One of the most important things to know about getting a fourth DUI charge in Virginia is that at this point, the courts no longer differentiate the minimum penalty by when your prior convictions took place, as they do with second and third DUI charges. However, the timeframe between your convictions is still a factor in your defense and your Virginia DUI defense attorney should know how to use this to your advantage.

What are the minimum penalties for a fourth DUI in Virginia?

Your fourth and any subsequent DUI convictions are still classified as Class 6 felonies, but they now impose a mandatory 1 year minimum imprisonment along with the mandatory $1,000 minimum fine. Your license will be revoked indefinitely, and with all DUI offences, a 6-point penalty is placed on your driving record for a period of 11 years.

Because there are such harsh minimum penalties for a fourth DUI in Virginia, your best bet is typically to go trial to try and appeal for these minimums. You may think that the court will punish you for asserting your right to trial, but with such high penalties already in place against you, it's advantageous to seek out the lowest possible penalty.

How does my fourth DUI conviction affect my driving records?

Being found guilty of DUI in Virginia will result in the charge being put on your criminal record. The Department of Motor Vehicles of Virginia classifies any DUI charge as a 6-point offense which will adversely affect your insurance rates and may lead to temporary or permanent revocation of your license.  These demerit points will remain on your record for a period of 11 years. The only way to remove demerit points besides waiting for the allotted passage of time is by completing a driver improvement clinic as approved by the Virginia DMV, or by accumulating Safe Driving Points. Safe Driving Points are awarded for each full calendar year you hold a valid Virginia driver's license and drive without any violations or suspensions.

Read on to find out what "habitual offender" means to you and what your prior conviction history can do to your DUI case.

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