S & R Law Firm
Penalties for a Prince William County DUI
If you are facing DUI charges in Prince William County, you’re certainly not alone. The most recent Prince William County Crime Report issued by the Prince William County Police Department shows that DUI arrests increased by nearly 21 percent in 2018, and that on average police arrest more than 1300 people each year for driving under the influence. Driving under the influence is a serious crime: a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries harsh penalties and will stay on your criminal record for life. Whether it is your first offense DUI or your third, a Prince William DUI attorney at S&R Law Firm, PLLC may be able to help. We’ll tell you more about the penalties you can expect after this charge and when it may be time to talk with an attorney.Loss of Driver’s License
For many people, the most disruptive part of getting a DUI in Prince William County is the revocation of their license. Immediately after your arrest for a first offense DUI, your license will be seized and held for seven days if your breath sample is a .08 and above, or if you refused Breathalyzer testing. During this time period, you may not drive at all until the revocation period expires. If it is your second offense DUI in Prince William County, your license will be initially revoked for 60 days or until the date of your trial arrives (whichever is shorter). For a third DUI offense, your license will be revoked until your trial date.
This is just the initial period of license revocation. After trial, if you are found guilty of the DUI in question your license will be revoked for even longer. For your first DUI conviction, it will be revoked for a year; for your second DUI conviction (if it is within 10 years of the first) your license will be revoked for three years, and for your third offense and beyond, it will be revoked for five years minimum, with an indefinite ceiling.
As you can imagine, the abrupt or extended loss of your license can cause serious difficulties, especially if you drive a company vehicle for your job or commute many miles to get to work. In some cases, a DUI lawyer in Prince William county can help you get your license back with restrictions so that you can drive to work. If there was not probable cause for your arrest, your attorney may be able to challenge the revocation altogether.Penalties for First Offense DUI in Virginia
If it is your first offense DUI in Manassas, Virginia, the penalties you will face depend on the severity of your offense. Since a DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor, you will pay a mandatory minimum fine of $250, but if your case is more serious, you could pay a maximum of $2500. You will also face jail time of up to one year, have to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, and have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a minimum of 6 months.
The penalty you receive, however, will depend entirely on your blood alcohol content (BAC), whether you caused an accident, and any other factors that impact the severity of the crime you committed. First offenders in cases that are uncomplicated often receive lighter penalties. For example, if your BAC was at .08, the lowest BAC that carries a rebuttable presumption or inference of intoxication, and it is your first offense, your charge could be reduced to “wet reckless.” This is still a criminal offense, but there is no mandatory license suspension or ignition interlock device requirement, so you can continue to drive. Additionally, a wet reckless does not carry the negative connotation associated with a DUI conviction.
If you want to plea bargain (plead guilty to a lesser charge than DUI), it is in your best interest to work with a qualified Prince William DUI lawyer. If you need help, S&R Law Firm, PLLC has successfully helped many Prince William County residents in these tough situations, and we may be able to help you too.Factors Affecting DUI Penalties in Virginia
Whether it’s your first DUI offense in Prince William Virginia or your third, there are many complicating factors that can influence the penalties you will face. For example, if your BAC is quite high, between .15 and .20 and it is your first offense, you will receive a mandatory five day jail sentence. If it is your second offense and your BAC is .15, you will face a mandatory ten day sentence (if it happens within 10 years of your first offense) or 20 days (if it happens within just 5 years). If your BAC is .20 or above, that mandatory minimum jail sentence will increase to 10 days for your first offense and 20 days for all subsequent offenses.
In general, with DUI penalties, the time between DUI convictions is an essential part of the penalty process. For example, if your third DUI offense is within five years of the previous offense, you will spend a minimum of 6 months in jail. If your third offense is within 10 years, you will spend 90 days in jail.
Fines also increase with the number of DUI convictions you have. For a second offense DUI in Virginia, you’ll face a minimum $500 fine. At your third offense, DUI becomes a Class 6 felony, which carries a minimum $1000 fine.
In many cases, a skilled DUI attorney in Manassas can help you get your charges or penalties reduced. This can be especially important if you have been charged with a felony DUI, as a good DUI attorney can often get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor.Manassas Court Information
If you have been charged with a DUI, you will have to go to court at least once, but possibly more. Make sure to get to court by 9 am and know where you are going so you avoid being late. DUI cases are heard at the Prince William County Courthouse, also known as the Manassas courthouse. The Prince William County Courthouse address is 9311 Lee Avenue Manassas, VA 20110Contact S&R Law Firm, PLLC for Help
If you are facing DUI charges, you are probably scared, confused, and unsure about your rights or whether you can or should fight the charges against you. Our skilled team of Prince William County DUI lawyers has helped many people in Manassas get reduced sentences and reduced fines. We may be able to help you too.
Contact our DUI attorneys serving Prince William County today for a free consultation today to learn more about your rights at (703) 273-6431.