In Virginia, you can be charged with various DUI offenses, all of them serious:
- DUI alcohol
- DUI drugs
- Second and third DUIs
- Felony DUI
- DUI for persons under 21
- DUI with a child in the car
- DUI in which a person is injured/maimed
- DUI in which a person is killed/involuntary manslaughter
- DUI combined with a hit-and-run charge or accident
Different charges and penalties depend on prior DUI convictions. If you have more than one or more prior DUIs on your record, even if they are from a different state, the punishment increases and includes a period of mandatory incarceration. A conviction will also result in installing ignition interlock devices on your vehicle and license suspension for at least a year.
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 charged with DUI, you may be asked to submit to a breath test. If you refuse to take the test, you will automatically be assumed guilty of DUI. This is because Virginia has an implied consent law. This law states that if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you have automatically consented to take a breath test. Refusing to take the test is the same as if you had taken the test and failed.
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-time DUI offense will suspend your driver’s license for one year. If you are found guilty of a first-time DUI offense, you may be eligible for probation before judgment which would allow you to avoid having a conviction on your record. Suppose you do not qualify for probation before judgment. In that case, you may still be able to avoid having a conviction on your record by pleading guilty to a lesser charge such as reckless driving if you have a well-vetted attorney by your side.
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 one year. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Second-time offenders are also required to complete an alcohol treatment program. As you can see, the penalties for a second DUI offense in Virginia are quite severe. 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 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 multiple DUIs within 10 years.
Your case has a much higher likelihood of being dismissed or reduced if you have an experienced lawyer on your side from The Laurel Brigade Law Group.
People charged with a Leesburg DUI need an experienced attorney who understands the local landscape, the various unique sentencing options, 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.