Virginia DUI/DWI Felony
Depending upon the extenuating circumstances of your case as well as your criminal record, your DUI OR DWI charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If this is your first DUI/DWI and there are no extenuating circumstances involving the bodily injury or death of another person, then your DUI/DWI is considered to be a misdemeanor.
Similarly, if you’ve been charged with a second offense DUI/DWI and there are no extenuating circumstances involving the bodily injury or death of another person, then your DUI OR DWI is also considered to be a misdemeanor. However, if you are unfortunate enough to be charged with a third or subsequent DUI OR DWI offense within ten years, you will be charged with a felony.
Defining The Categories Of Felonies
What is a felony? Crimes are typically classified as misdemeanors or felonies. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, misdemeanors are less serious crimes and carry a maximum of one year in jail. On the other hand, felonies are more serious crimes that can carry a maximum sentence of death or up to a life sentence in the state prison system. The Commonwealth of Virginia has six classes of felonies. Class 1 felonies are the most serious and carry a death sentence as well as a fine up to $100,000. Class 2 felonies carry a jail sentence of twenty years to life as well as a fine up to $100,000. The classes of felonies decrease in seriousness and sentence all the way down to Class 6 felonies which carry a sentence of one to five years in prison or twelve months in jail as well as a fine up to $2,500.
Multiple Convictions Can Result In A Felony
When is a DUI/DWI a felony? If you are charged with a third or subsequent offense DUI/DWI, you will be facing a felony charge. In addition to the prison time and fines you face with a felony charge, you need to understand the seriousness of having a felony conviction on your criminal record. Having a felony conviction on your record can strip you of your right to vote as well as disqualify you for any number of job opportunities.