DUI/DWI In Virginia
This article will cover:
- How DUI/DWI is defined in the state of Virginia.
- What happens after being arrested for a DUI/DWI.
- Penalties and recommendations when facing a DUI/DWI charge.
How Is A DWI Defined In Virginia?
A DWI in Virginia is defined as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. If you are pulled over while driving erratically and the officer detects the smell of alcohol on your breath, you may be issued a ticket for driving while influenced, even if your BAC is below 0.08. Depending on your driving record and any prior DUI history, this ticket may be reduced to a lesser included offense. If your BAC is above 0.12, there is a potential for jail time.
Do I Have To Give A Breath Or Blood Sample During My DWI Arrest In Virginia And What Happens If I Refuse?
You are required to give a breath or blood sample. Refusing to do so may result in additional charges. The police officer may still arrest you for a DUI based on your behavior and the results of a field sobriety test. If you comply with the police and are polite, your attorney may have a better chance of negotiating a better outcome for your case.
What Do I Need To Know About My Driver’s License Right After An Arrest In Virginia? Do I Lose My Driver’s License Immediately?
Immediately after a DWI arrest, your driver’s license will be taken by the police officer and held by the court. In some cases, you can retrieve your license prior to your court date, depending on the county in which you were arrested.
You may also be eligible for a restricted driver’s license, depending on your driving record and the outcome of your case, which would allow you to continue driving to work and other necessary appointments.
What Are The Penalties For A DWI Conviction In Virginia? And What About My Driver’s License After The Conviction?
A DWI conviction in Virginia is a class one misdemeanor, punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and a maximum of one year in jail. Your driver’s license will be suspended, but as previously mentioned, you may be eligible for a restricted license to continue driving to work, depending on the circumstances of your case.
If I Plan On Pleading Guilty To A DWI Charge In Virginia, Do I Really Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
It is highly recommended that you hire a criminal defense attorney, even if you plan to plead guilty. An experienced attorney is familiar with the system and can ensure that you don’t get into a more difficult situation. Representing yourself, even if you are an attorney, is not recommended as it can be difficult to see the full picture when you are too involved in the matter. An attorney with a neutral perspective can identify any benefits or drawbacks in your case and provide the best defense possible.