Penalties For a DUI in Prince William County

Matthew Crowley, a Prince William County DUI lawyer, discusses penalties for driving under the influence in Virginia. If you have been charged it may be in your best interest to call today for a free consultation to discuss your case and seek legal representation.

What Are The Penalties For a  First Time DUI?

The penalties for a first offense DUI under Virginia law are: a fine of $250.00 dollars to $2500.00 dollars, $250.00 dollars of which is a mandatory minimum; a possible jail sentence of up to one year; a required license suspension for a period of one year; completion of the VASAP program and; installation of the ignition interlock system on any vehicle you drive for at least 6 months.

What Happens to a Person’s Driver’s License After a Prince William County DUI?

After you were charged with a DUI in Prince William County, there is an administrative revocation of that license, which is imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. As a consequence of that, the police officer is going to seize your driver’s license.

In the case of a first offense, the license will be held for seven days and you won’t be able to drive at all during that period of time. At the end of seven days, you can either pick it up or it will be returned to you. On the second offense, there is a revocation for a period of 60 days or until you reach your trial date, whichever is a shorter period of time.

Finally, on a third or subsequent offense, the license is revoked until trial. There is no ability to drive from the time that you’re charged until the time of trial.

Under certain circumstances, those revocations can be challenged if it can be shown that there was not probable cause for the arrest.

Do Prince William County Prosecutors Often Offer Probation For First Time Offenders?

Under Virginia law, there is no probation before judgement. There are no pre-trial steps that a person can take to guarantee that they will be convicted of some other offense besides DUI or that they will be put into any particular program.

That having been said, it is not unusual in certain kinds of DUI cases where it is a first offense, where the blood alcohol is .08, or if there some other problematic aspect of the case for the prosecution, that they will reduce the charge to what is called a wet reckless or a DUI lite.

Are There Any Enhanced Penalties or Aggravating Factors?

Yes. Even on a first DUI, Virginia will enhance the penalties if the blood alcohol levels reach certain levels.  There as sometimes called “super drunk” laws.

Any time there is a blood alcohol concentration that is .15 or above, for any DUI, it will add additional mandatory jail time. In the case of a DUI first offense, which in most cases would not include an active jail sentence, having a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more will result in a five day mandatory minimum sentence.

If its greater than .20, it will result a ten day mandatory minimum sentence. It will also cause ignition in their lock to be mandatory on a first offense.

It’s similarly true on other kinds of offenses. Second within five, second within ten, third or subsequent; in every one of those cases, an elevated blood alcohol at the .15 level and the greater .20 level will trigger additional mandatory jail time.

In addition, if a person has a minor in the vehicle when one of these offenses is alleged to have been committed, that will also trigger additional mandatory jail time. As a practical matter, having a child in the vehicle often puts the person greater risk of judge exercising her discretion to get additional active jail time.