EXPERT FAIRFAX DUI LAWYER WILL FIGHT FOR JUSTICE ON YOUR BEHALF
It’s not difficult to get arrested for DUI – driving under the influence – in this state. In 2018, more than 19,000 people were convicted of DUI in Virginia. All drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher are considered to be driving under the influence.
Virginia law is even tougher on drivers under the age of 21. Drivers under 21 can be convicted of DUI with a BAC level at 0.02%.
WHAT CAN BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DUI CONVICTION?
Many of those who are charged with DUI in Virginia have never been in legal trouble before, so the experience can be genuinely frightening. A DUI arrest can lead to a conviction, a criminal record, stiff fines, a lengthy probation term, and even jail time.
And those are only the legal penalties. A DUI conviction will also affect your employment, increase your auto insurance costs, and cause some of your friends, co-workers, and perhaps even some of your family members to lose their trust in you.
If you hold a professional license in Virginia, a DUI conviction will probably prompt disciplinary action by your professional licensing board. If you’re an immigrant, a conviction for driving under the influence may trigger a deportation action.
Moreover, when the charge is DUI, you’ll need help navigating through two separate legal mazes. You’ll face a criminal DUI charge and a separate, “administrative” driver’s license suspension.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A DUI CONVICTION IN VIRGINIA?
For a first DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your driver’s license will be “administratively” suspended for seven days by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The suspension is entirely separate from your criminal DUI case or any penalty imposed by a criminal court.
For a second DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your license will be suspended for 60 days or until you go to trial, whichever comes first. If you are convicted of DUI, a license suspension or revocation ordered by the court will be added to the administrative suspension.
A first DUI conviction in this state will be penalized by the courts with a mandatory, minimum $250 fine and a one-year driver’s license revocation. Additionally, an ignition interlock device (IID) must be installed in the offender’s vehicle at the end of the license revocation period.
A second conviction will be penalized with a mandatory, minimum $500 fine, a three-year driver’s license revocation, and the possibility of up to a year in jail.
Additionally, a second DUI conviction within five years of the first offense is penalized with a mandatory 20-day jail term. A second conviction between five and ten years of the first conviction is penalized with a 10-day jail term.
ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR HIGHER BAC MEASUREMENTS
Jail time is mandatory if you are arrested while driving with an excessively high BAC level. With a BAC level at or above 0.15%, a first offense additionally carries a mandatory, minimum five-day jail term; at or above 0.20%, a first offense carries a mandatory ten-day jail term.
A conviction for any DUI involving a passenger age 17 or younger in the vehicle at the time of the arrest carries an additional mandatory five-day jail term in addition to all other fines and sentences. You may also be fined an additional $500 to $1,000.
Finally, if you are convicted for DUI in Virginia, you’ll have to complete VASAP – the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program. VASAP is normally ten weeks of classes for two hours a week. Drivers must complete VASAP before receiving their licenses back from the Virginia DMV.
WHAT LEGAL DEFENSES CAN BE OFFERED AGAINST A DUI CHARGE?
In a DUI case, a defense attorney may challenge the legality of the traffic stop that led to the arrest. If a defendant’s rights were violated by the police, it’s possible that the charge could be dropped or dismissed.
A DUI defense attorney might also challenge the results of a breathalyzer test or the credentials of the person who administered the test. Obviously, your own DUI defense strategy will depend on the details of the case.
PUT THE RIGHT ATTORNEY TO WORK FOR YOU
Fairfax DUI attorney Scott C. Nolan will examine the particulars of your case, explain your legal options, protect your rights, and bring your DUI case to its best possible conclusion. For two decades, he has effectively represented clients charged with DUI in Northern Virginia.
Scott C. Nolan is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense. He’s received extensive training in DUI/DWI breath and blood testing, forensic toxicology, and the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call Scott C. Nolan’s law offices or contact him online. He’s a trained and experienced Fairfax DUI attorney who has established a reputation for legal excellence, and he will bring your DUI case to its best possible resolution.