Can I Be Convicted of Felony Third Offense DUI in Virginia If I Was Previously Convicted in Another State?

Under Virginia Code § 18.2–270, "any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall upon conviction of the third offense be guilty of a Class 6 felony," which carries up to five years in prison. In addition to felony status, 90 days to six months of mandatory incarceration in imposed, depending on whether the convictions occurred within a ten or a five year period.

The code goes on to state that prior offenses of § 18.2-266 include, "Substantially similar laws of any other state or of the United States." But what is necessary to conclude that a sister state's DUI statute is substantially similar to that of Virginia? On their face, aren't all DUI laws similar in that they penalize operating a vehicle while intoxicated? No, this could not be farther from the truth because each State's DUI laws are different and may penalize behaviors that would be perfectly legal in Virginia. Did you know that you can get a DUI on a bicycle in some states? Or that proving the consumption of any controlled substance or illegal drug was all that was required.

At our firm we research the laws of each sate of conviction and do a thorough comparison with that of Virginia. We contrast the differences Virginia with from each state's case law histories. We make the appropriate objections to this evidence to prevent the felony convictions and the associated mandatory time.

If you or someone you know is charged with a serious traffic or criminal charge an experienced trial attorney can help. Let us review the facts of your case and find ways to avoid or minimize the effects of your charge. CALL TODAY to discuss the specific facts or your case and put you talents to work for you.

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