First DUI in Virginia
Your first time being charged with a DUI can be a very frightening experience. As a first time offender, you may have no idea what to expect, and the whole situation may seem overwhelming. Though penalties for a first time DUI are significantly lighter than those for subsequent convictions, they are still quite serious, which is why you need assistance from a qualified DUI attorney.
First Time DUI Charges Are Serious
A DUI is a serious charge that can have lasting effects on your life, whether you intended to drive while under the influence or not. Your first DUI charge is not as serious a charge as subsequent DUI charges, but you will still need help dealing with filing the right documents, fighting the charge and penalties, and taking your case to court.
If you have been charged with your first DUI in Virginia, a Virginia DUI attorney might be the help you’re looking for.
Our attorneys know the local courts and know what to expect in dealing with a first time DUI offense in Virginia. They understand the laws and the courtroom players. The DUI lawyers at our firm have defended citizens against DUI charges in various counties throughout Virginia.
According to Virginia Code 18.2-266, it is illegal to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 or higher. Also, as stated in 18.2-266, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
Don’t Panic, Contact a Lawyer
When you are up against your first DUI offense in Virginia, you want to be confident in your choice of attorney. You want to know your best interests are being looked out for by someone who cares about the end result of your case.
Generally speaking, law enforcement officials have a great deal of indicators to draw from when interpreting whether an individual may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.
Between standardized field sobriety tests, potential observed irregularities in your driving pattern, or even details as seemingly insignificant as blood-shot eyes or slurred speech, there are many opportunities for a police officer to justify a traffic stop and/or breath test. It is often these small details that can result in a first DUI charge.
First Time DUI Penalties
If found guilty of a first DUI in Virginia, the penalties are set by statute:
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to $2,500 in fines
- A mandatory alcohol education class
- A mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension
- Increased insurance premiums
- Mandatory jail time for certain blood alcohol levels
- Ignition Interlock requirement in certain cases
These are just the legal and administrative consequences of a first offense DUI. In addition, you may experience added stress in your personal and professional life. You could even lose your job over a DUI charge.
An experienced Virginia DUI attorney is there to help you get the best results and to minimize your stress and anguish. They can be your advocate in the courts, looking out for your best interests.
A DUI charge is tough enough, but a charge of DUI while under the age of 21 carries its own set of legal ramifications. As stated in Virginia Code 18.2-266.1, any driver with a BAC of over 0.02 can be charged with a DUI because it is assumed they’ve illegally consumed alcohol. A DUI charge for drivers under the age of 21 is a class 1 misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Also, the driver will lose their license for up to a year and may be ordered to complete 50 hours of community service.
Finding a Virginia First DUI Lawyer
With the amount of information available online, finding the right lawyer for your specific case can be painful and frustrating. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve been charged with your first DUI in Virginia, consider searching for a Virginia first DUI lawyer who is well versed in Virginia DUI case law and can step up, guide you through the process, and get you back on the road.
For information on the consequences of a second or subsequent DUI.