Virginia has very serious laws against drunk driving. A DUI/ DWI conviction can result in significant criminal penalties including jail time, probation, suspension of your driver’s license, increased auto insurance costs and the possibility of court-imposed alcohol treatment.
Virginia has some of the strictest DUI / DWI laws in the country. For a first offense DUI in Virginia, there is a mandatory one year license suspension (however the defendant can ask the court for a restricted license). There is a mandatory five day incarceration period for a first offense DUI if the B.A.C. (blood alcohol content) is 0.15% or higher and a mandatory ten day incarceration if the B.A.C. is 0.20% or higher.
A second DUI conviction within five years of your first conviction will result in a mandatory minimum sentence and loss of your driver’s license for up to three years. In addition, a court may order the installation of an Ignition Interlock device in your car that will prevent it from starting if you have been drinking. If you are under the age of 21 and are caught with a BAC above .02, you are guilty of a misdemeanor and you will lose your license. For Virginia residents, a refusal to take a breath test can result in a loss of license for one year or more.
In the state of Virginia, speeding is taken very seriously. Driving 20 mph over the speed limit can result in a misdemeanor charge of Reckless Driving, which is a criminal charge that carries with it the possibility of jail time and other serious criminal penalties.
A person may be charged with Reckless Driving for many types of dangerous driving such as:
- Driving without a license or with a suspended license
- Failure to stop or yield
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Evading police
- Driving over 80 mph in any speed zone
Driving on Suspended License/Driving Without a License
These charges carry serious penalties if you are convicted. Driving without a license, even as a first offense, can bring an additional loss of any driving privileges you might have recovered prior to losing your license, and a fine of up to $1,500. A second offense can bring twice the consequences.
Driving on a suspended license is a jailable misdemeanor with fines and further loss of driving privileges. A third offense brings a mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence.
Virginia has reciprocity agreements with most states and will report your speeding ticket, reckless driving, DUI or other traffic offense to the motor vehicle department of your home state. In some instances, my firm can stand in for you in court if you were traveling through Virginia at the time of the citation and it is not convenient for you to return for a court appearance. Contact me today about protecting your rights if you are from out-of-town.
Representation for Truckers
If you have a CDL license, strong legal representation for traffic violations is critical to retaining your livelihood. A conviction for DUI, for example, spells suspension of your license with no possibility of a restricted license. Also, if you are in the trucking business, driving school is not an option to reduce or eliminate a speeding or reckless driving ticket. Your only hope is to aggressively fight or negotiate the charges. My firm is familiar with the local court systems and all traffic laws of Virginia pertaining to commercial drivers.