DUI/DWI in Virginia

DUI/DWI in Virginia

Getting stopped for a DUI/DWI in Virginia is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. You need an experienced attorney to make sure you come out on top. The penalties for a DUI/DWI in Virginia are serious and can include fines, suspension of your driver’s license and even jail. Don’t take a chance when you freedoms are at stake.

Every jurisdiction has its own unique procedures. The City of Richmond, Henrico, Goochland, Chesterfield and Hanover all have their own policies in addition to what the Code of Virginia Requires. Getting a local attorney who practices in those Courts can make all the difference.

 Getting Pulled Over

Getting stopped for a DUI/DWI in Virginia is a scary experience. Whether you realize it or not it can happen. Once the officer pulls you over he may tell you that you were observed swerving or committing some suspect activity in the car, but a DUI/DWI stop can also occur for a non-moving violation like a broken taillight.

Once pulled over the officer will ask if you have been drinking and say that he detects an odor of alcohol coming from you. In Virginia that is enough for them to conduct a DUI/DWI stop. If they believe you are impaired behind the wheel or in control of the vehicle, they can conduct their investigation.

The Investigation

When an officer believes you have been driving impaired by drugs or alcohol he must first establish some level of impairment before he can place you under arrest. This is when they use the field sobriety tests. These tests are designed to show whether you have some impairment in reaction or ability that could affect your ability to properly drive. The one leg stand, walk and turn, and horizontal gaze and nystagmus tests are the most commonly used.

It is the result of these tests that will then prompt an officer to ask you to submit to the Preliminary Breath Test PBT. This is the breath test used on the scene that will determine whether or not you get placed under arrest for DUI/DWI.

The environment and circumstances which the field sobriety tests are given can sometimes play a large part in their results. Improperly administered tests can sometimes be used to negate any Preliminary or Blood Tests later obtained.

The Case Against You

The evidence that is used against you in Court is ironically not gained on the street. The field sobriety tests are used to give the officer a reasonable suspicion that you are impaired, which he then will use to get you to submit to an official Breathalyzer Test or a Blood Draw. Only those tests which must be taken under very specific circumstances can be used as evidence in Court. Those results must also follow very specific procedures or else they will not be admissible in Court.

Refusal in Virginia

Being charged with Refusal to Submit to a Breath or Blood Test is a separate offense in Virginia. In Virginia you are subject to an implied consent when you drive. This means that you are supposed to submit to the Breath or Blood Test when prompted by law enforcement to submit to one. The penalties in Virginia for a Refusal often carry jail time, fines and a suspension of your driver’s license. These penalties are in addition to any you might receive for a conviction of the DUI/DWI itself.

Penalties for DUI/DWI in Virginia

Virginia has some very strict penalties for DUI/DWI. Some of these are mandatory under the Code of Virginia and some are discretionary to the Court. This is why having an attorney who knows the local Judges can make a big difference. With the penalties as high as they are, you cannot afford to not hire a professional.

DUI/DWI First Offense:

.08 BAC

  • $250 Minimum Mandatory Fine
  • 12 Month Suspension of license
  • Ignition Interlock
  • Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

.15 – .20 BAC

  • $250 Minimum Mandatory Fine
  • 5 days mandatory jail
  • 12 Month Suspension of license
  • Ignition Interlock
  • Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

.20 < BAC

  • $250 Minimum Mandatory Fine
  • 10 days mandatory jail
  • 12 months suspension of license
  • Ignition Interlock
  • Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

DUI/DWI Second Offense:

Within 5 years:

  • $500 minimum mandatory fine
  • Jail sentence not less than 1 month or more than 12 months
  • 20 days jail mandatory

Within 5 – 10 years:

  • $500 minimum mandatory fine
  • Jail sentence not less than 1 month
  • 10 days jail mandatory

Within 10 years:

.15 – .20 BAC

  • 10 days jail mandatory

.20 < BAC

  • 20 days jail mandatory

The penalties for 3rd Offense DUI/DWI go up even more. A Virginia DUI/DWI 3rd or subsequent offense within 10 years is considered a Felony and carries all the penalties inherent with that. You cannot afford to take any chances when it comes to getting a DUI/DWI in Virginia.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help defend your rights.

 

 

 

 

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