Virginia Man Arrested for Hit and Run, Eluding Police & DUI
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man from Sterling, Virginia, for causing an accident while drunk driving and attempting to flee the scene, according to an article by the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
This incident occurred in Sterling on November 20th just before midnight. At that time, sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported car accident near the 46100 block of Lake Center Plaza. When the sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene of the accident, the Sterling man attempted to flee the scene on foot.
A short time thereafter, the sheriff’s deputies were able to locate and arrest the Sterling man. After taking him into custody, the authorities charged the Sterling man with:
- Hit and run;
- Eluding police; and
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.
After being formally charged, the Sterling man must now wait for his legal case to play out in court. In the meantime, it seems like an appropriate occasion to review the Virginia penalties for hit and run, eluding police, and DUI.
Virginia Penalties for Hit and Run
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-894, it is a crime to cause an automotive accident without reporting certain required information. Any person who violates this section is subject to criminal penalties. Though the severity of the exact penalty changes based on the circumstances of the offense. Failure to report an accident involving:
- Property Damage Under $1,000 — Results in Class 1 misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines;
- Property Damage Over $1,000 — Results in Class 5 felony charges, which are punishable by one to 10 years in prison and $2,500 in fines; or
- Physical Injury or Death — Results in Class 5 felony charges and the same punishment described previously.
Virginia Penalties for Eluding Police
Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-817, it is a crime to attempt to elude police officers during a lawful stop or arrest. Any person who violates this section is typically guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. If convicted for this type of misdemeanor, the offender can face six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
However, eluding police can become a Class 4 felony under specific circumstances. This elevated charges applies when a person violates Section 46.2-817 and causes the death of a police officer in the process. If convicted for this type of felony, the offender can face a maximum of 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Additionally, any person convicted for eluding police will also lose their driver’s license under Section 46.2-817. In these situations, the offender will face between 30 days and 12 months of driver’s license suspension.
Virginia Penalties for DUI
Under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270, there is a multifaceted penalty system in place for DUI offenses. Ordinarily, any person who commits DUI is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, featuring the same maximum punishments detailed above. Though DUI offenders are also subject to certain mandatory minimum punishments.
For example, the first DUI conviction carries a mandatory minimum fine of $250. But if a first-time offender registers a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.15 and 0.20, they will spend a mandatory minimum of five days in jail. Or if a first-time offender registers a BAC above 0.20, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days.
On a related note, any person convicted for DUI will also lose their driver’s license under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271. A single DUI conviction results in a one-year suspension of driving privileges. A second or subsequent DUI conviction results in a three-year suspension of driving privileges.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have legal questions about hit and run, eluding police, or DUI, it can be exceedingly constructive to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. The Leesburg drunk driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP feature proven skill and knowledge in the arena of criminal defense, including hit and run, eluding police, and DUI. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.