No one plans to go out drinking for a night and to end up in jail the next morning. DUIs often catch people by surprise, and sometimes, more than once.
If you've previously been convicted of driving under the influence in Virginia, a second or subsequent violation of the law could hold harsh penalties for you. It's important to always defend yourself as quickly as possible to help avoid some of these penalties, which could significantly impact your life.
Those convicted of a second offense within five years of the first conviction face a mandatory fine of $500 and must go to jail for at least one month. The jail term may not exceed one year. Ten days, total, of the jail term are the mandatory minimum.
If you have a second offense in under 10 years but not within five, then you face a mandatory minimum fine of $500. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .15 or higher, then you face at least 10 days of mandatory jail time.
If you are instead convicted of a third offense within 10 years, you'll be guilty of a Class 6 felony. This results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days; if the three DUIs were within five years, that sentence jumps to a mandatory minimum of six months in jail. Additionally, you'll be fined $1,000. Since this is now a felony, there is a risk that your vehicle shall be searched and seized.
Don't let a single night ruin your future. Prepare a defense with the help of your attorney, so you can fight the allegations against you.
Source: LIS, "§ 18.2-270. Penalty for driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense; prior conviction.," accessed Jan. 31, 2018