dui & justice

Virginia DUI Penalties: What To Expect if Convicted

A Virginia DUI can carry significant penalties. These could include the loss of your driver’s license, high fines, and even jail time. These can affect your life in unforeseen ways and cause significant difficulties. It is crucial that you know what to expect if you are convicted of a Virginia DUI.

Our Manassas DUI lawyers explain what you can expect, including the penalties you may face after a conviction.

Penalties for the First DUI Conviction

Even a first-time DUI can carry significant penalties. These might include the following:

  • Mandatory minimum fine of $250
  • Maximum possible fine of $2,500
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • If blood alcohol content (BAC) is .15 or greater but .20 or less, 5 days in jail
  • If BAC is greater than .20, 10 days in jail
  • A 7-day administrative license suspension
  • An ignition interlock device is required for your vehicle.
  • 12-month license suspension by the court

Penalties for a 2nd DUI Conviction Within 5 Years

A second DUI within five years of your first conviction could result in:

  • Mandatory minimum fine of $500
  • Maximum possible fine of $2,500
  • Minimum mandatory jail sentence of 20 days, or up to 1 year
  • Additional 10 days in jail if BAC is .15 or greater
  • Additional 20 days in jail if BAC is greater than .20
  • Ignition interlock is required for between 6 months and 3 years.
  • License suspension for 3 years by DMV
  • Restricted license available after 1 year

The penalties differ slightly if your second conviction instead occurs within 5 to 10 years after your first conviction. Your DUI defense attorney can help explain these differences.

Penalties for a 3rd DUI Within 5 Years

A third DUI within five years is extremely serious. This is a Class 6 felony conviction that carries far more serious penalties. These might include:

  • 1 to 5 years in prison, or up to 1 year in jail plus a $2,500 fine
  • Minimum of 6 months in jail
  • $1,000 is the mandatory minimum fine
  • Driver’s license is suspended indefinitely, but you may apply for a restricted license after three years or a restoration after five years.
  • Possible forfeiture of your vehicle
  • License suspension by DMV for 3 years

Administrative License Suspension Penalties

In addition to the criminal penalties you face after a conviction, you will also deal with an administrative license suspension pursuant to Virginia Code § 46.2-391.2. These penalties often include:

  • First DUI: 7-day driver’s license suspension
  • Second DUI: 60-day driver’s license suspension, or until trial occurs, whichever is sooner.
  • Third DUI: Driver’s license is suspended until the trial occurs.
  • The driver must attend a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) course in order to apply for a restricted license.
  • The driver must enroll in VASAP within 15 days of the date they are convicted.

Collateral Consequences of a Virginia DUI Conviction

The penalties listed above are serious enough, but you will also potentially face other consequences of your conviction. For example, the loss of your driver’s license will have a major impact on your life. It will affect your ability to get to work, socialize, and even care for your family. If your job relies on your driving, you could lose your employment.

DUI convictions are also a part of your permanent criminal record. They are not eligible for expungement under Virginia law, even if you never have a DUI again. This criminal record could affect your reputation or when you seek new employment.

Defend Yourself From a Virginia DUI Conviction

Virginia DUI penalties can significantly affect your life if convicted. You need experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyers from Battlefield Law Group PLLC to help you guard against these penalties. We give you the comprehensive and compassionate legal defense you need.

Contact us today for a free consultation.