The following is taken from an interview with Arlington DUI lawyer Karin Riley Porter as she discusses the penalties those convicted of driving under the influence can expect to face. If you have been charged with DUI or a related charge call today and schedule a free consultation with an attorney.
The first offense DUI in Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor offense which means that the possible penalties are up to twelve months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Specific to DUI, there is a twelve-month license suspension if you’re convicted as well as the person would be ordered to complete a probation program called the Alcohol Safety Action Program.
Depending on whether or not there is an elevated blood alcohol content, there could be mandatory jail time. So, a .15 to .20 is a mandatory five days in jail and anything above that is a mandatory ten days in jail.
Not for DUI in Virginia, not at all.
Typically, if there is a plea agreement and a person has decided to accept the plea, then the sentencing is done all in one hearing. If there is a trial, sometimes the trial court will allow for cases to be put on the judge’s 2:00 sentencing docket. So, sometimes the judges will allow for sentencing arguments to be presented separately on the 2:00 o’clock docket as opposed to right after a trial.
Absolutely. I think that the prosecutors in Arlington County are extremely aggressive. They are very knowledgeable and skilled and they take every DUI case very seriously in my experience. They will fight very hard on each and every case.
I think it’s important for attorneys to have a very good basis of experience not only with the local practices, but with how the judges rule and handle their courtrooms. How they rule on evidence, how they see some common defense arguments, what an attorney’s chances are in fighting certain types of evidence for example. Also having a good understanding of how the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office works is very important to a client’s case. How they allow for discovery, what are the discovery practices and policies, and who are the prosecutors that are trying the cases. What is important to them and how serious they take certain types of cases.
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