Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) / Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Virginia

Contact our DUI and DWI Virginia Defense Attorneys Today

DUI DWI Check Point AheadDriving under the influence or driving while intoxicated is a  serious offense in Virginia. The consequences that come with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) / Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction can include jail time, a substantial fine, alcohol, and drug classes, a suspended driver’s license, an ignition interlock, probation, and a substantial increase in your insurance premiums.  DWI/DUI offenses are very technical, and you need experienced legal counsel on your side.

The outcomes of a DUI or DWI case can be anxiety-inducing because the risk is high – no one is positive about the outcome of the case. Hiring a trusted attorney is the first step to feeling more secure in your case. The dedicated DUI attorneys at Parks Zeigler are here to help you through your troubling time and will support you and offer the legal assistance that you need as you work through your DUI case.

DUIs and DWIs in Virginia 

Though they are different names, DUIs and DWIs are interchangeable in Virginia. They both entail that a driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Despite the similarity between the two charges, there is one noteworthy factor that separates them. A DWI means you were driving when your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit of 0.08. A DUI means you were under the influence of alcohol, and your consumption amount has led to obvious effects on your behavior, speech, movement, and appearance. In Virginia, it’s possible to get a DUI with a BAC of even 0.06 or 0.07.

What Penalties You’re Facing

As stated above, the legal BAC limit in Virginia for those 21 and older is 0.08%; this limit is even lower for those 21. The consequences you face in your drunk driving case can depend on your BAC at the time of your offense. These penalties may include (but are not limited to):

  • Fees and fines ranging from $250 to $2,500 or more if charged with a felony DWI
  • Suspension of your driver’s license up to 12 months or even longer in more serious cases
  • Restriction of your driving privileges
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock
  • Completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP)
  • Community service
  • Mandatory jail time

There are certain situations where your penalties can be increased. These include committing property damage, driving with a minor, having an elevated BAC, or refusing to cooperate with law enforcement when asked to complete a breathalyzer test.

What to Expect in Your DUI/DWI Case

The process of working through a drunk driving case is a long, arduous one. Seasoned legal counsel is strongly advised to help you work through the twists and turns of your case. The disposition of DUI and DWI cases can vary between counties and cities in Virginia, so it’s important to work with an attorney who is well-versed in your area’s drunk driving laws.

After you are charged, the prosecutor will likely consider negotiations with your attorney. In this step, the prosecutor meets with your lawyer, discusses the specifics of your case, and considers the weight of the evidence.

Possible Reduction of Your Charges

There’s a chance your case could be reduced to a Reckless Driving charge. Despite a Reckless Driving charge still being a criminal misdemeanor conviction in Virginia, because Reckless Driving is a criminal charge that doesn’t involve alcohol, the ignition interlock penalty isn’t required, and your license could only be suspended for up to six months instead of a year. The likelihood that your charges could be reduced to Reckless Driving depends on your BAC at the time of your offense, your likelihood of re-offending, legal issues, etc.

License Suspensions

If you receive a DUI or DWI charge in Virginia, there is no way to work around the license suspension or restriction penalty. A judge’s decision to suspend a license is mandatory, but a judge does have discretion in deciding someone’s license restrictions.

Suspended Jail Time

If you are penalized with suspended jail time, you essentially are serving jail time with either supervised or unsupervised probation. Should you violate any terms of your probation or not complete the required programs assigned to you, you will most likely have to return to court. The average period of probation is 12 months, but it could be 36 months in some jurisdictions.

Suspended Fines

A suspended fine is conceptually similar to suspended jail time; you won’t be required to pay a portion of your fines if you successfully follow the terms of your probation during your probation period. Any violation of your terms could lead to court-ordered suspended fine payments.

Experienced DUI Attorneys You Can Trust

Your need for legal representation doesn’t end after your case has closed. DUI charges (especially serious charges) can leave a trail of complications for life after serving your penalties. The DUI/DWI defense team at Parks Zeigler is here to answer your questions and help you cut through the legal jargon as you move on with life after your charges.

DUIs and DWIs are serious, and such serious cases require serious, seasoned attorneys to protect your rights and defend you in court. Get in contact with our DUI attorneys today to get the legal counsel you deserve for your case.

The Attorneys at Parks Zeigler Can Help You

If you or someone you love is facing a DUI or DWI charge, you need an experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney to help you successfully fight your Virginia DUI or DWI violation. Call 888-691-9319 or fill out this short form today.