The consequences that occur if someone is charged with a DUI while on probation in Loudoun County depends on what the circumstances of their probation are. Oftentimes probation calls for general or uniform good behavior of which incurring a new charge may be considered a violation, though the court may wait to see results of the DUI case.
If someone is charged for a second DUI while already on probation for a DUI offense in Loudoun County, there may be even more serious consequences. These could include new charges relating to the second DUI, the original DUI charge being brought back as a probation violation, and a potentially harsher second offense punishment for the subsequent DUI because the person was already on probation. The Court may also inflict heavier punishment because the person should have been extra diligent in making sure that they did not put themselves in that situation.
Probation is assigned to make sure that the person does what they are supposed to and does not incur a new criminal offense. The goal of probation is to re-assimilate the person into society while also making sure that they do not continue the conduct that led them to be charged and convicted of a criminal offense in the first place. For a DUI, probation typically includes completion of the required courses and general good behavior, in which the individual incurs no further violations of the law. Other provisions may include a restricted license with restricted driving times to certain places, and an ignition interlock system to ensure that the person does not operate a vehicle with any alcohol in their system. This is the most typical condition of probation, as well as following up any Court orders such as special conditions, paying Court costs or fines, or completing any other programs as the Court requires.
The goal of probation is to give a person incentive to do the right thing with appropriate sanctions if they fail to abide. If a person is put in jail and then fully allowed to be unrestricted after they have served jail times, they may not change the behavior that led them to jail time in the first place. Probation creates an incentive for the person to remain on the right side of the law and learn to correct their behavior.
A DUI is a criminal offense, and the universal term of probation is not to violate any laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Federal, or other State law. By incurring a DUI, that means the individual has been arrested and charged of criminal offense, so they have violated that very first condition of Virginia’s uniform probationary rules.
Therefore, incurring a DUI would be a violation of probation. Some probation officers send violation letters when the charge is incurred, others wait until they can determine whether the new charge results in a conviction.
If an individual is on probation for a DUI in Loudoun County and they get charged with a new DUI, they would be charged with a 2nd offense DUI and they could be charged with a violation of the terms and conditions of their initial probation. If someone is found in violation of the terms and conditions of their initial probation, whatever was previously suspended may be invoked and may not be re-suspended. For example, someone may receive a jail sentence of all 90 days suspended and a fine of $600 with $300 suspended. If they then incur a violation, these suspensions may be brought back and they would need to show cause as to why the Court should not impose the 90 days that were previously suspended and the $300 fine previously suspended. If the conduct is the exact same type as the conduct that got them in trouble in the first place, a Judge would be hard-pressed not to invoke the suspended punishment.
It is never a positive thing if someone incurs a DUI while they are on probation for another criminal offense or previous DUI. This will always have a negative impact on the case.
In Loudoun County someone can be put on probation for violating an existing probation, and those two punishments would stack and run consecutively. In some cases, they may run concurrently, though this is much less common. An individual may also simply be given a harsher sentence in lieu of the sentence for which they are on probation.
Typically, people are on probation because they are given an opportunity to remain at liberty instead of being put in jail. If they violate the terms and conditions of their probation, especially by doing the very same activities that landed them on probation, there is a very good possibility they will end up in jail.
A DUI is very serious violation of law, especially if you are on probation during which you are not supposed to be drinking alcohol in excess. If you’re on probation, it is likely that you committed a serious offense, and a subsequent DUI shows a plain disregard for the law.
Today with cell phones, ride services such as Uber and Lyft, as well as public transportation, there is really no excuse for consuming alcohol in excess and then getting behind the wheel.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law