First Time DUI Charges in Fredericksburg
First-time DUI charges in Fredericksburg are serious no matter where they are heard. The type of DUI charge and the seriousness of how it is taken depend on the specific facts of a case. For example, a Fredericksburg accident case with high blood alcohol content and injuries is likely to be taken much more seriously than a case where someone is waiting in a parking lot and has a low BAC. The first-offense DUI charges are typically heard at the Fredericksburg General District Court. Unlike some other types of offenses, first-time DUI offenses in Fredericksburg are handled very seriously.
Unlike some other types of offenses, first-time DUI offenses in Fredericksburg are handled very seriously. If someone is charged with a first time DUI charge in Fredericksburg, they should contact a practiced defense lawyer immediately. A lawyer with experience in DUI laws in Fredericksburg can help develop a defense in line with the desired outcome for their client.
DUI Charge Penalties
Fredericksburg DUIs are considered class 1 misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by up to 12 months in jail, up to $2,500 fine, or a combination thereof. For a first-offense DUI charge in Fredericksburg with a blood alcohol content of less than 0.15, the mandatory minimum punishment is that the fine must be in excess of $250. By Fredericksburg local practice, it is likely that if someone is convicted of a first-offense DUI where the BAC is below 0.15, they will receive jail time, but that jail time is likely to be minimal and perhaps suspended entirely.
If someone is convicted of a first-time DUI charge in Fredericksburg with blood alcohol content in excess of 0.15 but less than 0.20, the statute requires a mandatory minimum of five days in jail. This means five days of actual jail service. There will be credit for any time served at the time of their arrest. If they have a blood alcohol content of above 0.20 for a first offense DUI in Fredericksburg, mandatory jail time jumps from five days to 10 days.
Fredericksburg DUI lawyers consider a variety of factors in preparing for a case, including constitutional issues, search and seizure issues, how the person came to be stopped, what their observations were when they talked to Fredericksburg law enforcement, performance on field sobriety tests, and things of blood alcohol determination. All these factors will be rigorously evaluated in looking at a first-offense DUI charge in Fredericksburg.
The biggest mistake to avoid in a case is to simply walk in and try to plead guilty to the DUI offense on their own if they believe that is the best course of action. There are many nuances to consider in first time DUI charges in Fredericksburg. There are many ways that someone may be able to mitigate their exposure and many things involved in the process for which they would like an experienced Fredericksburg DUI attorney to be on their side.
Programs and Probation
If someone is convicted of a first time DUI charge in Fredericksburg, they will likely be required to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program as part of the statutory requirements for suspended sentence. However, there are not necessarily the same Fredericksburg diversion programs, probation before judgment programs, or alternative sentencing options for first-offense DUIs that may be available in some other states.
Driving after a DUI Arrest
For a Fredericksburg first-offense DUI, the license is administratively suspended for seven days under certain conditions. Generally, when a person is released from jail after the first time DUI, they will be given a notice of that administrative license suspension. The person may be reminded of that notice during the appearance before the magistrate, as well.
There are certain circumstances in which someone’s license would not be administratively suspended, notably if the person is a foreign driver who incurred a Virginia DUI. Virginia would not suspend his or her privileges for those seven days.
For Virginia drivers charged with a first-offense DUI in Fredericksburg, their license will be administratively suspended for seven days as long as they took a breath test or refused a breath test. If, for example, it is a case with a blood test, they are not subject to the same administrative license suspension. It is important to know that. After the administrative license suspension runs, a person is eligible to drive again until adjudicated.