First Offense DUI in Virginia

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Virginia categorizes a first DUI offense as a class 1 misdemeanor and imposes a fine ranginging from $250 to $2,500. The law also imposes a one-year license suspension. The punishment increases if you were arrested with a BAC of 0.15% or higher in which case your sentence may include a minimum five-day jail sentence..

Administrative Penalties

A first offense DUI in Virginia results in administrative license suspension of one year. Reinstatement of a license requires completion of an alcohol safety and education program. If the driver was arrested with a BAC at or in excess of .15, the driver must utilize an ignition interlock device upon reinstatement of his or her license.

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

Criminal Penalties

First offense convictions carry no mandatory minimum period of incarceration for offenders, except if the offender had a minor passenger in the vehicle (mandatory incarceration of five days), if the driver had a BAC in excess of .15 (mandatory minimum incarceration of five days), or the driver had a BAC in excess of .20 (mandatory minimum incarceration of ten days).

The fine is $250, but if there was a minor passenger present, minimum fines increase by at least $500, but to not more than $2,500. Fines do not include expenses incurred related to completion of terms of the sentence or applicable restitution mandated by the courts.

Convictions can be used in determining the nature of second or subsequent DUI offenses for a period of 10 years.

Getting Legal Help

No statutory language in the state of Virginia prohibits pleading down DUI charges into lesser criminal offenses or even traffic violations. The ability to do so, however, is contingent upon the use of legal counsel and the case-specific nature of each DUI arrest. Likewise, pending case-specific factors, dismissal of charges may also be possible.

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