Fairfax DUI & DWI Attorney
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the state of Virginia are offenses that are taken extremely seriously. Even a first-time offender can face up to 12 months in jail upon conviction, not to mention a substantial monetary fine. If you are facing DUI or DWI charges in Virginia, the first step you should take toward beating these charges is hiring an aggressive Fairfax DUI & DWI attorney who can begin working with you on a defense strategy. If you have a previous DUI or DWI conviction on your record, you could be facing much more significant penalties and should get started on your defense with one of our Fairfax DUI attorneys as soon as possible.
DUI & DWI Charges in Fairfax, VA
Under Virginia law (Code of Va. § 18.2-266), it is “unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine, or train” under any of the following circumstances:
- Person has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, determined through a breathalyzer or chemical test;
- Person is under the influence of alcohol;
- Person is under the influence of a narcotic drug or an otherwise intoxicating drug;
- Person is under the influence of alcohol and an intoxicating drug such that she or he cannot safely operate a vehicle; and/or
- Person has a blood concentration above the stated statutory limit for various drugs.
You should know that a DUI or DWI can involve drunk driving allegations, but a person can also face these criminal charges for driving under the influence or certain drugs, or driving while intoxicated as a result of using certain medications. Tests to check for the presence of intoxicating alcohol, such as breathalyzer tests, can be faulty or defective. In some cases, law enforcement officials have not been trained to properly use these devices, and we may be able to use this information in your defense. When it comes to DWI charges for intoxicating narcotics or other drugs, we may be able to argue that the blood sample was contaminated, for example.
Penalties for DUI & DWI Convictions in Fairfax, Virginia
If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI in Fairfax, Virginia, you need to know that the penalties can be severe. Under Virginia law (Code of Va. § 18.2-270), the following are potential penalties for a DWI conviction in the state:
- First offense: A first offense for a DWI with a BAC of 0.14 percent or lower is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of anywhere from $250 to $2,500, up to 12 months in jail, and a mandatory driver’s license suspension of one year. If a person has a BAC of 0.15 or higher, but less than 0.20, that person will face a mandatory minimum term of five days in jail. If a person has a BAC of 0.20 or higher, the mandatory jail time increases.
- Second offense: A second offense committed within the first five years of the first offense will be sentenced to anywhere from one month to one year in jail, and a fine of anywhere from $500 to $2,500, and a mandatory driver’s revocation for three years. If the BAC is higher, as with a first offense, jail time is added onto the sentence.
- Third and subsequent offenses: A third or subsequent offense committed within 10 years of a previous offense is charged as a Class 6 felony. A conviction will result in a fine of at least $1,000, at least 90 days in jail, and more.
Contact a Fairfax DUI & DWI Defense Lawyer
Are you facing DWI charges in Virginia? A Fairfax DWI defense attorney can assist with your case. Contact Simms Showers LLP for more information about building a defense in your case.