Virginia DUIs and Out of State Drivers
A person who is from out of state and receives a DUI charge in Virginia is going to be affected in most of the same ways that a person from Virginia would be. They are still subject to being punished with jail; they are still going to be required to complete an alcohol safety class. In addition to that, they can have their privilege to drive in Virginia suspended.
But the real differences that rely on someone who is not from Virginia is not in jeopardy of losing their license as a result of a DUI. Only the state that issued their driver’s license has the ability to suspend that. However, the Commonwealth of Virginia does have the ability to suspend the person’s privilege to drive in Virginia, which can still be a pretty severe and negative consequence if a person needs to drive in Virginia for work or other purposes. This is why it is very important to contact a qualified DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing penalties for a DUI charge.
Other State’s Laws
The primary way that DUI laws of other states will be relevant in a Virginia case is when a person is charged for the second or subsequent offense and the government is relying upon a prior conviction from out of state. When that is the case, the government has an additional burden to prove that the statute the defendant was previously convicted on is substantially similar to the Virginia statute.
If a person was convicted under a statute in a sister state for something that would be considered less than DUI in Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia is not going to be able to use that prior conviction to prove that this is a second or subsequent offense. That may have the result of the case being reduced to a first offense.
Differences in Regional Rules
There are not any independent regional rules in Virginia when it comes to DUI. There are local practices that do differ and that is going to relate primarily to how certain judges will handle a case and how certain prosecutors will handle a case. But the law regarding this crime is the same everywhere throughout the Commonwealth.
DUI laws in Virginia are harsher than in surrounding jurisdictions. Virginia has more laws that require minimum mandatory jail sentences than any of the states nearby.
Benefit of an Attorney
It is important to use a local attorney if a person is charged with a DUI in Virginia as an out of state driver. Obviously, the person is going to want to have someone who is familiar with Virginia law and is familiar with the jurisdiction that they are charged in. Every jurisdiction is somewhat different; the practices of the judges, the prosecutors, and the police are all going to be particular to the jurisdiction that the person is charged in.
Using a lawyer who has experience with all of those things are going to give the person a tactical advantage in their case. Often, that insight or knowledge can be the difference in getting the person a good outcome in their case.
DUI’s can have devastating consequences, especially if it is not your first offense. If you are facing penalties for a DUI, but are not a Virginia resident, it would be in your best interest to consult with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as you can. They can fight the prosecutor’s evidence and argument, and try to get you back to living your life as quickly and stress-free as possible.