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When is DUI a Felony in Virginia Beach?

A felony DUI is more serious than a misdemeanor DUI offense. This means that the penalties you face are much harsher. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you are most likely going to be facing misdemeanor charges. Misdemeanor DUI offenses could result in a few months in jail, license suspension and fines, but a felony charge increases the penalties significantly. In order to be charged with a felony DUI in Virginia, there is generally an aggravating factor or there are prior DUI convictions involved. In Virginia, a DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor unless one of the following elements are involved in the case:

  • The defendant has two or more prior DUI convictions
  • There was a child under age 17 present in the vehicle
  • Involuntary manslaughter was a result of driving under the influence

These DUI offenses can result in different classifications of felonies. If you are facing your third DUI offense, you are at risk of a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A fourth DUI offense places a minimum prison sentence of one year on the case. If you commit involuntary manslaughter, you could be facing a Class 5 felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. There is also aggravated involuntary manslaughter that can increase the prison sentence to 20 years. On top of prison sentences, felony DUI can also result in fines, license revocation and vehicle seizure and forfeiture. To avoid these serious penalties, you need to team up with a Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney. Contact Thoman Law, PLLC to team up with me, Attorney Thoman. I am a former prosecutor and I have knowledge of the DUI proceedings as a prosecutor and attorney. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation to see how I can assist you in your felony DUI case!