What Happens When You Get a DUI in Virginia

What Happens When You Get a DUI in Virginia

You could be accused and convicted of drinking and driving in Virginia if you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater. Even if it’s your first DUI in Virginia, this offense—also known as DWI (driving while intoxicated or impaired)—can have serious effects on your life. A conviction could result in jail, fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and other penalties. You must fight your charge to reduce or eliminate the penalties, and you’ll need an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer to help you navigate the legal system. Ultimately, here’s what happens when you get a DUI in Virginia.

How Does Virginia Define Impaired Driving?

Virginia courts consider a person impaired or inebriated when their mental or bodily capabilities are affected. And when a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised, Virginia Code 18.2-266 allows for a DWI prosecution. A person could be charged with a DWI if any drugs or alcohol have affected any of the following:

  • Manner
  • Disposition
  • Speech
  • Muscular movement
  • General appearance
  • Behavior

The prosecution will attempt to obtain a conviction in a first-time DUI case in Virginia by calling the arresting officer to testify.

What Are the Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Virginia?

A first-time DUI in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction carries a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $2,500, with a $250 mandatory minimum. The mandatory minimum jail term is 5 days if the individual’s BAC was between .15 and .20. If the BAC was higher than .20, the period is extended to 10 days. A first-time DUI conviction entails not just incarceration and fines, but also a one-year suspension of one’s driver’s license.

How Long Does a First-Offense DUI Stay on Your Record?

In Virginia, a Class 1 misdemeanor is the highest serious degree of misdemeanor. Clients frequently inquire about the length of time this offense will be on their criminal records. Unfortunately, a misdemeanor conviction in Virginia will be on your criminal history for the rest of your life. The good news is that a DWI in Virginia only stays on your driving record for 11 years.

We hope you have found our article on what happens when you get a DUI in Virginia helpful. If you’ve run into trouble and you’re looking for FR-44 insurance quotes, be sure to reach out to Serenity Group today.