Quantico DUI and Reckless Driving FAQs
Many clients are shocked to learn that reckless driving offenses are criminal offenses and that a first-time DUI can result in serious repercussions, including potential jail time. The following are a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding both DUI and reckless driving charges in Quantico, Va. For answers to your specific questions, you should consult with a well-qualified defense attorney. In the meantime, however, feel free to use the following information as a general guide on what defines these offenses and what you can expect.
Frequently Asked Questions on Quantico DUIs
What are the penalties for a DUI/DWI in Prince William County?
The penalty for a first offense is up to 12 months in jail, a fine of from $250 –$2,500 and a one year driver’s license suspension. A second conviction results in a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $2,500. It may also result in up to a year in jail, with 20 to 40 days minimum mandatory incarceration, and a three year license suspension. A third conviction means paying a fine between $1,000 and $2,500, serving a mandatory minimum six months in jail and possibly up to a year, and indefinite driver’s license suspension. See VCC § 18.2-270.
There is also a relatively new penalty for underage drinking and driving, (e.g. those under 21): minimum fine of $500, a one year driver’s license suspension and 50 hours of community service. See V.C.C § 18.2-266.1
Can I refuse to take a Breathalyzer or blood test?
If you refuse, you will immediately have your driver’s license suspended for a year, per VCC § 18.2-268.3. You also cannot apply for a restricted license during that year if you are convicted of DUI. If, however, you take the test and fail this may be used against you to achieve a conviction. It’s important to note that there are many ways in which a well-qualified Quantico DUI lawyer can successfully challenge the BAC evidence or defend your refusal to take the test.
Will I go to jail for DUI in Quantico?
If this is your first conviction, there are no additional charges, you have a reasonably good driving record, and your BAC was not excessively high you could get a suspended sentence or probation rather than go to jail. You’ll have to pay a fine though and will have to complete in a mandatory alcohol awareness program. If this is your second or third conviction, time in jail may be more likely. Again, a skilled defense attorney who has experience with such charges in the Quantico region may be able to help you avoid incarceration.
If my driver’s license is suspended, how do I get a new one?
So long as you didn’t lose it for refusing a blood chemical test, and if this is your first offense, it’s quite likely you can get a restricted license by requesting one in court. That allows you to drive on a limited basis; such as to-and-from work, and all necessary trips that are recognized by the court. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-271.1. You may have to wait 30 days to receive the restricted license. If this is your second conviction, it’s more a challenge but not impossible.
Why was I arrested if my BAC was less than 0.08 percent?
Virginia’s “zero tolerance” laws for DUI now allow for suspects to be convicted for driving while impaired; which means a conviction can be won by the prosecution with as little as a BAC reading of 0.02 percent. Any detectible amount of drugs in your system, no matter how slight, can be used to justify a DUI or DWI arrest in Virginia.
Since the test result indicates my BAC was 0.08 or more am I going to be found guilty?
Not necessarily. Some common defense tactics involve challenging the constitutionality of the initial traffic stop, whether there were mitigating health problems that caused you to fail the field sobriety tests, and if the blood or breath chemical test results were accurate due to a variety of issues, ranging from chain of evidence and administrative issues to failure to properly calibrate and operate the technology.
If I am convicted of DUI, will I have to undergo alcohol treatment?
Yes, and attending and completing the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) is mandatory under all convictions, probation, or plea bargain situations. Failure to meet this requirement could involve jail time and further penalties.
Quantico Reckless Driving FAQs
What are reckless driving charges in Quantico?
There are 13 altogether, which are Class 1 misdemeanors. Penalties range up to a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500.
- Inability to control vehicle due to poor mechanical operation, commonly called the “faulty brake” statute. See Section 46.2-853
- Passing a vehicle on a hill or curve. See Section 46.2-854
- Driving with view obstructed or impaired control. See Section 46.2-855
- Passing two vehicles that are traveling abreast (side-by-side): See Section 46.2-856
- Driving two abreast in a single (e.g. the same) lane. See Section 46.2-857
- Passing at a railroad crossing. See Section 46.2-858
- Passing a stopped school bus. See Section 46.2-859
- Failing to properly signal intent to turn, change lanes, etc. See Section 46.2-860
- Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions. See Section 46.2-861. This can be a somewhat arbitrary charge and based on the police officer’s observations as the actual speed limit doesn’t have to apply.
- Excessive Speeding (e.g. 20 or more mph over posted speed limit). See Section 46.2-861
- Failure to yield right-of-way. See Section 46.2-863
- Reckless driving in parking structures and lots: See Section 46.2-864
- Racing. See Section 46.2-865]. Enhanced penalties may apply when racing causes an injury or death. See Section 46.2-865.
What are “Super Traffic Offenses?”
Over time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) as well as numerous law enforcement agencies and the insurance industry have determined the moving violations that pose the greatest risk to drivers, passengers, property, and the public in general. In response to overwhelming data, in 2004, the Virginia Legislature decided to create a so-called super group of these moving traffic violations with incredibly severe penalties in an effort to serve as a deterrent for drivers. They went into effect in January, 2005. Virginia was one of the first states to take such aggressive measures and the trend is spreading to several other states.
Can I mail in a guilty plea for reckless driving with a check for the fine?
You cannot handle a reckless driving charge by mail because it is a criminal offense and not a mere moving violation. Since jail time is at stake, you must appear before a judge or have your lawyer appear for you. Failure to appear means a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Plus, since you will have six points against your driving record for 11 years, another ticket or two – especially if it’s a serious one – could result in the suspension of your license by the Virginia DMV. This is why it is important to hire a Quantico reckless driving lawyer to contest your charge.
What do I do if my license is suspended?
You can petition the court for a restricted license in order to drive to and from work, school, healthcare facilities or medically necessary appointments, and to take children to and from school/daycare, church, and other essential trips. See Code Section 18.2-271.1.
Will a reckless driving conviction affect my driving record?
You will have six demerit points added to your DMV record; which stays on the books for 11 years. This can be a game changer if you receive another serious traffic ticket or two during the next decade. It could be combined with subsequent tickets to lead to a license suspension for too many points further on down the line. We all need to keep our DMV records as clean as possible. That’s why you should contest every ticket, but especially charges of reckless driving.
Can I get my reckless driving charge dismissed or reduced?
There are several potential mitigating factors that the court may take into account. These include, but are not limited to:
- A good driving record;
- Speedometer reading incorrectly and having proof of repairs;
- Police radar calibration issues;
- A confirmed and legitimate emergency, not just your word.