Any time a Newport News criminal defendant is convicted of the same crime more than once, penalties can increase substantially. A Virginia defendant convicted of multiple offenses for driving under the influence may be facing severe punishments for a felony. For this reason, any DUI charge becomes a very serious one.
A Hampton city employee died following a recent car crash. The 53-year-old man was on the way to a city-sponsored event on a late Saturday night, when the man’s Ford Escort collided with an SUV turning across traffic. The Ford driver died at the scene.
The 49-year-old male SUV driver was arrested in Hampton — the second time in eight days — on the same charge of DWI third or subsequent offense. Police intend to file additional charges, following the completion of the accident investigation.
Records showed the defendant earlier was charged twice with DWI second offense. The first charge was in Newport News in 2004, followed by a 2008 charge in Virginia Beach for DWI second offense within five years.
The less time that goes by between DWI convictions, the more severe the consequences become. For instance, according to Virginia DWI subsequent offense laws, mandatory minimum fines of $500 are attached to convictions of DWI second offense any time within a 10-year period after a previous conviction. However, mandatory imprisonment times increase, when a second conviction happens within five years of the first conviction.
Many defendants don’t realize how previous DWI convictions affect current legal circumstances. Added penalties for repeat offenses make it imperative for defendants to obtain the best legal outcome possible the very first time drunk-driving charges are filed. Past misdemeanors can snowball easily into felonies, when this advice is ignored.
Along with an extended loss of freedom and other serious consequences, a felony conviction follows you for life. A DWI criminal defense attorney can work to mitigate these hardships.
Source: WAVY, “Man charged with DUI in fatal Hampton crash” Aug. 18, 2014