Driving while under the influence, whether it is alcohol or some other substance, is an offense that is strictly punished by the State of Virginia. If convicted, it could have a serious impact on obtaining future employment and can even affect your current position. If you are facing these charges, contact an experienced Arlington DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and go over next steps, the court process, and what your most likely outcomes would be.
The sentencing for Arlington DUI cases is handled one or two ways. If you come to a plea agreement with the prosecutor, you will know your sentence before you go into court. If you plead guilty, the prosecutor will to talk to the judge. It is ultimately up to the judge to determine whether the plea agreement seems e appropriate or not, but in almost all of the cases, the judge will agree with the recommendation by the prosecutor.
A first time offense DUI is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to twelve months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and one year loss of license upon conviction. After a second or subsequent offense, you can lose your license for three years. If this DUI is a third offense, it is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in jail.
There are mandatory minimum sentences involved with DUI charges in Arlington. First and second offenses have jail time when someone blows above .15 or above .20, and thus has either five or ten days mandatory jail time respectively. If the second offense is within five years of the first, there are certain mandatory jail sentences for that, as well as if it is a second offense within five to ten years. Additionally, in felony DUI convictions, there are mandatory jail time depending on any prior convictions.
In addition, in any DUI case you will certainly lose your license for at least for a year. If you are issued a restricted license, it must be ignition interlocked, meaning you have to install a contraption on your car.
A conviction also requires a mandatory completion of the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), which costs money and time. Courts will typically will have some kind of suspended jail sentence over your head to make sure that you comply with the terms of their sentence. Additionally, there is a mandatory fine, even on the first offense, of at least $2,500. On top of that, you also have to pay court cost.
During sentencing, the court factors in the level of your intoxication. If you were in an accident, that is often an aggravating factor that can make your sentence worse than would be otherwise.
Courts will also look at your criminal history during sentencing. If you have prior DUIs or other prior convictions of any kind, those convictions can be used to enhance your punishment. There is a range of factors that can be used against you and will be considered during the sentencing phase. To better understand the penalties you may be facing if convicted, schedule a consultation with an experienced Arlington DUI attorney to go over your specific situation.
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