Felony DUI Attorney
Representing the Accused Across Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC
Most driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Alexandria, VA and the District of Columbia are misdemeanors, but under some circumstances, you can be charged with a felony. Felony convictions carry hefty fines, significant jail time, and appear in your background check when applying for housing or employment, forever changing your life.
Felony DUI Convictions in Alexandria, VA & DC
In Alexandria, VA, a third DUI conviction is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $2,500. Unlike first and second DUI offenses, however, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) does not affect your legal penalties if convicted.
It is important to be aware that a third DUI conviction within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, while a third DUI conviction within five years imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Fourth or subsequent convictions within 10 years in Alexandria, VA have a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year and a $1,000 fine.
In addition, the court could impose the following penalties upon conviction:
Revoking your driver’s license
- After your third DUI conviction, you lose the ability to apply for a restricted license
- Installing an Ignition Interlock Device on any vehicle registered in your name for at least six months
- Confiscating all vehicles that you own
In contrast to Alexandria, VA, the District of Columbia technically does not charge DUIs as felonies, even against fourth or subsequent offenses. Instead, DC law imposes harsh punishments for third and fourth and subsequent DUI convictions. For third DUI charges, the possible penalty includes one year in jail, $2,500 to $10,000 fines, and/or 2-year license revocation. Fourth or subsequent DUI convictions in the District of Columbia carry consequences of 1 year in jail and/or $2,500 to $10,000 fines. In addition, you may permanently lose your driver’s license.
DUI-Related Involuntary Manslaughter
In Alexandria, VA, involuntary manslaughter is the crime of unintentionally killing another human being without premeditation. Thus, if you drive under the influence of alcohol and cause another person’s death, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter in addition to DUI. Involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony in Alexandria, VA. If convicted, you face up to 10 years in prison, fines up to $2,500, and/or the revocation of your driver’s license.
If your actions were so reckless that they demonstrated a reckless disregard for human life, you could be charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, punishable by a mandatory minimum of one year in prison that can extend up to 20 years, thousands of dollars in fines, and potential vehicle seizure and forfeiture. Although you can petition for a restricted license three years after your conviction and full reinstatement of your driving privileges after five years, the circumstances of your case may influence a judge to deny your petition, meaning your driver’s license may remain revoked.
Perhaps the most frightening possibility of getting a felony DUI manslaughter charge in Alexandria, VA is that the Commonwealth may prosecute you under other homicide laws, depending on the circumstances of the accident. You may also face a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, which typically occurs after a criminal trial, but the deceased’s estate can file a lawsuit at any time. The civil lawsuit may proceed whether or not you are convicted or acquitted of DUI-related involuntary manslaughter or aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
A DUI involving involuntary manslaughter in the District of Columbia may be charged as negligent homicide, codified in D.C. Code § 50–2203.02. The law defines negligent homicide as a death caused by another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence, but not willfulness or wantonness, that was committed in the operation of any vehicle. If convicted of DUI-related negligent homicide in DC, you will get a felony charge punishable by 5 years in prison, $12,500 fines, and the possible revocation of your driver’s license.
DUI and Child Abuse
Alexandria, VA law punishes misdemeanor DUIs involving the transportation of a child under the age of 18 with enhanced penalties, including five mandatory days in jail and $500 to $1000 fines. However, in some cases, the driver’s actions may show a complete disregard for the child’s safety, warranting felony child abuse charges in addition to DUI as a result.
For context, child abuse is any willful act or omission that shows a reckless disregard for human life, such as reckless driving, speeding, or failing to secure the child in an age-appropriate car seat. This is a Class 6 felony punishable by five years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
If a child suffered serious injuries as a result of your DUI and the prosecution proves that your actions were willful, you could be charged with a Class 4 felony and face two to 10 years in prison and fines up to $100,000. A serious injury includes a fracture, disfigurement, severe burn or laceration, or life-threatening internal injuries. In addition to criminal charges, a DUI and child abuse conviction in Alexandria, VA could affect your child custody arrangements and you may also get a civil lawsuit if you were transporting someone else’s child at the time of your arrest.
The District of Columbia imposes cruelty to children charges for defendants accused of intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly torturing, beating, or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under 18 years old or engaging in conduct that creates a grave risk of bodily injury to a child, and thereby causing bodily injury. Thus, if you were accused of DUI resulting in injuries or death to a child, you will either get a first or second-degree charge punishable by $10,000 fines and 15 years in prison or $25,000 fines and 10 years in prison, respectively.
However, it’s worth mentioning that Washington, DC does not impose felony charges for cruelty to children just like it doesn’t for DUI charges, as stated earlier.
Possible Defenses to Felony DUI Charges
A felony DUI charge can severely impact your future, so you need a strong defense that increases your chances of putting your case behind you, where it belongs. To accomplish this, our attorney at S.L. England, PLLC, will analyze all aspects of your case and build the most effective defense possible for you.
Law enforcement must have probable cause to stop your vehicle, so if they did not have, we can challenge the basis of your initial traffic stop. If you provided a breath or blood sample, officials must adhere to precise collection, testing, and chain of custody procedures. If our felony DUI lawyer detects a violation of these standards, we can challenge the chemical test results in court. Also, if your chemical blood and breath test sample fell within the margin of error, our lawyer can use that in your defense.
Have You Been Charged with a Felony DUI?
Your felony DUI case is unique, therefore you need an aggressive, dedicated attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, to look at all aspects of your situation and build the strongest defense for you. Call (202) 759-2333 or contact us online today to begin your fight for freedom. We proudly serve clients in Alexandria, VA and the District of Columbia.