Navigating Virginia's DUI Laws Can Be a Tricky Process. You Need the Advice of an Expert Lawyer
Driving under the influence (DUI) is an offense that's taken very seriously by the state of Virginia. Depending on your age, your level of intoxication, and whether or not this is your first DUI violation, you may be facing thousands of dollars' worth of fines, revocation or suspension of your license, and a large number of points added to your driving record. For this reason, it's important to confer with one of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC's experienced DUI defense attorneys as soon as possible.
Your DUI Charge Depends on Your Age, BAC, and Prior Record
Because DUI is such a common offense, and one that tends to be perpetrated multiple times by problem drinkers, Virginia's DUI laws are fairly complex. Here are some of the things the authorities take into consideration when filing a charge:
- Your blood-alcohol level. For drivers over the age of 21, a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is enough to incur a DUI charge. However, if you're under the age of 21, that number falls to 0.02 percent (what you might expect your BAC to be after a single beer). Penalties are especially severe for drivers whose BACs exceed 0.20 percent, or what some people refer to as “super drunk.”
- The passengers in your car. Recent high-profile cases have caused authorities to be especially severe with drivers who are caught driving drunk with underage passengers in their vehicles. For example, your fine for a first offense may be increased by up to $1,000 if you're pulled over with a passenger in your car under the age of 18, and you will be sent to jail for at least five days.
- Your prior record. The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in the state of Virginia are severe enough, including a stiff fine and a one-year license suspension. If this is your second or third DUI conviction within five years, the penalties increase drastically, including anywhere from 5 days to a year in prison and a mandatory three-year license suspension.
The Law Firm of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC Will Aggressively Defend You against a DUI Charge
Defending yourself against a DUI charge may seem like a hopeless situation, but an experienced attorney can put up a good fight. Was the BAC-measuring equipment used by the police properly calibrated? Did the officer have probable cause to pull you over? Were the results of your BAC reading lost at the police station?
Even if the district attorney has an open-and-shut case, your lawyer from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC may be able to plead you down to a lesser DUI charge, or even a charge of reckless driving, with less onerous penalties. Call today for a free consultation!