In the Commonwealth of Virginia, if you're convicted of DUI/DWI at least three times within a period of ten years, it is a felony. Felony DUI charges have more severe penalties than first or second offense DUI charges. If the third offense involved a fatal accident or other type of loss of life, it's possible that the felony charge will be considered aggravated or involuntary manslaughter.
Third Offense DUI Conviction in Virginia
The third DUI/DWI conviction in Virginia is considered a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years, plus a fine of up to $2,500. The minimum penalty for a felony DUI is some amount of jail time and a $1,000 fine. Depending on when the third DUI conviction occurred, whether it was within five years or ten years, penalties will vary.
Third DUI With a Fatal Accident
If you caused a fatal accident while under the influence, you may be charged with either aggravated or involuntary manslaughter.
Third DUI and Involuntary Manslaughter
If you're charged with involuntary manslaughter, this is a Class 5 felony. Your jail sentence can be anywhere from one to ten years. You may also be fined for up to $2,500. It's possible that you'll get either jail time or the fine, or both. The judge or jury are both in a position to reduce your sentence.
Third DUI and Aggravated Manslaughter
If you're charged with aggravated manslaughter, you'll get a minimum of one year in prison. The maximum prison sentence is 20 years. An involuntary manslaughter charge can turn into an aggravated manslaughter charge if the court decides that your conduct showed a “reckless disregard for human life.”
Forfeiting Your Vehicle
In addition to the jail time and fines that are required as a penalty of a third DUI conviction, you'll also need to forfeit your vehicle. According to Virginia laws, authorities will be able to confiscate your vehicle if you're its sole owner and operator.
Avoiding a Felony DUI Conviction
It's never smart to risk a felony DUI or DWI conviction. The minimum penalties are highly detrimental to your life and the maximum penalties are nothing short of life-altering.
If you're facing a third time DUI or DWI charge in Virginia, contact The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan today. DUI defense attorney, Wilfred Yeargan will help formulate the best legal strategy possible. Whatever type of proceeding results from your arrest, The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan will be able to represent you and your best interests. Call directly or send a message online to discuss your legal options.