Virginia Drunk Driver Assaults Police Officers During Arrest
After a traffic stop in Stafford, a Virginia woman faces criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) as well as assault and battery of a police officer, according to an article by FOX8. When law enforcement attempted to arrest this woman, she became extremely aggressive and assaulted the officers.
This incident began when police officers saw the Virginia woman dispose of burning cigarette ashes out of her car window, which violates certain state regulations. After pulling the woman over, the police officers approached her vehicle. The officers immediately noticed slurred speech and bloodshot eyes as well as a box of wine in the passenger seat.
Based on their observations, the police officers asked the Virginia woman to step out of her vehicle. The officers then administered field sobriety tests and, eventually, took the woman to a nearby hospital. During that process, the woman became aggressive and even kicked the police officers.
As a result of this situation, Virginia authorities charged the woman with DUI, assault and battery of a police officer, and three other offenses. While this woman waits for her day in court, it seems like a good time to review Virginia penalties for DUI as well as assault and battery.
Virginia Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both appear under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270. Under this section, any person who commits DUI is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In most cases, the penalties for this level of misdemeanor include up to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines. The mandatory minimum fine under Section 18.2-270 is $250.
Under certain circumstances, however, committing a DUI can lead to felony charges.
For example, four or more DUI convictions within a 10-year period qualifies as a Class 6 felony in Virginia. At that point, the standard penalties include up to five years in prison and $2,500 in fines. Though for this type of repeat offense, Section 18.2-270 requires a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and $1,000 in fines.
Virginia Penalties for Assault and Battery of a Police Officer
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-57, it is unlawful to commit simple assault or assault and battery. In most situations, this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia with the same penalties outlined in the previous section.
But if a person knowingly commits assault and battery against a police officer or similar law enforcement agent, the penalties become much more severe. Assault and battery of a police officer is a Class 6 felony with penalties similar to those described in the previous section. Though, in this case, there is a mandatory minimum confinement period of six months.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you have legal questions about DUI, assault and battery, or other criminal offenses in Virginia, it is best to contact a dependable criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, have proven experience with criminal defense cases across Virginia, including DUI as well as assault and battery. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact our Leesburg DUI Lawyers today for a free initial consultation.