In Virginia, you can be charged with various DUI offenses, all of them serious:
- DUI / DWI – Alcohol
- DUI / DWI – Drugs
- Second and third offense DUIs
- Felony DUI
- DUI for persons under 21 – Sometimes called a “Baby DUI”)
- DUI in which a person in permanently injured or maimed
- DUI involving a fatality / also known as DUI manslaughter
- DUI combined with a hit-and-run charge, eluding, or other serious criminal or traffic offense
The type of DUI for which you are charged or convicted depends on a number of factors, including your prior records and the facts of the specific case, such as your blood alcohol content (BAC). Likewise, if you have more than one or more prior DUIs on your record, even if they are from a different state, the potential punishment increases and periods of mandatory incarceration become part of the punishment. Any DUI or DWI conviction in Virginia will result in the suspension of your Virginia driving privileges for at least twelve months and the installation of the ignition interlock device on your vehicle should you wish to have restricted privileges. For repeat offenders, the license suspensions also increase.
Consequences of getting charged with a DUI in Virginia
- Jail Time
- License Suspension
- Ignition Interlock
- Criminal Record
DUI is a serious offense in Virginia. If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you may be asked to perform field sobriety tests and take a preliminary breath test (or PBT) while the officer is deciding whether to arrest you. Those tests are voluntary and you should strongly consider exercising your right to refuse them. However, once you are arrested for DUI or DWI, the Virginia implied consent statute requires that you submit to a breath or blood test or face an additional violated called “unreasonable refusal.” Unreasonable refusal comes with its own penalties, it is a civil violation for a first offense, but a class 1 misdemeanor for subsequent violations.
first time dui offense
In Virginia, a first-time DUI offense is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $250 fine. Additionally, a first offense DUI conviction will result in suspension of your driver’s license for one year. You may be eligible for a restricted license depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. If you ask for a restricted license, the ignition interlock device will be a requirement of that restricted license. In addition, you will be required to complete a program called VASAP. Finally, if there were aggravating factors to your DUI first offense, such as a BAC above 0.15 or children in the car at the time, you may face mandatory jail time.
second-time dui offense
A second DUI offense within ten years is subject to enhanced penalties. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, you must serve a minimum sentence of 5 days in jail. You will also be fined $500, and your driver’s license will be suspended for three years. For second DUI offenses within five to ten years, the potential penalties increase, as do the potential penalties for higher BAC cases on repeat offenders. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is crucial to seek experienced legal help as soon as possible.
third-time dui offense
According to the Virginia Code, a third DUI offense within 10 years is a felony. If convicted, the offender may be required to serve up to five years in jail and be subject to a fine of up to $1000. You could also face an indefinite license suspension if you receive a felony DUI.
An experienced DUI attorney brings specific knowledge and skills to the table that are extraordinarily helpful in fighting for your freedom. DUI law in Virginia is complex and evolving and you greatly increase your chances for the best outcome possible with an experienced lawyer on your side from the Marquis Law Group.
People charged with a DUI, whether it is in Leesburg, Loudoun County, or anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia need an experienced attorney who understands the local landscape, the various unique sentencing options, your constitutional rights as they pertain to the stop and search, and the science behind the breath test machine and blood test results. Our lawyers are very familiar with all of those things and have defended drunk driving cases from every angle.
To discuss your DUI case, schedule a consultation now.