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What To Expect In Your First DUI Offense in Virginia (Part A)

No one intuitively knows what to do when facing a first-time DUI offense. As a first-time Virginia DUI defendant, you're probably scared, confused and unsure how to proceed. Know that you are not alone. A Virginia DUI lawyer who has seen hundreds of cases similar to yours and helped obtain reasonable verdicts can be your greatest ally at a time like this.

As a first-time DUI offender, what kind of penalties am I looking at?

Before any sort of punishment can be handed down by a Virginia court, you have the right to secure a Virginia DUI attorney to help represent your side. Your attorney can review any penalties presented against you and determine if you can fight for a reduction. Common penalties for a first-time DUI charge include: 

  • Administrative License Suspension - Automatic suspension of your driver's license for 7 days if your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) was 0.08% or higher.
  • Class 1 misdemeanor - Mandatory minimum fine of $250 up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail for DUI charges with BAC less than 0.15%
  • Class 1 misdemeanor - Charges increased to mandatory minimum of 5 days with BAC between 0.15 and 0.20%
  • Class 1 misdemeanor - Charges increased to mandatory minimum of 10 days with BAC greater than 0.20%
  • License Suspension - License revoked for 1 year; eligible for immediate Restricted Operator's License; Ignition Interlock required for BAC of 0.15% or higher. 

These potential penalties for a first-time DUI offense vary according to your BAC, previous driving records, and the police report of your DUI incident. The Virginia District Court will review your case and a judge will determine the appropriate penalties.

Most people think this is the end of the story and plead guilty to whatever charges are brought against them. Don't be so quick to throw away your rights! According to the US Constitution you have the right to trial by jury - something not present in the "traffic court" you were just sentenced at. 

If you have been arrested for DUI in Virginia, there is no time to waste! Contact Virginia DUI Lawyer Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

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Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts