DUI Lawyer in Virginia
Being arrested for drunk driving is a frightening and unsettling experience, especially if this is the first time it has happened to you. You may have already spent some time in jail, and you are not sure what happens next. Virginia has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. A conviction can result in heavy fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and other harsh consequences. With so much at stake, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating forcefully for your rights and interests.
At Olmstead & Olmstead, we have several years of experience successfully representing clients who have been arrested and charged for DUI and all other types of criminal offenses in Virginia. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the complexities of the criminal justice system, and we work closely with our clients to provide the skilled and aggressive defense they need and deserve. No two DUI cases are exactly alike. We take the time to thoroughly examine the specific circumstances of each individual case, so we can develop the most effective defense strategy to minimize the negative consequences resulting from the arrest.
We handle all types of DUI cases in Virginia, this includes but is not limited to:
Penalties for DUI Convictions in Virginia
The consequences for a drunk driving conviction in Virginia vary widely depending on the number of offenses you have and other factors in your case. Here are some of the general guidelines:
If you are arrested for drunk driving and this is your first offense, it will likely be charged as a misdemeanor. Convictions carry a possible punishment of up to 12 months in jail, fines of up to $2500, an automatic 7-day administrative driver’s license suspension, and a driver’s license suspension for 12 months. The mandatory minimum fine for a first-time offender is $250. You will also be required to complete an alcohol education class and have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle.
The one piece of good news for first-time DUI offenders in Virginia is that there is no mandatory minimum jail time as long as there are no aggravating factors. If, however, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between 0.15 and 0.20, there is a mandatory jail sentence of five days. If your BAC registered at above 0.20, 10 days is added to the mandatory jail sentence, bringing the total up to 15 days.
If your second-time DUI happened within five years of your first, penalties will include a minimum fine of $500, a minimum of 20 days and up to one year in jail, an automatic 20-day administrative driver’s license suspension, and a driver’s license revocation for three years. If the offense occurs between five and 10 years from your first DUI, the mandatory minimum jail time is reduced to 10 days. However, as with a first-time DUI, extra mandatory jail time is added if your BAC approaches double the legal limit. If your BAC was between 0.15 and 0.20, 10 days is added to your mandatory jail sentence. If your BAC was higher than 0.20, 20 days is added to your mandatory jail sentence.
If you get a third DUI, the charge is upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony, which can carry a prison sentence of up to five years. If all three DUIs happened within a five-year period, you will be facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six months, and a mandatory fine of $1000. If your third offense is more than five years and less than 10 years from your first offense, the mandatory minimum jail sentence is reduced to 90 days. In addition to a three-year driver’s license revocation, three convictions in 10 years may also cause you to be declared a habitual offender, which could result in you losing your driving privileges indefinitely.
If there are aggravated circumstances at the time of your DUI arrest, penalties may be enhanced. We have already touched on one common aggravated circumstance, which is having a BAC of 0.15 or 0.20 or above. Other circumstances that may result in enhanced penalties include:
Defending a DUI Charge
Some people think that a drunk driving arrest is an open and shut case. And while it might seem that way at first glance, even seemingly small factors can help form an effective defense strategy, depending of course on your specific circumstances. Some possible DUI defenses may include:
Speak with an Experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for DUI in Virginia, retaining a defense lawyer, and the lawyer you decide to go with will be the most consequential decisions you make. Being charged for DUI does not automatically mean you will be convicted, and with the right defense strategy, it may be possible to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed altogether. With your freedom and your future on the line, you need a skilled attorney who will fight hard to protect your legal rights. At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we ready to go to work for you. Virginia DUI cases moved quickly, and the sooner we get involved, the better the chances of securing a more favorable outcome in your case. Call our office today at 703-361-1555 for a confidential and discreet consultation with one of our attorneys, or send us a message through our web contact form. You may also stop by our Manassas, VA office at your convenience.