Virginia has some of the toughest penalties in the United States for driving while intoxicated or under the Influence of drugs or alcohol. With each D.W.I. or D.U.I. conviction, penalties and charges get steeper. While a first offense is a misdemeanor, a third results in felony charges. Even by the second D.U.I. offense under the Virginia Code Section 18.2-266, judges and prosecutors will see you as a repeat offender, and often label you a problem, a danger or an alcoholic. However, in many cases, it could just be that you are unlucky. Don’t give up hope! With the right legal defense, it can be easier to reduce charges for a second or third D.U.I. than to outright beat a first offense at trial.
At the Law Offices of Christopher P. James, we understand what you have at stake! Driving privileges, financial security, your very freedom. Calling me at 703-646-6502 for a free legal strategy session is the first line of defense. I am available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about D.W.I. and D.U.I. penalties and how to protect yourself.
Read about penalties for a third D.U.I. offense, and for first and second offenses. Penalties for multiple offenses are influenced by what shows on your DMV transcript. The time courts are looking at is the date of your prior conviction(s), not the date you were charged. Mr. James will look at the dates carefully, for the police often make mistakes, and a good attorney can negotiate as well. It is not a done deal. If your prior conviction is 4 years, 10 months ago, I have a very good chance to have the courts count that as your second conviction in 10 years, rather than in 5 years, which reduces mandatory penalties.
Like jail time, this increases with each conviction. And if the judge thinks you have a serious alcohol or substance abuse problem they may deny you a “restricted license,” even if you have met the suspension time frame. A restricted license is not automatic. Yet it is imperative to be able to drive to work; knowing which judge and prosecutor will fight to revoke your license entirely is critical. After nearly 30 years working in Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun courts, Mr. James has the knowledge to steer you through this maze.
The Law Offices of Christopher James, with convenient locations in Oakton/Vienna and Manassas, will guide you through the severe penalties and do all we can to limit jail time exposure and protect your driving privileges. A confidential consultation and defense strategy is prepared at the initial meeting with Mr. James. We then review the stop, your record, all defenses, scientific evidence, your personal and medical history and the prosecutor’s entire case. From this information, we file written discovery with the court, with which the Commonwealth’s Attorney must comply. In cases of a second or third offense, we may need to continue the case many times to properly position you, as outcomes are always judge and prosecutor sensitive.
Choosing the right D.U.I. attorney affects you for years to come. A D.W.I. or D.U.I. conviction will hamper your employment, reputation, finances and freedom. Let the Law Offices of Christopher James protect your future.