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Analyzing Three Different Penalties For Virginia DUI Convictions

DUI_Law2

The Virginia Criminal Code makes driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs a serious criminal offense. Upon a first or second DUI conviction in Virginia, the applicable charge is typically a Class 1 misdemeanor, though the punishment does adjust up and down based on certain circumstances, such as a heightened blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).

But on the third, fourth, or subsequent DUI conviction, the applicable charge becomes a Class 6 felony. To understand precisely how serious these charges can be, the following sections will explore three different penalties for DUI convictions in Virginia.

  1. Confinement in Jail or Prison

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270 outlines the possibility of a jail or prison sentence for a DUI conviction. For misdemeanor DUI offenses, the potential jail sentences are as follows:

  • First Conviction — DUI offenders face a mandatory jail sentence of five to 10 days, if they registered a BAC of at least 0.15; or
  • Second Conviction — DUI offenders face a mandatory jail sentence of 10 to 20 days, if they registered a BAC of at least 0.15 or committed the offenses within a 10-year period.

For felony DUI offenses, the potential prison sentences are as follows:

  • Third Conviction — DUI offenders face a mandatory prison sentence of 90 days to six months, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period; or
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction — DUI offenders face a mandatory prison sentence of 12 months, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period.
  1. Responsibility for Criminal Fines

Section 18.2-270 also details how DUI convictions lead to criminal fines in Virginia. For misdemeanor DUI offenses, the potential criminal fines are as follows:

  • First Conviction — DUI offenders face a minimum of $250 to $500 in criminal fines, depending on their BAC level; or
  • Second Conviction — DUI offenders face a minimum of $500 in criminal fines, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period.

For felony DUI offenses, the potential criminal fines are as follows:

  • Third Conviction — DUI offenders face a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period; or
  • Fourth or Subsequent Conviction — DUI offenders face a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period.
  1. Suspension or Revocation of Driver’s License

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 explains the requirement of driver’s license suspension or revocation for DUI convictions. Under this section, DUI offenses are subject to the following suspension or revocation periods:

  • First Conviction — DUI offenders face 12 months of driver’s license suspension, regardless of the circumstances of the offense;
  • Second Conviction — DUI offenders face 36 months of driver’s license revocation, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period; or
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction — DUI offenders face permanent revocation of their driver’s license, if they committed the offenses within a 10-year period.

Reach Out to Us Today

If you are facing charges, the Virginia DUI defense attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can help. Reach out to our office for a consultation on your case.

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