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Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia DUI Charges And Defense

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Bob Battle Law for help after a DUI arrest or charge. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have about your case. If you don’t find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.

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  • What are the penalties for a third DUI offense in Virginia?

    Jail time for DUI in Richmond VAIf you have been charged with your third Virginia DUI, then you may face serious penalties including fines, driver's license revocation and jail time. To know whether you may be able to fight your Virginia DUI charge, you can consult an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    Talk with your Virginia DUI defense attorney about the time frames in which your Virginia DUI offenses were committed. As you'll note below, jail sentences may increase in severity depending on the time frame of your Virginia DUI offenses.

    If all 3 of your Virginia DUI offenses were committed within 5 years, then your penalties will include: 

    • a class 6 Felony, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for 1 to 5 years;
    • a mandatory minimum 6 month jail sentence;
    • a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000; and
    • an indefinite revocation of your driver's license. 


    If all 3 of your Virginia DUIs were committed between a 5 and 10 year period, then your penalties will include: 

    • a class 6 Felony, which carries a punishment of imprisonment for 1 to 5 years;
    • a mandatory minimum 90 day jail sentence;
    • a mandatory minimum fine of $1000; and
    • an indefinite revocation of your driver's license. 


    A class 6 felony will leave you with a permanent criminal record. This can seriously hinder any future job opportunities. Your record may also prevent you from buying a home or renting an apartment.

    These penalties may be avoided if you choose to fight your Virginia DUI charges in court. Speaking to an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney can help you learn more about what possible DUI defenses could work for your particular case.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    No state is faster at moving cases through the system than Virginia. In the face of a defending a criminal charge, the decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Before you speak to any lawyer, get a complimentary copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia.   

    Virginia DUI defense attorney Bob Battle aggressively defends criminal defendants who have been charged with felony crimes such as repeat DUI charges. For proven legal help with your criminal case, contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

  • What are the penalties for a second Virginia DUI offense?

    Burning cashIf you have been charged with a second Virginia DUI, then you may face increased penalties including fines, a driver's license suspension and some serious jail time. To know whether you may be able to fight your second Virginia DUI charge, you can consult an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    If your second Virginia DUI was committed within 5 years of a prior offense, then your penalties will include: 

    • a minimum $500 fine;
    • confinement in jail for 20 days to 1 year;
    • additional mandatory 10 day jail sentence (if your blood alcohol content [BAC] was between .15 and .20);
    • additional mandatory 20 day jail sentence (if your BAC level was greater than .20); and
    • 3 year driver's license revocation. 


    If your second Virginia DUI was committed within 5 to 10 years from a prior offense, then your penalties are slightly different. There may be more leniencies for initial jail time. A Virginia DUI defense attorney may be able to help lessen the severity of some of the penalties in this case.

    The penalties for a second Virginia DUI within 5 to 10 years include: 

    • minimum $500 fine;
    • confinement in jail for 10 days to 1 year;
    • additional mandatory 10 day jail sentence  (if your BAC was between .15 and .20);
    • mandatory 20 day jail sentence (if your BAC was greater than .20); and
    • 3 year driver's license revocation. 


    There may also be additional fines and penalties for court costs. You'll also have to pay for a required alcohol safety program and an ignition interlock for your vehicle(s) if mandated by the court.

    You may be able to avoid these penalties entirely by fighting your second Virginia DUI charges. To learn what DUI defenses may apply to your case, contact an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    No state is faster at moving cases through the system than Virginia. In the face of a defending a criminal charge, the decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Before you speak to any lawyer, get a complimentary copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia.   

    Virginia DUI defense attorney Bob Battle aggressively defends criminal defendants who have been charged with felony crimes such as repeat DUI charges. For proven legal help with your criminal case, contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

  • What are the penalties for a fourth DUI offense in Virginia?

    If you have been charged with your fourth Virginia DUI offense, you may face penalties including fines, a driver's license revocation, and some serious time in jail. To learn more about how to fight your particular Virginia DUI charge, you can consult an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    If you are convicted of your fourth Virginia DUI in a 10 year period, this will result in a class 6 felony, which carries a mandatory minimum 1 year prison term, and a minimum $1,000 fine. In this case, your administrative driver's license will be revoked indefinitely.

    Furthermore, a class 6 felony will leave you with a permanent criminal record. This can seriously hinder any job opportunities that you may have in the future. Your criminal record may also prevent you from buying a home, or renting an apartment. To beat your fourth Virginia DUI charge, you will need to build a winning Virginia DUI defense.

    To build a winning Virginia DUI defense, your Virginia DUI attorney may: 

    • Challenge the results of a blood alcohol content (BAC) test;
    • Question the police procedures before, during, and after your arrest;
    • Challenge the validity of roadside tests that you may have been subjected to; and
    • Other specific considerations related to your case. 


    What is important to remember is that you have the right to fight your Virginia DUI charges, and a Virginia DUI defense attorney may be able to help. Working with an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney can help you understand the strengths and challenges in your case as well as how to fight your charges in court.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    No state is faster at moving cases through the system than Virginia. In the face of a defending a criminal charge, the decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Before you speak to any lawyer, get a FREE copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia.   

    Virginia DUI defense attorney Bob Battle aggressively defends criminal defendants who have been charged with felony crimes such as repeat DUI charges. For proven legal help with your criminal case, contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

  • Are sobriety checkpoints legal in Virginia?

    Sobriety checkpoints are legal in Virginia, however, there are certain rules that police officers must follow when conducting sobriety checkpoints. According to these rules, before a Virginia sobriety checkpoint can be established, the location of the checkpoint must be announced to the general public. If you have questions regarding a Virginia DUI charge that you received at a sobriety checkpoint, you can get the advice of Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    Another important fact about sobriety checkpoints is that not all cars are allowed to be stopped. Instead, vehicles must be stopped according to a mathematical formula. Therefore, vehicles are not stopped according to how the motorist appears, nor according to how they drive.

    Furthermore, there are rules about how long each motorist may be detained at a Virginia sobriety checkpoint. Because of this, an officer cannot ask you to step out of the car unless they suspect impairment.

    However, if you do show signs of impairment at a Virginia sobriety checkpoint, such as glassy eyes, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol on your breath, a police officer may detain you and administer a roadside sobriety test. In this case, the officer can proceed as though you were pulled over under the suspicion of a Virginia DUI.

    If you have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and charged with a Virginia DUI, you should consult with an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney who can go over the specifics of your case and explain your legal options for fighting the charges against you.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    Bob Battle is the only DUI lawyer in Virginia to offer a guarantee that could be worth thousands of dollars in free legal representation. Under Virginia law, if you are convicted of DUI in the General District Court, you have a right to appeal and get a new trial in the Circuit Court. Bob Battle guarantees that, if you wish to appeal your case, he will represent you on appeal to the Circuit Court for FREE!

    To learn more about Virginia DUI, get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia. Or, contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

  • How do I get a restricted license after a Virginia DUI?

    To get a restricted license after a Virginia DUI, you must petition the court at the time of your plea or conviction, or within a short time thereafter. To file this petition, you can get the help of a Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    To receive your restricted driver's license, your Virginia DUI defense attorney can draft a motion and present it to a judge. However, you should be aware that you are never guaranteed a restricted driver's license. Sometimes a judge won't permit you to drive, even if you have met the terms of your conviction. One of these terms will be to successfully complete an Alcohol Safety Action program.

    If you have been convicted of your second Virginia DUI within 10 years, you will not be eligible to receive a restricted driver's license for 4 months. If you have been convicted of your second Virginia DUI within 5 years, you will not be eligible for 1 year. If you have been convicted of a third Virginia DUI, you will not be eligible whatsoever.

    What will my restricted driver's license allow?

    A restricted driver's license will only allow you to drive under certain circumstances, such as:

    • To and from work;
    • To and from school;
    • To and from necessary medical treatment;
    • To and from day care, or authorized medical care for a child; and
    • To and from visitation with a child. 

    If your license has been suspended as the result of a Virginia DUI, and you would like to learn about the possibility of receiving a restricted driver's license, you can get the help of a Virginia DUI defense attorney.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    No state is faster at moving cases through the system than Virginia. In the face of defending against Virginia DUI charges, the decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Before you speak to any lawyer, get a FREE copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia.  Or contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

  • How much does it cost to fight a Virginia DUI?

    If you have been charged with a Virginia DUI, the cost of a conviction can be far more damaging than the costs of fighting your charge. After a Virginia DUI conviction, you may face costs including: 

    • Court costs and administrative fees;
    • Fines;
    • Fees to reinstate your suspended driver's license;
    • A payment to enroll in the sheriff's work program; and
    • A payment to enroll in alcohol education and prevention courses. 

    After a Virginia DUI conviction, you will also see a considerable rise in your auto insurance rates. Furthermore, you may also have to pay for a court-ordered ignition interlock system, which is a breathalyzer device that you will be required to use in order to start your car.

    On top of all this, a Virginia DUI conviction can affect your ability to get to and from work, as well as prevent you from getting certain jobs that you may apply to in the future. On the other hand, you may be able to avoid all of this by fighting your Virginia DUI charge.

    With the help of a Virginia DUI defense attorney, you may be able to build a winning Virginia DUI defense. If you beat your charge, your most significant cost will be to pay your Virginia DUI defense attorney. Attorney's fees generally vary, so before you hire an attorney, ask them how much they will charge to fight your Virginia DUI.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    No state is faster at moving cases through the system than Virginia. In the face of defending against Virginia DUI charges, the decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Before you speak to any lawyer, get a FREE copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia. Or contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

  • Is the roadside breath test accurate? Are there any penalties if I refuse to take this test?

    Not Accurate!

    The portable breathalyzer, which is used on the roadside, as well as the somewhat more sophisticated breath-test machine at the police station, are both subject to error. For the most part, both of these devices have the same weakness because they both work the same basic way—by measuring the alcohol content of the breath and using this measurement to estimate the alcohol content of the blood.

    One of the most important factors that influence the results of both of these tests is breathing pattern. One study showed that holding your breath for 30 seconds before blowing into the breathalyzer increases the result a whopping 15.7 percent. Hyperventilating for 20 seconds, on the other hand, decreases it by 10.6 percent.

    Yet another way in which breathing pattern can affect the results of a breathalyzer test has to do with what part of the breath the machine is exposed to. In other words, different parts of the exhalation will give different blood alcohol readings. The first part of the breath, made up of air from the top of your lungs, has much less alcohol in it that the last part of the breath, which comes from the bottom of the lungs.

    Unfortunately, many police officers, knowing this, give the subject instructions like “Blow hard! Keep going!” Following these instructions will insure that the machine is exposed to the alcohol-rich blood from the bottom of your lungs. It is staggering to consider how many falsely high breathalyzer results have been obtained—and how many people have been arrested as a result—because of these instructions and the device’s potential for inaccuracy. Furthermore, these machines are not properly maintained.

    No Penalty for Refusal of Roadside Breath Test:

    There is no penalty for refusing to take the roadside breath test like there is for refusing the Breath Test or Blood Test at the police station or hospital. For this reason, many attorneys like Harrisonburg, VA DUI lawyer Bob Keefer advise all their clients to refuse the roadside breath test.


     

  • I took a breathalyzer test and failed. What good would an attorney do in such a cut-and-dried case?

    Not every case is exactly the same. Having an attorney that can properly analyze the facts of the case and the sequence of events could (in a best case scenario) earn you a “not-guilty” verdict, or have the charges reduced. This could be the difference between jail time and facing consequences that are manageable. Also, there are certain legal defenses which do not even consider the breath result. In Motions alleging that the Officer did not have "reasonable suspicion" to stop your car or "probable cause" to arrest you, your subsequent breath result is not considered by the Court in its ruling.