Second Offense DUI Charges in Norfolk, Virginia

In Norfolk, DUI second offense charges are heard in the general district court which is the same place as first offense DUI charges.  However, the penalties you face are likely more serious making it imperative that a DUI lawyer in Norfolk is contacted.

A second DUI lawyer in Norfolk can look at the facts surrounding your case and help develop the strongest defense possible. To learn more about what an attorney can do for you, call and schedule a consultation today.

How Prosecutors Handle Second Offense DUI Charges

For second offense DUI charges, the offers are a little bit different, but usually, the prosecutors will still follow the mandatory minimum that is in the Virginia statute. Sometimes, Commonwealth attorneys don’t recognize that prior DUI convictions need to be substantially similar.  So if the first offense is not in Virginia, then Virginia’s DUI statute is extremely detailed and many other states prescribed punishment level to DUI differently.  For example, second DUI lawyers in Virginia see North Carolina priors a lot which don’t typically count.

Penalties For a Second Offense DUI

For a second offense DUI within 5 years of the first offense, the penalties are a mandatory minimum fine of $500, a jail sentence of not less than 1 month with a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 days.  If the person’s BAC is 0.15 to 0.20, then there is an extra 10 days of mandatory minimum and if the BAC is 0.20 or higher, there is an additional 20 days of mandatory minimum jail time.

If the DUI is within 5 to 10 years of the first offense, then there is a mandatory minimum of $500, jail time of not less than 30 days with 10 days mandatory minimum.  If the BAC is 0.15 to 0.20, there is 10 additional days and a total mandatory fine of $1000.  If the BAC is 0.20 or higher, there is an additional 20 days mandatory jail time and $1000 fine plus a license suspension for 3 years. A Norfolk second DUI lawyer can advise you of what penalties you may be facing if you have been charged.

How Courts Treat Second Offense DUI Charges

The courts in Norfolk take all DUIs very seriously, but if someone comes in with a second DUI, you can expect that the judge is going to be a lot harsher to somebody than they would be if it was a first time.  The court will take it as somebody not understanding the seriousness of their actions to first time and sometimes, the judges will issue a pretty harsh lecture to second time DUI person.  The real only difference in sentencing is based on the statute.  It’s more severe than what a defendant will get in a first time case.

Building a Defense For Second Offense DUI Charges

Since the DUI is based mostly on the officer’s observation, it is important to investigate based on what the officer has to say.  We get evidence that generally will show what happened at the scene, which is pretty great because a lot of jurisdictions will only show you the BAC.  They won’t show you the police report at all.  So you go in a little bit blind in other jurisdictions whereas in Norfolk, you have a decent idea of what happened.

So in court, this means that you will have an opportunity to cross examine the officer pretty extensively and make sure that every single detail is on the table.  If he was wearing his camera, we look at that beforehand to see if what the officer is saying matches up with what actually happens. Some DUI cases end up being dismissed because what the office is alleging happened at the scene is inconsistent with what the video ends up showing in the end.

How Defending a Second DUI is Different From a First

Defending a second offense DUI is not really different all from a first time DUI. The same type of evidence is looked at.  The only difference between a first and a second is just in the penalties, but what is necessary for the officer to prove and what needs to be dependent is identical.

Your Driver’s License After a Second Offense DUI

For a second offense, your license will immediately suspended for 7 days, at which point, you can on that day resume driving until your case is completed.  If you’re convicted, then you may have your license suspended for a period of 12 months which you maybe eligible to get a restricted license during that time.

Is There Any Difference in How You Can Challenge the Suspension of a License?

No, it is the the exact same procedure, however, you have to petition the court to challenge a suspension. With that said, you can only challenge an administrative suspension, not a suspension that comes from a conviction. You can only get a restricted license, but you’re stuck with the suspended license because it’s a statutory requirement.

If you’re not convicted, then your license doesn’t get suspended at all.  So your right to drive wouldn’t change.  The only thing it would be suspended for would be those 7 days after you’re charged, which automatically goes away without you having to do anything.