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The Escalating Penalties of Subsequent DUI/DWI Offenses

“Sir, step out of the vehicle,” and “Sir, have you been drinking?” are the last two phrases any driver who is pulled over wants to hear from the law enforcement officer.  It is critical that you obtain a positive outcome at your first DUI trial, because subsequent offenses are punished VERY severely in Virginia.  A first offense is punishable by a hefty fine, and your driver’s license can be revoked.  Thus, a first DUI offense carries significant consequences if you are convicted – both current penalties AND future implications.  Jason Swango understands this, and his experience in the courtroom fighting for the citizens of Virginia Beach and Norfolk enables him to handle DUI cases with skill, tact, and strategy.

If you have been convicted once and you are charged again with a DUI offense, you face an even bigger fine…a minimum of $500! Plus, your license could be revoked for 3 years AND you could face jail for up to a year.  Furthermore, if your first offense was within the past 10 years of your second offense, the Commonwealth can impose a mandatory jail sentence.  The loss of liberty, potential financial devastation, and forfeiture of driving privileges are all good reasons to fight your charge with a Virginia Beach DUI Lawyer by your side.  Jason Swango is that lawyer.

What about a third offense?  For a third DUI, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000!  Your record will also reflect a Class 6 felony if convicted and a mandatory minimum six-month jail sentence if it is within 5 years of your last DUI.  The Commonwealth of Virginia tacks on additional penalties if a person’s BAC is .2% or more at the time of arrest.  The extra penalties don’t end with BAC levels though: if you receive two DUI convictions within a certain period, you can be forced to modify your vehicle with a device that measures your BAC routinely.  This is an obvious hassle and this type of inconvenience can be avoided if you are found not guilty or if your lawyer can reach an agreement with the Commonwealth’s prosecutor.  This invasive burden is all the more reason to consult Jason Swango, the Norfolk and Virginia Beach DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney.

Finally, it is important for teens, parents, and any persons under the age of 21 to take note of Virginia’s “zero tolerance” policy.  Drivers under 21 can find themselves in serious trouble if caught driving with a BAC as low as .02%.  Specifically, a $500 fine, a suspended license, AND jail time.  Whether you are a relatively new driver, an adult, or somewhere in between, you can trust your local Virginia Beach DUI Lawyer with your case.  Not only does Jason Swango fight for his clients’ rights in court, but he has a passion for representing the citizens of the Tidewater region.  As a former serviceman, he can relate to just about anyone.  Call him today for your free consult, and you will be glad you did.