Consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction in Virginia
Driving while intoxicated is a misdemeanor or felony offense that has the potential for substantial jail time as well as a license suspension, probation, and serious collateral immigration and employment consequences.
Types of DUI/DWI Offenses
Virginia takes DUI/DWI offenses very seriously and punishes defendants based on their prior criminal record and/or blood alcohol content (BAC).
The standard DUI/DWI 1st offense in Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor that puts the driver at risk of serving a maximum 12-month jail sentence, paying a maximum fine of $2500, and/or losing the ability to drive for 12 months. Additionally, someone convicted of driving while intoxicated must complete the Alcohol Safety Action Program and have ignition interlock installed on their vehicle for at least six months if they request a restricted license to drive. Some jurisdictions will also require someone convicted of driving while intoxicated to attend a Victim Impact Panel.
Convictions for DUI 2nd or 3rd or subsequent generally have longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions where you may not be eligible for a restricted license. DUI/DWI 2nd offenses are also class 1 misdemeanors; however, you face mandatory jail time and the potential for longer license suspensions. Additionally, an elevated BAC of .15 or above increases the length of the mandatory jail sentence.
DUI/DWI 3rd or subsequent offenses are felonies and have significant mandatory jail sentences and license suspensions. Once you are convicted of a felony DUI/DWI offense, every subsequent charge is also a felony.
DUI/DWI 2nd and 3rd or subsequent offenses with mandatory jail time:
- DUI 2nd within 10 years – 10-day mandatory sentence (increased with elevated BAC)
- DUI 2nd within 5 years – 20-day mandatory sentence (increased with elevated BAC)
- DUI 3rd within 10 years – 90-day mandatory sentence
- DUI 3rd within 5 years – 6-month mandatory sentence
- DUI 4th within 10 years – 1 year mandatory sentence
How can a Virginia DUI/DWI attorney help you?
A Virginia DUI/DWI attorney is vital to preparing a legal defense to driving while intoxicated. Each case is unique and an experienced attorney will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Everyone charged with a DUI/DWI offense has the right to a trial and to move to suppress the evidence. Speaking with an experienced attorney regarding your driving while intoxicated charge will help you understand what your options are and whether or not the prosecutor can prove his or her case. Moreover, if you are charged with a misdemeanor offense and convicted, you have the right to appeal your case to the circuit court and request a trial by jury.
At Simms Showers LLP, our experienced DUI/DWI attorneys Caleb A. Kershner and William B. Mann have achieved great results in numerous jury trials throughout Northern Virginia and are available to answer your specific questions. Please feel free to contact us at (703) 771-4671.
By William B. Mann | Published June 15, 2015 | Posted in criminal defense | Tagged misdemeanors, DUI, DWI |