Virginia Drunk Driver Gropes Police Officer
A 35-year-old Virginia man was arrested for DUI and felony assault after allegedly grabbing a police officer’s genitals, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Police officers initiated a traffic stop after noticing that the Virginia man had a defective light on his license plate. During the traffic stop, the officers detected that the man was under the influence of alcohol. As a result, the officers arrested the Virginia man and took him to the police station.
While at the police station, the Virginia man began to lash out. First, he drove his knee into a police officer’s leg. Then he attempted to drive his knee into the police officer’s groin. Finally, he grabbed the police officer’s genitals.
After the physical incident at the police station, the Virginia man faces charges for felony assault of a law enforcement officer. Additionally, he faces a third DUI charge within a five-year period.
While the Virginia man awaits trial and sentencing, it seems like an ideal time to review the penalties in Virginia for DUI as well as assault and battery.
Virginia Penalties for DUI
Under Code of Virginia 18.2-270, a DUI can result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge. The penalties change based on the circumstances of the underlying crime.
- First DUI — Is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalties under Virginia law are fines of $250 and driver’s license suspension for 12 months.
- Second DUI — Is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalties under Virginia law are fines of $500, driver’s license suspension for 36 months and incarceration for 12 months.
- Second DUI (within 5 years) — Remains a Class 1 misdemeanor. But Virginia law mandates incarceration for at least 20 days.
- Second DUI (within 10 years) — Remains a Class 1 misdemeanor. But Virginia law mandates incarceration for at least 10 days.
- Third DUI — is a Class 6 felony, which carries a minimum of $500 in fines, indefinite suspension of driver’s license and up to one year in jail.
- Third DUI (within 5 years) — Remains a Class 6 felony. But Virginia law mandates incarceration for at least 180 days.
- Third DUI (within 10 years) — Remains a Class 6 felony. But Virginia law mandates incarceration for at least 90 days.
Virginia Penalties for Assault and Battery
Under Code of Virginia 18.2-57, assault and battery is usually a Class 1 misdemeanor, mirroring the penalties above for a first DUI offense. But if the perpetrator commits assault and battery against a law enforcement officer or other government official, then it becomes a Class 6 felony, mirroring the penalties above for a third DUI offense. Furthermore, assault and battery against a law enforcement officer carries a minimum jail sentence of 180 days.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you facing charges for DUI or assault and battery in Virginia, it is extremely prudent to retain a proficient criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, have proven capabilities fighting against DUI and other criminal charges in Virginia. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.