PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE IN VIRGINIA
Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol has serious penalties in the State of Virginia. It is usually charged under the Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 or a variation thereof.
When you hear that you are over the Blood Alcohol Content limit, or failed the field sobriety tests, and are faced with loss of driving privileges and jail time, it is natural to be scared. Don’t let that fear immobilize you! Protect yourself by hiring an experienced Virginia D.W.I. attorney who can guide you through the hurdles of a D.U.I. charge. The Law Offices of Christopher P. James has been successfully challenging D.W.I./D.U.I. cases for nearly 30 years, handling over 5,000 cases in Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun County.
Penalties for a Virginia D.W.I. or D.U.I. conviction increase in severity between first, second and third offenses.
First time D.W.I./D.U.I. penalties in Virginia include:
- Class 1 misdemeanor charge
- Fines of up to $ 2,500
- 7-day administrative license suspension
- Virginia ASAP courses
- Ignition Interlock installation
- Mandatory jail time for BAC .15 or higher
- Jail time if accident/injury occurred, or facts otherwise call for it
- Denial of restricted license/loss of all driving privileges
- High fines and court costs, which may be negotiated down by counsel
Second Offense D.W.I./D.U.I. penalties in Virginia include:
- Class 1 misdemeanor charge
- Minimum fine of $500
- 3-year drivers license revocation, with no option for restricted license for 4 months
- Second offense within 5 years carries 20 days in jail minimum mandatory
- Second offense within 10 years carries 10 days in jail minimum mandatory
- Additional jail when blood alcohol levels are over .15
- Ignition Interlock and ASAP classes required; possibly enhanced ASAP
- Vehicle impoundment of up to 90 days
- Judge may require additional classes, such as Alcoholics Anonymous to have a restricted license
Third Offense D.W.I./D.U.I. penalties in Virginia include:
- Felony charge
- Minimum $1,000 fine
- Revocation of license for indefinite period
- Potential forfeit of vehicle
- Third offense within 5 years mandates minimum 6 months in jail
- Third offense within 10 years mandates minimum 90 days in jail
- All other requirements listed above, plus more, for option of license being conditionally granted
D.U.I. penalties can have life-altering consequences. Hire the Law Offices of Christopher P. James to see you through the legal process, and have decades of experience and skill working for you. Our goal is to win the entire case if possible, and at a minimum, reduce your jail time and fines while protecting your driving privileges.
The Law Offices of Christopher P. James will prepare a solid defense strategy based on the facts surrounding your unique circumstances, keeping you informed throughout the case. For second and third offenses, we will also continue the case as many times as it takes to get you the most favorable outcomes: Your sentencing is judge and prosecutor sensitive, making our knowledge, experience and relationships invaluable.
After you have been charged under Virginia 18.2-266, the right attorney can change the outcome of your future. That can mean a difference between not driving at all vs. having a restricted permit, or whether or not you will go to jail for 20 to 40 days or more. With the Law Offices of Christopher P. James and the 5,000 plus cases he has handled, you will be in calm and competent hands. Call for a free strategy session, 24 hours a day, or visit our offices, with two Northern Virginia locations: Manassas and Oakton/Vienna.