUI conviction is to talk to an experienced DUI defense attorney in Virginia about your case. While any first or second DUI offense is a misdemeanor, it can become a felony after the second conviction in certain situations. Additionally, if you have been convicted of a DUI felony at any previous time, a felony navigating while intoxicated at any previous time, or a number of other DUI-related felonies, then you can be charged with felony DUI. In a DUI felony case, the matter begins in the General District Court, but instead of being tried there as in the case of a misdemeanor, only a preliminary hearing is held in the General District Court.
If you are convicted of a fourth DUI in Virginia within 10 years, your crime will also be considered a Class Six felony, but your minimum penalties will increase. However, it's important to understand what a DUI conviction in Virginia can mean for your driving and criminal record.