Hampton Roads DUI Lawyer
Hampton Roads, with its extensive beaches, attractive nightlife, and large highway network, can pose more temptation than average to make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. It is important to always have a designated driver or take a cab.
If you find yourself facing the penalties associated with these laws, an accomplished Hampton Roads DUI lawyer can help you navigate the situation.
Definition of DUI in Virginia
Under Virginia Code 18.2-266, you can face a DUI charge if you are found driving with a BAC of .08 or over. This is pretty straightforward, but there is a little more to it:
- Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-269, if you have under .05, you are assumed not to be under the influence
- If you are in between .05 and .08, this does not prove or disprove impairment, but it can be used as evidence by the prosecution
- DUI laws apply to impairment by multiple drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol
When the court is trying to determine the extent of your impairment, a Hampton Roads DUI lawyer arguing for you can make a big difference in the outcome of the case.
Hampton Roads DUI Penalties
There is a wide array of consequences for driving under the influence that vary significantly based on multiple factors. Under Virginia Code 18.2-270, a first-time offense is a misdemeanor charge that carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of in between $250-$2,500, but the penalties increase exponentially for multiple offenses.
For a second offense, the jail time becomes one month to one year, and the minimum fine increases to $500. In addition, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail.
A third offense within a ten year period is a class 6 felony, which increases the possible jail time to up to five years. In addition, there is a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000.
A fourth offense within a ten year period has the same punishment as a third one, except the mandatory minimum prison term increases to one year.
Other factors that can increase the severity of the consequences include:
- having multiple offenses within 5 years (instead of 10)
- having a BAC of 0.15 or above
- having a BAC greater than .20
- an offense involving death or significant injury to another.
In addition to the penalties listed above, there are many administrative penalties, the most inconvenient of which is license suspension. An attorney practicing DUI law in Hampton Roads can fight to reinstate your driving privileges as soon as possible by arguing for a restricted license.
Defenses to a DUI in Hampton Roads
Your Hampton Roads DUI lawyer has plenty of potential defenses to use to obtain an acquittal or dismissal of charges. That’s why the most crucial thing to do after your DUI arrest is to contact a Hampton Roads DUI lawyer. Your attorney will listen to the facts of your case and build a defense based on that information. He or she will also investigate any evidence the Commonwealth may have against you, and challenge it.
We also handle DUI charges in: