Whether it is a first offense or subsequent offense, courts treat DUI offenses very seriously. Still, if you are facing a DUI charge for the first time, an experienced attorney could help mitigate the potential consequences and help you move forward.
Penalties imposed by the court for a DUI depend on a variety of circumstances, including aggravating circumstances like accident cases, elevated BACs, the behavior of the individual charged, or prior criminal history.
There may be some mitigating circumstances, as well, including the fact that the person was not actually driving down the road, that they were far from the officer, or that their BAC was relatively low. No matter the circumstances, a skilled attorney could represent you in court. Reach out to a Leesburg first-offense DUI lawyer to discuss your case.
If someone is charged with a DUI first offense in Virginia, there are a variety of potential punishments. Driving under the influence is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, a 12-month loss of either license, and the requirement to take certain classes.
If, however, a person facing a first offense had a BAC below 0.15, the only mandatory punishment is that the individual receive a fine of at least $250. Usually, those individuals would still receive some sort of suspended jail sentence and, potentially, a higher partially-suspended time.
If an individual is convicted of a first offense in Loudoun County with a BAC of above 0.20, they have 10 days’ mandatory minimum to serve, in addition to other penalties including fines, loss of license, etc.. If the individual is a Virginia driver, they will lose their Virginia driver’s license for a period of 12 months. If they are an out-of-state driver, they may lose their right to drive in Virginia.
In some cases, a person charged with a DUI may request that their license not be restricted. If such permission is granted, the individual must have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicle for at least the first six months of the restricted license. Whether or not that ignition interlock system is able to come off after six months varies on a case-by-case and judge-by-judge basis.
If someone is convicted of a DUI, they may have to complete certain probationary actions in order to remain in good standing, have their jail sentence suspended, and be granted a restricted license.
Post-conviction dispositions include completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, known as VASAP, and the victim impact panel. The victim impact panel is unique to the judicial circuit that houses Leesburg, and is put on by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. If someone is convicted of a DUI in Leesburg, they will be required to complete the victim impact panel within 90 days of their conviction.
Unlike some of our bordering states, including Maryland, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia, there is no pretrial diversions or pretrial dispositions for a DUI in Virginia. This makes it even more essential to consult with a Leesburg first-offense DUI attorney for help resolving charges.
A DUI charge should not ruin your life, particularly if you have never been charged before. A knowledgeable Leesburg first-offense DUI lawyer could walk you through the trial process and explain how certain mitigating factors could lessen your punishment. If you are facing charges, do not hesitate to reach out today.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law