Arlington DUI Attorney explains punishments for a Second Offense of DUI?

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Fairfax, Leesburg & Manassas, Virginia


What are the punishments in Arlington for a Second Offense of DUI?

Both a First Offense DUI charge in Arlington and a Second Offense Arlington DUI charge are Class One misdemeanors.  As a result the maximum penalties for both of these charges are alike.  The worst case punishments for both a First Offense DUI or DWI and a Second Offense DUI or DWI in Arlington County or Falls Church are:

  • Fine of $2500.00
  • Twelve (12) months in jail

There is a great number of potential ways that an experienced Arlington DUI attorney can work on a person's behalf to minimize, or even avoid entirely, the harsh consequences for a DUI Second Offense in Arlington.  Call Alex Gordon or Carlos Wall for a Free Consultation today at 703.218.8416

It is important to know that it is very uncommon that either a first time offender or second time DUI offender get the maximum punishments from an Arlington county judge.  However, if a person is convicted of a second offense DUI charge in Arlington, the punishment most likely will be more severe than the punishment given to a driver who was charged for the first time in Arlington with a DUI.

If you are convicted of a second offense DUI in Arlington, the punishment includes:

  1. mandatory minimum jail time;
  2. higher fines; and
  3. a longer license suspension.

If a person is convicted of a second offense of DUI in Arlington County within five (5) years of the prior offense:

  • The mandatory minimum fine is $500;
  • The mandatory minimum jail sentence is twenty (20) days;
  • The mandatory loss of the privilege to drive in Virginia is three (3) years.

Also, no restricted license may be issued until one year after the conviction for an Arlington Second Offense DUI within 5 years.  Most judges in Arlington County require that the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) be completed before the judge will consider granting restricted driving privileges.

If a person is convicted of a second DUI charge in Arlington within ten years of the prior DUI conviction:

  1. The mandatory minimum fine is $500; and 
  2. The mandatory minimum jail sentence is ten (10) days;
  3. The mandatory loss of license is three (3) years.

Also, no restricted license may be issued by the court until four (4) months after the Arlington DUI conviction. Most Arlington judges also want the driver to be enrolled in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) before they will consider issuing a restricted driver's license.

You should meet with Alex Gordon or Carlos Wall, experienced Arlington County DUI lawyers, to thoroughly review the events surrounding your arrest. After our free consultation, we will examine the scientific, factual, and legal issues that might affect your Arlington DUI or DWI case.  Working with you, we will formulate a best strategy to achieve our goal of dismissing the charge or reducing the Arlington DUI charge or penalties.

Call the Arlington DUI lawyers at The Gordon Law Firm for a Free Consultation now at 703.218.8416 or email us at

Goals for representation on a Arlington County Second Offense of DUI

There are many possible ways charges involving a second offense DUI in Arlington can be resolved.  The resolution of every Arlington DUI case depends upon the circumstances of the arrest and the blood or breath alcohol content.  

First, our Arlington DUI lawyers determine whether there is a valid conviction for a First Offense DUI charge.  Many times Arlington police officers charge a Second Offense DUI when they look at a person's criminal record and see a prior conviction for DUI or DWI.  However, Virginia law requires that the DUI statute that driver was convicted in the first DUI has to be substantially similar to the Virginia DUI law. 

If the person arrested for an Arlington DUI was convicted in Federal court or has a prior DUI conviction from out of state, it is possible the Arlington County judge might decide that the prior DUI charge that was not on a law that was substantially similar to Virginia's DUI law.

Another factor the Arlington DUI lawyers at The Gordon Law Firm will review is whether the prior conviction for DUI was proper.  There are a number of ways the prior DUI conviction may not be a valid "predicate offense."

  Problems that could occur with the prior DUI conviction include:

  • Was the order of conviction signed by the judge?  Was it dated correctly?
  • Did the order of DUI conviction indicate the driver was advised of his rights to counsel and trial?
  • Did the order of the DUI conviction indicate the driver was properly represented by counsel?

Each of these issues can be presented to a Arlington county judge at a trial.  The General District Court judge would get to make the final determination as to the sufficiency of the orders of the prior DUI conviction.  If the judge in Arlington rules that the previous DUI conviction cannot serve as a "predicate offense," the mandatory minimum punishments for a second offense DUI would not apply.

Negotiation of Second Offense DUI Charge in Arlington County

The DUI attorneys at The Gordon Law Firm have helped hundreds of clients charged with DUI in Arlington County and throughout Virginia.  We understand that each DUI client comes to meet us with their own set of expectations and fears.  A thorough examination of the driver's Arlington DUI arrest may provide our law firm with facts that could create leverage to have the DUI charges in Arlington changed or the punishments modified.

If a DUI second offense in Virginia is reduced to a DUI First Offense in Arlington it may:

  • eliminate the mandatory minimum jail time
  • reduce a the length of a person's license suspension from the court
  • help with insurance and the driver's record for background checks

If a DUI Second Offense within 5 years in Arlington is changed to a DUI Second Offense within 10 years, it will:

  • reduce the mandatory minimum jail sentence from 20 days to only 10 days
  • allow a person to apply for a restricted license after only 4 months instead of having to wait a year.

Of course, DUI lawyers Alex Gordon and Carlos Wall will be looking for every avenue to get a second offense DUI case dismissed or reduced to Reckless Driving instead of a DUI conviction.

However, as experienced Virginia DUI defense attorneys, we understand that we cannot control the facts of the case, the Commonwealth Attorney, and of course the judge's final decision.

What we can do is work closely with our clients and be fully prepared for your DUI trial.  We want to put our 35 years of combined knowledge of DUI law to work for our clients to try to achieve the best possible outcome either through negotiation or at trial.

Feel welcome to call The Gordon Law Firm today for a Free Consultation at 703.218.8416 or fill out the "Contact Us" form on this page.