Virginia has some of the toughest DUI laws that are found anywhere in the country meaning that even if a person has a first DUI offense they can go to jail if their blood alcohol is above 0.15. Furthermore, for any second or subsequent offense, an individual should expect to have some period of jail time if they are convicted.
The minimum mandatory sentence for a DUI charge starts at five days and can go up to six months or even a year, depending on the severity of the offense. The amount of time an individual is sentenced to depends largely on the number of previous DUI convictions an individual has and that individual’s BAC levels. Due to these factors and the potential for incarceration, it is imperative those accused consult with a Fredericksburg DUI lawyer as soon as possible to build a defense and mitigate the damage as much as possible.
Mandatory minimums are particularly nasty laws in Virginia. These laws take the discretion away from the judge and create a situation where, if an individual is convicted of certain offenses, the judge must impose certain amounts of active jail time. This means that the judge does not have the option to assign an alternative sentence, such as probation or alcohol education classes, instead of imposing the jail time. If the judge were to include alternative sentencing options, it could only be in addition to the jail time, because suspending the jail time altogether is simply not an option. The only alternative that the judge has is to sentence the individual to whatever the mandatory minimum is upon conviction.
Central booking refers to the place where a person is first brought after being arrested. At central booking, a person is going to be processed, meaning that their information will be placed in the system. Typically, the person is provided with any warrants that they received from the magistrate, and in some cases, a mug shot and/or fingerprints will be collected at that time.
Central booking takes place at the jail, and a person is typically going to be held in what is sometimes referred to as the “drunk tank” or a temporary holding unit after booking. That usually lasts until the person can blow into a breathalyzer and show zero alcohol in their system. At that point, they are released.
Facing a possible DUI conviction and jail time can be intimidating. If you have been charged, it is essential that you contact a knowledgeable attorney. An experienced attorney will be familiar with the process and can guide you through it every step of the way, helping you to achieve the best possible result.
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