Driving under the influence, more commonly simply referred to as a DUI, is one of the most serious criminal charges in the state of Virginia. Virginia has a zero tolerance policy for drunk drivers and seeks to enact switch consequences on those who are found guilty of a DUI charge.
Some of the penalties you can expect a DUI conviction in Virginia to carry include the following:
- Fine of at least $250
- One-year license suspension
- Mandatory 5-day incarceration
- One-year administrative license suspension
- Ignition interlock device requirement upon reinstatement
The severity of your penalties will depend upon the unique circumstances surrounding your conviction.
Misdemeanors Versus Felonies
There are two types of DUI convictions in Virginia: misdemeanors and felonies. If this is your first DUI and no one else was involved and there was no car crash, then you might only be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was over a certain limit and this isn’t your first time being arrested for a DUI in Richmond, VA, then you could be facing a felony charge.
Administrative Consequences Versus Judicial Ones
Part of what makes DUIs so life-altering and so complicated is that you are usually facing repercussions from more than one agency. Not only will you possibly have to deal with a judicial sentence imposed upon you by the court, but you’ll usually have to deal with some administrative penalties too imposed by the Virginia DMV. For instance, even if the court doesn’t specifically order you to complete a DUI education program in order for you to have your VA license reinstated, you will have to do so under Virginia’s administrative requirements in order to get your license back. Likewise, just because the court didn’t order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle doesn’t mean that the DMV won’t require you to have it for six months or longer upon getting your driver’s license reinstated.
What To Do When You’re Arrested
When you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Richmond, VA, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Don’t speak to police officers or anyone else without speaking to an attorney first. An attorney will evaluate everything pertaining to your case to first see if the arrest was lawful. If it wasn’t, your case could potentially be dropped. If it was, your attorney will work to secure you the most favorable outcome possible.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, don’t panic. Contact David A.C. Long, a Chesterfield DUI attorney who can assist you.