Virginia DUI Penalties
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you should immediately hire an experienced defense attorney to ensure that your rights are upheld. DUI law is extremely complicated, and the penalties that come along with a conviction are serious and life-altering.
In Virginia, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle, boat, or watercraft if your blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher. A DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious of the misdemeanor classes.
The Penalties You May Face For A Virginia DUI
The first penalty you will face when arrested for DUI is an automatic administrative license suspension. If you fail the breath test, or refuse to take it, the arresting officer will take your driver’s license at the scene. For a first offense, your license will be suspended for seven days following your arrest. For a 2nd DUI, your license will be suspended until the start of your trial or 60 days. This is separate from the license suspension you will face if convicted in court.
It is extremely important not to drive your car while your license is suspended. The law requires that your vehicle be impounded for 30 days if you are caught behind the wheel after having your license suspended for an alcohol-related incident. If you are convicted of DUI, your car will be impounded for an additional 90 days.
For a first offense with no special circumstances, the maximum punishment is up to one year in jail, a driver’s license suspension for one year, and a $2,500 fine. However, it is more likely that a first time offender will receive a suspended sentence and a fine of $250 to $350. The judge may also grant a restricted driver’s permit, which gives permission to drive to school, work, medical appointments, or other necessary locations.
Punishments Are Increased For Greater Offenses
If there are extenuating circumstances regarding your DUI charge, such as causing an accident, transporting a minor, or having an excessively high BAC, you will face higher fines and mandatory jail time. Drivers with a BAC above .15 percent will be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
Drivers with a prior DUI are also subject to a mandatory jail time and higher minimum fine. A third conviction is a Class VI felony and the driver faces mandatory jail of three or six months and can permanently lose possession of his or her vehicle.
Take a proactive role in avoiding these penalties. The attorneys at Jeff C. Martin, Attorney At Law can help you fight your DUI charge. Fill out our online form now for a free, no obligation case evaluation.
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