Dirk Padgett Law PLLC
Former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney / Former Military Prosecutor / Former Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney

What could being accused of a 2nd DUI offense mean for you?

Being pulled over by police and accused of driving drunk can be an intimidating and scary experience for any driver here in Virginia. It can generate a special set of worries though if you have a past DUI on your record. In Virginia, repeat DUI offenses can carry harsher penalties than first-time offenses.

When does a second offense lead to upped penalties?

Under Virginia DUI law, when a past DUI offense occurred impacts whether these upped penalties would apply. Specifically, for a DUI conviction to fall under the special sentencing range for second-offense DUI, the previous DUI offense must have occurred within the past 10 years.

What are the penalties for second-offense DUI?

The fine for a qualifying second offense of DUI is $500, as opposed to the $250 fine for a first offense.

Also, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence for second-offense DUI. The general length of this mandatory minimum is 10 days. However, certain things can up it. For one, if the conviction happens within five years of the prior offense, the minimum rises to 20 days. Also, 10 days are added to the mandatory minimum sentence if the offense involved a BAC at or above 0.15 but below 0.2, while 20 days are added for offenses involving a BAC at or above 0.2.

A jail sentence of up to a year can be possible for second-offense DUI here in Virginia.

As a note, a third or higher DUI conviction within 10 years carries even heavier penalties.

How can repeat DUI charges be fought?

There are a range of ways such drunk driving charges could be challenged, from contesting BAC test results to challenging whether police acted properly during a traffic stop. What defense avenues would be available to you depends on your individual circumstances. So, when such charges have been leveled, it can be wise to get legal guidance on what particular options you may be able to pursue.

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Throughout Mr. Padgett's career, he has worked on cases covering a wide variety of offenses, from white collar crime and larceny to war crimes and capital murder. In 2009, he served as lead prosecutor in the trial of Ibrahim al Qosi, an al Qaeda member and bodyguard to Osama bin Laden, at Guantanamo Bay Prison.

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