Virginia DUI Defense Attorney
Have you been charged with a DUI? What are the laws regarding DUIs and driving with alcohol in your system? You probably also have questions about the possible penalties you may be facing. Will your license be revoked? Will you have a criminal record? If you are a commercial driver, is your career in jeopardy. These are all common questions that our clients have, and we can answer them with specifics when you come in for a consultation. It is in your best interest to speak with a Virginia DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your case.
If Your BAC is Over 0.08 Percent You are Over the Legal Limit to Operate a Motor Vehicle
Virginia law regarding DUI is the same as every state when it comes to the legal limit. If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is equal to or greater than 0.08 percent, you will be charged with a DUI. For drivers under the age of 21, that limit is set at 0.02 percent. Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege and a seriously dangerous activity. In 2012, a total of 34.3 percent of all Virginia traffic deaths were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In that same year there were 5,288 crash injuries caused by drunk drivers and a total of 27,333 DUI convictions. These staggering numbers are why DUI charges are never taken lightly by the Virginia legal system.
Refusal to Submit to Breath Test
In order to operate a vehicle on a highway within Virginia, you must consent to breath or blood alcohol content analysis when pulled over by law enforcement. This is called implied consent. According to Virginia state statutes 18.2-268.3, refusing to submit to such a BAC test or drug test will result in your driver’s license being suspended for one year. If you refuse a second time within a 10-year period, your license can be suspended for three years and you also may face fines and jail time.
Criminal Offenses: Misdemeanors and Felonies for DUIs
Many people are not aware that even the first conviction of a DUI is a criminal offense, which can significantly impair your future career possibilities, your status within your community, and ability to drive. A subsequent DUIs, within a 10-year period from the first, result in mandatory jail time. And the third DUI within 10 years is a felony. No matter if this is your first DUI charge or your third, a conviction will cost you. According to Bankrate, DUI convictions cost tens of thousands of dollars, paid out over years to come. These costs involve loss of income, bail, fines, auto insurance premium increases, legal fees, and court-ordered educational programs.
In order to cut down on these costs, spending time imprisoned, having a criminal record, and not being able to drive for large periods of time, experienced and trusted legal representation is necessary. Contact the Winchester DUI attorneys of Simms Showers, LLP today. We can help you in your case.
Penalties for DUI
DUI penalties grow with the level of alcohol in the system, the number of prior convictions, and the injuries that any victims sustain at your hand. If you have been charged with a DUI, do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately.
First Time DUI Offense
In terms of penalties associated with a DUI, the first offense, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, is an administrative license suspension of seven days, a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum of $300, license revocation for one year, possible court-ordered restitution, possible alcohol safety action plan, possible ignition interlock device, a criminal record, and a possible restricted driver’s license. The penalties only go up from there if you have a prior DUI conviction, you caused serious bodily injury or manslaughter, you had a young child in the car, or you had an extremely high BAC.
Second Time DUI Offense
A second DUI offense will result in the following, in addition to a possible court-ordered restitution, alcohol safety action plan, ignition interlock device, restricted driver’s license, and a criminal record.
- An administrative license suspension for a period of no less than 60 days;
- A mandatory minimum fine of $500;
- Indefinite period of license revocation;
- If the DUI offense occurred less than five years from the date of the first offense, you face a mandatory minimum of one month and up to one year in jail;
- If the DUI offense occurred less than five years from the date of the first offense, you face a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail;
A third offense within five years is a minimum of six months in jail, or within 10 years is 90 days in jail. Additionally, there is a $1,000 fine for third time DUI offenders.
A fourth DUI offense results in a minimum of one year in jail.
An extremely high BAC of 0.15 percent or more will land a convicted offender with an additional five days in jail, in addition to the other previously mentioned offenses. A second BAC of 0.15 is 10 days in jail if it falls within 10 years of the first.
Additionally, a first time offense of a BAC equal or greater than 0.2 percent is 10 days in jail, while the second offense is 20 days in jail if it falls within 10 years of the first.
Additional charges accompany those who are charged with a DUI when child passengers are present the car, those who commit manslaughter, and drivers who operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more. Additionally, for drivers under the age of 21, a BAC of greater than 0.02 will result in a DUI and serious fines and license penalties.
A typical first time DUI offense can easily cost up to $15,000 when all is said and done, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. Our DUI attorneys can help you minimize the penalties that you face or even have the DUI charge dismissed before trial. If you were charged with a DUI, contact the Winchester & Virginia DUI attorneys of Simms Showers, LLP today.
In Leesburg & Winchester, Virginia DUI laws are taken very seriously
Under Virginia driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic drug. It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater. For persons under the age of 21, the maximum blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 percent.
A person operating a vehicle on Virginia’s highways gives his or her implied consent to submit to a breath or blood test for alcohol content. Unreasonable refusal to submit to such a test results in a driver’s license suspension. Subsequent refusals within a 10-year period are criminal offenses and may result in license suspension, fines and imprisonment. Conviction for DUI is a criminal offense, even the first time. First and second offenses within 10 years are misdemeanors. For a DUI first offense, you are facing potential jail, fines and probation; for a DUI second offense within 10 years, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence. Virginia DUI third, and subsequent offenses within 10 years are felonies with mandatory jail sentences and fines.
Experienced DUI attorney in Leesburg upholds your rights
If you are subjected to a Leesburg DUI stop, you have rights, just as any accused criminal defendant. In Virginia, DUI charges must be responded to promptly. Decisions must be made regarding what evidence to request and what motions to file.
Read more about what to do if stopped on a Leesburg drunk driving charge.
A good DUI lawyer in Leesburg can advise you what to do and what not to do, but you must contact one as soon as possible. Our attorneys have prosecuted and defended many drunk driving cases. We can advise you on how to protect your rights if you have been accused of being a DUI offender.
Simms Showers LLP, a premier Leesburg DUI law firm
A DUI conviction threatens your mobility, liberty, insurance rates, finances and reputation. Contact Caleb A. Kershner and William B. Mann at Simms Showers LLP, one of the premier DUI law firms in Leesburg, as soon as possible following your DUI arrest.