Felony DUI Charges in Virginia
Our Norfolk DUI Defense Lawyers Fight For You
The most serious driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Virginia are felony DUI charges. If you’re convicted of a felony DUI in Virginia, you will be sentenced to significant jail time and fined thousands of dollars.
That’s why it’s critical that you act fast if you have been charged with a felony involving a drunk driving accident in Virginia. That’s why you need Welch & Wright, PLLC in Norfolk on your side. Our skilled Virginia DUI defense attorneys know the law and can work with you to build a strong legal case.
Many Virginia felony DUI cases involve a courtroom trial. Our skilled DUI trial attorneys have extensive courtroom experience successfully handling DUI cases in the Hampton Roads area and throughout Virginia. We’re the lawyers you want when your future is on the line.
When is a DUI a felony in Virginia?
The Commonwealth of Virginia defines a felony as any crime punishable by a prison term of at least one year, along with possible fines.
Most DUI charges in Virginia are classified as misdemeanors. However, a DUI can become a felony in the following circumstances.
- Your third DUI offense within 10 years of your first DUI conviction is charged as a felony.
- You were driving drunk and caused an accident that resulted in an injury (DUI Maiming).
- You were driving drunk and caused a fatal accident (DUI Manslaughter).
Penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Virginia
The penalties can be very severe for a felony DUI conviction in Virginia. These penalties are outlined in Virginia Code 18.2-266. Depending on which felony DUI charge you have been convicted of in Virginia, such penalties can include:
Third DUI conviction:
- Up to 5 years of incarceration. 90-day mandatory minimum if third DUI conviction occurred 5 to 10 years after first conviction; 6-month mandatory minimum if first DUI conviction occurred less than 5 years ago.
- $1,000 to $2,500 fine.
- Driver’s license suspended indefinitely, but can apply to be reinstated after 5 years.
- Ignition interlock device installed for at least 6 months once your license is reinstated.
DUI Manslaughter conviction:
- Mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year and up to 10 years in prison.
- Up to 20 years in prison if judge rules you showed “reckless disregard for human life.”
- $2,500 fine.
Can I appeal a felony DUI conviction?
In most cases, yes, but like other DUI appeals, you need to act fast to make sure you meet strict deadlines. The deadline to file a Notice of Appeal with the Circuit Court Clerk’s office is 30 calendar days from the date of your felony DUI conviction.
This is why it’s critical that you talk to a DUI defense attorney right away. Otherwise, you could miss out on your opportunity for justice.
Your freedom matters. Contact our law firm
The stakes are high in DUI felony cases. Get the Virginia DUI defense law firm ready to rise to the challenge. Contact us to learn more about your legal rights. Schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Norfolk, VA DUI defense attorneys. We know the law and thoroughly understand how the legal system works in Virginia. You can count on us when it matters most.