Second Offense DUI in West Virginia

A second DUI in West Virginia within 10 years is considered a misdemeanor unless there are aggravating circumstances such as serious injuries. Note that even if your prior DUI is from another state, West Virginia will consider it a second offense and punish accordingly. 

Criminal Penalties

The minimum jail time that you can expect for a second DUI is six months, with the maximum being one year. The fines range from $1000 to $3000, plus any applicable court costs. The penalties are based on the circumstances surrounding the DUI, in addition to your prior criminal record. 

Administrative Penalties

If you commit a second DUI, you can expect your driver's license to be suspended for one year (and no chance of getting a restricted license). Once it is reinstated, you will have to pay to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for two years, which usually costs about $1000. If you refuse to take this step, your license will be suspended for up to 10 years.

The Department of Transportation in this state now has an agency that deals with reinstatement of licenses after a DUI. You will need to have a hearing in front of this agency, which your lawyer will help you prepare for. Aside from proof of the ignition interlock device, you will be required to show proof of SR22 car insurance coverage, which is a special policy for those with a DUI.

Additionally, you will be required to complete a treatment program that centers on safe driving and avoidance of alcohol abuse. This usually costs money, too, so be sure to budget for this expense before attempting to get your license back.

Get a Lawyer

This state allows drunk driving charges to be plea bargained to offenses that do not involve alcohol, and thus have fewer penalties. A dry reckless charge is one example of an offense that a second DUI in West Virginia may be reduced to. It tends to carry reduced consequences, such as probation and fines, since the charge describes reckless driving without the consumption of alcohol. You could also plead not guilty and fight the charge, depending on your evidence. You'll likely benefit from a lawyer's assistance and expertise.

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