Virginia DUI Attorney
Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be an intimidating process. Thankfully, our experienced Virginia DUI lawyers understand the Virginia criminal system and can help you to develop a defense that may minimize the impact of such charges–or possibly have them dismissed altogether.
Our aggressive DUI attorneys are proven advocates for their clients who go the extra mile to ensure that every person who chooses to work with our firm gets the full benefit of the services we offer. In addition to the excellent legal resources that come from working with a private law firm, our DUI clients have access to experienced attorneys who:
- Respond to emails and phone calls quickly, immediately informing clients of any developments in their case
- Investigate each DUI stop thoroughly to determine if any evidence may be deemed “inadmissible” in court
- Protect the rights of every client in court, ensuring that they receive fair treatment under the law
- Creatively explore options for reducing and dismissing charges so that the client may benefit
In order to get a more specific idea of how you can benefit from working with a Virginia DUI Lawyer, give us a call today. Our legal team will take the time to conduct your initial consultation, which will give us a better feel for your individual needs and how we may be able to help.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence, more commonly referred to as DUI or DWI, which is used interchangeably in Virginia, is often associated with drunk driving, but drivers who exhibit signs of drug-impairment are subject to this charge and all the associated penalties, as well. Even valid prescription medications can result in an impaired mental or physical capacity, which can lead to criminal driving charges.
Blood alcohol concentration or blood alcohol content (BAC) is the unit of measurement used to determine the level of one’s intoxication. Through chemical testing, whether by breath, urine, or blood, the amount of alcohol contained within a unit volume of blood can be measured to determine the percent of alcohol within the individual’s bloodstream. In Virginia, anyone who is found with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume (“percent”) is considered legally intoxicated and is, by law, unfit to operate a motor vehicle of any kind.
Under certain circumstances, however, a driver may face DUI charges with a BAC lower than the legal limit. If a driver has a BAC of less than 0.08 percent, he or she may be arrested and charged if there are obvious signs of impairment and/or any of the following are true:
For someone charged with a DUI, it is important to seek experienced legal representation. A DUI charge is not a standard traffic violation and can result in a criminal record upon conviction. With experienced legal defense, you may be able to avoid conviction or minimize the consequences through reduced charges, alternative sentencing, or a dismissal of charges.
Virginia DUI Penalties
The penalties for a DUI conviction are serious, even for first time offenses, and get harsher with repeat offenses and more highly elevated blood alcohol concentration. The Criminal Code of Virginia addresses impaired driving as driving while intoxicated and cites penalties under § 18.2-270.
A first offense of DUI with a BAC less than 0.15 percent is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a mandatory minimum fine of $250, 7-day administrative license suspension at the time of arrest, and license revocation for up to one year. If the driver’s BAC is 0.15 percent or greater but less than 0.20 Percent, a first offense carries a mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail in addition to fines and license suspension and revocation. For a BAC greater than 0.20 percent at the time of arrest, a person is subject to a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail in addition to all other applicable penalties.
If a second DUI offense occurs within five years of the first offense, the driver is fined a minimum of $500 and is subject to not less than one month but no more than one year in jail, of which 20 days is a mandatory minimum term of confinement. Administrative license suspension is for a term of 60 days upon a second offense, and upon conviction, license revocation increases to a period of 3 years. If the second offense occurs between five and ten years after the initial conviction, the individual is fined $500 and is subject to at least one month in jail, serving no less than a mandatory minimum of 10 days. If the BAC at the time of arrest is at least 0.15 percent but less than 0.20 percent, an additional mandatory minimum of 10 days confinement is added to the sentence, and if the BAC is 0.20 percent or higher, the additional mandatory minimum term of confinement is 20 days. This is to be served in conjunction with all other applicable fines and penalties.
Those who continue to drive while intoxicated, even after facing Virginia’s DUI penalties on prior occasions, have shown themselves to be a significant threat on the roadways and are therefore stripped of their driving privileges indefinitely. A third conviction is a Class 6 felony offense which not only results in total revocation of the driver’s license, but also carries a minimum fine of $1,000 and a mandatory minimum of 90 days to 6 months confinement, dependent upon the time elapsed since prior convictions.
Looking for a Virginia DUI Lawyer For Your Case
A Virginia defense attorney is capable of helping his or her client receive the best possible outcome in a DUI case. By listening to his or her client and reviewing the facts and evidences surrounding the arrest, an attorney can develop a personalized defense strategy to minimize the impact of or altogether avoid a DUI conviction.
However, when looking for the best Virginia DUI lawyer to represent you in your case, you should keep three things in mind. First, there is no one “best Virginia DUI attorney.” Second, every case is unique, and you should look for an attorney who has experience and is knowledgeable about the law and the jurisdiction where your case will be heard. Third, if you are unsure about which attorney to choose, call for a free consultation (offered by many attorneys). This can help you determine which lawyer you feel is right to defend you in court.