What Constitutes a DUI in the State of Virginia
In the state of Virginia, driving under the influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration is at least 0.08 percent or higher. A DUI/DWI is considered a class 1 misdemeanor by the Virginia Code 18.2-266. Driving under the influence charges is a serious charge that carries some harsh penalties.
What Are Some Potential Penalties if Convicted of a DUI Charge?
Being charged with DUI can lead to some weighty consequences if you are convicted. The severity of the punishment depends on a variety of factors, but one big one is whether you are a first-time offender. The level of intoxication can also influence the penalties.
Typically, a first-time offense in Virginia can warrant a 12-month license suspension, a one-year jail sentence, and up to $2,500 in fines.
While drivers may not get the stiffest penalties for a first offense, there are many penalties that can’t be waived if you are convicted for driving under the influence. Some of these include:
- A fine of at least $250
- A 12-month license suspension
- Six points on your driving record
- Mandatory alcohol education class
Aggravating factors can make the consequences even worse. Some examples of aggravating factors include any poor behavior with law enforcement during the incident, a high blood alcohol content, and a reckless driving ticket. In Virginia, any DUI incident that resulted in an auto accident can also cause prosecutors to push for stronger penalties.
Additionally, if an individual’s blood alcohol content was over .15, there is a mandatory jail sentence of five days in the state of Virginia. Anything over .20 is met with a mandatory sentence of 10 days. A judge can choose to give that person a longer sentence if they feel it is warranted.
What Are the Potential Life Consequences if Convicted of a DUI Charge in Virginia?
Severe penalties, like jail time and fines, are not the only potential consequences of being convicted of a DUI charge in Virginia. People who are convicted can expect to have a conviction haunt them in many ways. Securing employment, renting an apartment, and getting certain professional licenses may become much more difficult with a DUI conviction on the record.
Seek Legal Counsel
Facing a DUI charge is serious. You should have exceptional legal advice and representation. The legal team at FIDE LAW, PLC can assist drivers in Virginia who face this charge. With locations in Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Virginia Beach, we make it convenient for drivers to get the legal representation they deserve. Contact our legal team so we can make sure that your rights are protected.