If you’re stopped and accused of drunk driving in Virginia, know that the state takes that charge very seriously. There are mandatory minimum penalties that you face even for a first conviction.
A conviction for a first-offense DUI leads to a mandatory minimum fine of $250, for example. You also have the potential to lose your driver’s license for a year. This applies if you refuse to take a breath test as well.
If you’re convicted a second time, you face even harsher penalties. Some include losing your license for up to three years, facing a jail sentence of up to a year and being fined up to $500.
If you’ve been convicted within the last 10 years, then you’re in a different category and face even harsher penalties. According to Virginia’s laws, you must spend 10 days in jail minimum. Additionally, if the conviction was within the last years, you must go to jail for a minimum of 20 days.
For those with more than three convictions within 10 years, you will lose your license for an undetermined number of years. Your attorney can help you argue your case to get the lowest penalty possible, but it is primarily up to the judge or jury in the case to decide on the length of the license revocation. You also face fines of $1,000 and can be prosecuted as a Class 6 felon.
Your attorney can help you defend yourself against allegations of drunk driving and work to help you avoid these penalties. With the right support, you can work to reduce the charges against you or even to have them dismissed.
Source: Virginia.gov, “Virginia is Tough on Drunk and Drugged Drivers,” accessed April 04, 2017