Depending on the number of DUI offenses on one's record, the penalties associated with driving while impaired in West Virginia can vary. For instance, anyone accused of a third DUI may face felony charges. The penalties for such an offense can have a dramatic effect on one's life. Those who have been accused of third or subsequent DUIs will likely benefit from the assistance of experienced criminal defense attorneys as they seek resolutions that serve their best interests.
Those accused of third DUI offenses may face imprisonment, lasting up to three years, and they may be ordered to pay fines of up to $5,000. A drivers' license will be also be suspended for a minimum of one year. If driving privileges are re-established, participation in the ignition interlock program will be required for three years.
In order to be charged with a third DUI offense, a driver will need to have already been convicted of driving while impaired on two occasions within a 10-year period. If a new charge comes after the 10-year period has expired, it is not likely to be counted as a subsequent offense and not considered a felony unless other factors of the current incident make a felony charge possible. As this can all be rather confusing, one's legal counsel can address any concerns and answer any questions one might have regarding how the severity of DUI charges is determined.
Fighting a third DUI charge can be difficult in West Virginia. Authorities do not take such cases lightly. As such, having an experienced legal representative on one's side may prove invaluable. With the right help, those accused of multiple DUIs can fight the charges at hand or seek to have charges reduced in hopes of minimizing associated penalties.
Source: legis.state.wv.us, "WEST VIRGINIA CODE: 17C-5-2. Driving under influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs; penalties.", Accessed on Jan. 22, 2016