Do you have a DUI charge pending in Virginia? If that is the case, I am sure you are concerned about what you might face. Let us examine the facts for a moment. Continue reading to get solutions to your most urgent DUI questions in Virginia.
In Virginia, What Are the Penalties for a DUI?
The amount of alcohol in your blood is the most important element in determining how long you will spend in jail for a DUI. If you are convicted of a first-offense Virginia DUI with a blood alcohol level of .15 to .20 the law mandates the judge to sentence you to at least five days in jail. If your blood alcohol concentration was over .20 the law stipulates that you must serve at least ten days in jail. There is no mandatory jail time if your blood alcohol level was less than .15.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Virginia, you will be required to complete Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program. Even if the DUI was simply for prescription medication, there is no getting around this if you are convicted. Some courts may not mandate Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program as a condition of probation; however, you must complete Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program in order to have your license reinstated by the Virginia DMV. Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program usually consists of a mandatory ten weeks of courses. You may need to perform additional things like counseling and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, depending on your personal record and any substance misuse history you may have.
One of the most common concerns that people have regarding a Virginia DUI charge is whether or not they will go to jail and if so, how long will you be there? Even if you do not receive jail because of your blood alcohol level, you could still get jail time – or even more than the mandatory minimum. If your case includes an auto collision, this is a key aspect that can land you in jail. In those circumstances, some prosecutors are adamant about putting the defendant in jail.
What Is the Duration of a First Offense DWI on Your Record?
If you are convicted of a DUI in Virginia, you should be aware that the offense is a Class One misdemeanor. In Virginia, this is the highest serious degree of a misdemeanor. Clients frequently inquire about the length of time this offense will remain on their record. Unfortunately, it will remain on your record indefinitely because it is a criminal charge.
A misdemeanor charge on your criminal background in Virginia will be on your record for the rest of your life. The good requirement, however, is that a DWI in Virginia only stays on your record for eleven years. The DWI conviction will be on your Virginia driving record for eleven years. Even if that is still a long period, it is not for the duration of your life.
How Do I Reclaim My Driver’s License Before My Trial?
If you are convicted of DUI in Virginia, your license will be suspended for seven days for a first violation and sixty days for a second violation.
You may be permitted to pick up your license in person at the clerk’s office once the pre-trial suspension has ended. They may also send it to you through the mail. You can petition for a re-issue of your driver’s license from the Virginia DMV if the clerks do not have it or it gets lost in the mail.
Is It Possible for My Virginia DUI to Be Reduced to “Wet Reckless”?
Many clients recognize that they may not be able to totally win their case, but they want to find out if they can somehow avoid a DUI conviction. To achieve that goal, many websites discuss how to lower a Virginia DUI to a “wet reckless”.
Because you were first charged with DUI, a “wet reckless” is a legal term for a conviction of reckless driving with additional penalties, such as VASAP and a suspended license. Unfortunately, in many Virginia courts, this is not always practicable. Prosecutors will typically seek a DUI conviction if they can prove it.
Can I Drive to Work?
If you are convicted of a first-offense DUI in Virginia, your license (or permission to drive in Virginia) will be suspended for a year. The good news is that you would be eligible for a limited driver’s license in most courts right away, allowing you to drive for your job, school, your childcare provider, and certain other purposes.
For the first six months, you would have to put an ignition interlock device in whatever vehicle you’re driving, but at least you would be permitted to drive. If your blood alcohol level was less than .15, Virginia law currently enables you to have more flexibility with a restricted license.
For a second infraction in Virginia, a DUI conviction renders it much more difficult to find work. Your driver’s license would be suspended for three years. After four or twelve months, depending on how long ago your first infraction occurred, you may be eligible for a restricted license.
Need Some Assistance?
If you are facing charges related to a DUI in Virginia and are needing some direction and advice, please do not hesitate to reach out to our helpful and professional team at the Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge, PLLC, for further details. We are here to guide you through the process in a seamless and strategic manner.