Being charged with a DUI is already a serious matter in Virginia. However, when you are charged and you are already on probation for a previous charge, this can create new problems. Depending on the severity of the charge, probation may be revoked. Therefore, retaining the services of a Virginia DUI attorney is in your best interests, as they understand the laws surrounding a DUI charge and will know what the best defense strategy would be.
How a person’s probation status will affect a DUI charge depends on the offense they were originally on probation for. If a person is on local probation for a misdemeanor offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a person is charged with a DUI, it is possible that the probation officer may want to wait until the DUI charge resolves until he decides whether or not it is a violation. Same goes if a person is on state probation for a felony offense.
However, one of the first guidelines of probation—whether be it state, local, or federal—is that someone remains of general good behavior and does not violate any laws. If a person is charged with a DUI offense in Virginia, they may face a probation violation or a show cause hearing for why their probation should not be revoked. It is more common that this will occur after a DUI case is resolved—either through a conviction, acquittal, or some other resolution—but by law it can happen prior to that.
If a person is on probation for a prior DUI, it is common that the probation violation proceedings begin as soon as that person is charged with a subsequent DUI. Now if an individual’s DUI defense attorney handles the probation violation, the attorney may ask for the court to continue the violation to see what the resolution for the subsequent DUI case will be.
However, the court is not required to do this. In local practice, many courts do in fact continue the subsequent case to see what happens in the underlying charge.
For example, if a person is charged but acquitted for the DUI, there may not be a probation violation at all. Most probation officers prefer to wait to see how the subsequent case resolves before proceeding with a probation violation, unless the person is otherwise in violation of probation for other terms such as failure to comply with required programs, failure to abstain from alcohol, or failure to do other things that are required.
If a person is on probation and subsequently charged with a DUI, that person will be cognizant of the fact that a conviction of any sort may cause a probation violation. A probation violation may have certain effects, depending on what a person is on probation for. One of the required core questions when people enter a guilty plea, for example, is whether or not they are on probation or parole in any jurisdiction. If they are, the court advises them that a conviction of any sort could have an adverse impact on their probation or parole status and ask whether or not they need to discuss that with their Virginia DUI attorney.
If a person is on probation or parole and has a DUI offense, a DUI attorney will take the information on probation or parole. That will be taken into consideration while advising the client about a proper course of action. A person can get probation from multiple jurisdictions. A person can be on a multiple-level probation. A person can also be on probation for two things at the same time. This is not uncommon.
Typically, there are a variety of different conditions for probation that someone has knowledge of when they are placed on probation. This will include certain obvious things such as remaining on general good behavior and violating no local, state, or federal laws. This is typically known as condition one—general good behavior. There may be other special conditions, such as paying fines, court costs, or restitution.
Persons placed on probation may also have to complete certain classes, such as Shoplifting Awareness class for larceny cases, the VASAP program for DUI cases, or in certain jurisdictions a special one-time DUI-related class called Victim Impact Panel. The Victim Impact Panel or the VIP will be a one-time class put on by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Its completion is required in Loudoun County, Fauquier County, and Rappahannock County by anyone who is convicted of DUI-related offense.
Other jurisdictions have similar courses, but the VIP is something that is unique to those jurisdictions. There may be other requirements, including staying away from certain places, such as where the offense may have occurred, and refraining from associating from certain persons, mainly co-defendants. Something that comes quite often in a DUI probation is abstaining from the consumption of alcohol. In some cases this might require abstaining from the excessive consumption of alcohol, meaning the person can and is still allowed to consume but in many cases that person is required to comply with certain probationary conditions the 12-month probationary period from consumption of alcohol.
A DUI charge in Virginia is a criminal conviction. Typically, if someone is on probation, that person is required to keep general good behavior and avoid a violation of any state, local, or federal laws. A DUI conviction in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor, which means it is a criminal charge and a violation of state law.
If a person is on probation for a serious offense, receives a DUI, and is ultimately convicted, it is very serious. The first thing is DUI by and in of itself a serious offense. It also includes a sufficient amount of jail time and significant probationary period. There are certain things that a person must do during the probationary period or else that person can return to court for a show cause hearing to determine whether or not additional jail time for the probation violation should be imposed.
In addition, there are certain requirements, such as the loss of license, and potential driving restrictions, such as a restricted license and the ignition interlock requirement. If the DUI conviction violates the probation, then the individual involved will face a whole new sentence. The underlying charge may add some significant consequences. For example, if the underlying charge was an alcohol-related offense or an offense that occurred while being under the influence of alcohol, a subsequent Virginia DUI charge suggests that the individual failed to address the behavior that got him or her in trouble in the first place.
If the underlying offense is a drug charge, for example, and then an individual receives an alcohol charge, it will not be favorable outcome because an individual simply substituted one vice for another. Likewise, a DUI is often viewed by the court as a preventable offense. If someone is on probation for a very serious charge and then receives a DUI, the courts will take in consideration on whether that person addressed the case with appropriate seriousness. DUIs are often something that is preventable, something that an individual can possibly call a cab, call a friend, or simply restrain from drinking or using drugs. When someone is doing these things while on probation, the court takes it very seriously.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law