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DUI in Virginia

DWI in Virginia

Virginia DUI attorneys have successfully defended drivers who are charged with driving under the influence or DUI. DUI lawyers know what is at stake for drivers and can protect their legal rights. DUI lawyers understand Virginia DUI laws and after evaluating the details of a DUI case they can outline the best course of action.

Virginia DUI lawyers may offer a free initial consultation to review DUI cases. DUI charges are not like other moving traffic violations and if a driver is convicted of a DUI penalties can include:

  • High penalties and fines
  • Mandatory installation of a Ignition Interlock Device
  • Probation
  • Jail time
  • Mandatory attendance of a drug or rehabilitation class

A Virginia driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated or DUI if their BAC or blood alcohol concentration is more than 0.08% while they were operating a motor vehicle. This is called the per se statute. Under this statute the prosecutor does not have to prove the driver was physically or mentally impaired.

A driver may also be under the influence of alcohol or drugs if their BAC is less than the illegal limit, but the prosecutor must prove their driving was impaired either through a field sobriety test or other physical evidence.

Drivers who are under the age of 21, convicted of a DUI and their BAC is over 0.02% can face a 1 year license suspension, a $500 fine or 50 hours of community service.

Penalties for DUI in Virginia

First Offense Class 1 Misdemeanor

  • Required jail time up to 12 months maximum (5 days mandatory for BAC of 0.15% - 0.20); Mandatory 10 days jail term if BAC is greater than 0.20%
  • Required license restriction for 1 year
  • Required to pay a $250 minimum fine
  • Potential 12 month license suspension (Mandatory Ignition Interlock installed for BAC of 0.15% - 0.20)

Second DUI Offense Within 5 years
Class 2 Misdemeanor

  • Required jail time of at least 20 days (with a BAC of 0.15% - 0.20% 10 additional days of jail time are required) up to a maximum of 1 year
  • Required to pay $500 minimum fine
  • Mandatory 3 year license suspension
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device installed on the driverís car

Third DUI Offense Within 5 years
Class 6 Felony

  • Required jail time of at least 90 days
  • Required to pay $1,000 minimum fine
  • Mandatory 5 year license suspension
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device installed on the driverís car

Fourth DUI Offense Within 10 years

  • Required jail time of at least 1 year with a maximum or 3 years probation
  • Required to pay $1,000 minimum fine
  • Mandatory 5 year license suspension

Hiring a Virginia DUI Attorney
No one has to hire a DUI lawyer, and an individual is free to represent themselves in court, but Virginia DUI laws are complicated and the penalties are severe. In some counties (Fairfax) the prosecutor will refuse to talk to a driver who is not represented by a DUI lawyer. DUI lawyers can evaluate your DUI case and determine if it is better to make a plea bargain and avoid trial or if it makes more sense to go to trial.

Many people wonder how much it cost to hire a Virginia DUI attorney, but the answer to this question will vary depending on whether there are aggravating circumstances and the complexity of the case. A DUI attorney will have to review a driverís DUI charge before agreeing to a price to defend the client.