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What To Expect In Your Third DUI Offense (Part A)

Virginia courts do not take DUI offenses lightly and by your third DUI conviction, the penalties have stepped up from a misdemeanor to a felony.  Jail time is a mandatory part of the sentence, but will vary depending on the times in which your prior Virginia DUI convictions took place in regards to your current offense.

What are Virginia's third-offense DUI penalties?

The penalties for a third-offense DUI in Virginia continue to get more severe, but there is still some room to negotiate a lesser sentence. Again, the timeline from your prior offenses to your third offense will impact the severity of your sentence.

If all 3 DUI offenses were committed within a 5-year period:
 

  • Class 6 Felony - resulting in 1-5 years imprisonment or up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine;
  • mandatory minimum jail sentence of 6 months; and
  • mandatory $1,000 fine. 

If all 3 DUI offenses were committed within a period of more than 5 years ago, and up to 10 years in the past: 

  • Class 6 Felony - resulting in 1-5 years imprisonment or up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine;
  • mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days; and
  • mandatory $1,000 fine. 

All third DUI convictions in Virginia include a 3-year License Suspension. You may be eligible for a Restricted Operator's License 3 years after your third offense. An Ignition Interlock system is also required for every vehicle you own, co-own, or operate on a regular basis.

Third-offense DUI arrests in Virginia are not granted bail while you await trial. You also qualify to be declared a habitual offender if your 3 DUI convictions took place within a 10-year period. If you were declared a habitual offender you may lose your driving privilege indefinitely. In most cases you will be able to petition for reinstatement of restricted privileges in 3 years with full privileges in 5 years.

Read on to find out what a class 6 felony means to you and how a Virginia DUI defense lawyer can help.

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Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts