DUI and DWI Charges in Richmond
Drinking and driving convictions have dire consequences
Virginia takes its driving safety laws very seriously, especially those involving drugs or alcohol. If you face a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), sometimes known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), you need an experienced criminal defense and DUI lawyer. Contact the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. in Richmond today for effective legal counsel.
Virginia's drinking and driving laws are numerous and complex. Let the McDougle Law Firm in Richmond explain the laws as they apply to you, regarding—
Police officers request that a driver suspected of DUI submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT), however the results of this test are not admissible by the prosecution as evidence during a trial for driving while intoxicated. Instead, this test only determines the probable alcohol content of the driver's blood. If the test results show that the drivers blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit, the police officer may arrest the driver for DUI, but further evidence of the driver's intoxication is necessary to support a criminal conviction. A driver may refuse to submit to this test and his or her refusal may not be used against him in court. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-267 for more information.
As a condition of driving in Virginia, every driver is deemed to have consented to a post-arrest chemical test. Following arrest for DUI, the driver is legally obligated to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test to determine the alcohol and/or drug content of his or her blood.
Refusal to submit to the post-arrest chemical test will result in revocation of the right to drive in Virginia and could result in a jail sentence. Furthermore, the refusal may be admitted into evidence against the driver during a subsequent trial for DUI.
Any person convicted for DUI or DWI for the first time is guilty of a class one misdemeanor. The court must revoke the first-time offender's license for one year, and can also impose a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. A judge may restrict driving privileges for the year in place of a full suspension. Additionally, all persons convicted of DUI must pay for and complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), an alcohol rehabilitation program.
A person convicted of a second offense within ten years after a first offense must serve a mandatory ten day jail sentence. A third offense requires a jail sentence of three months and is a Felony. For a second conviction within five years of a prior offense, there is a mandatory 20-day jail sentence. A third offense in five years warrants six months in jail and is a Felony. A fourth offense within ten years of a prior conviction are subject to a mandatory one year in jail and is a Felony.
DUI crimes are six-point offenses. A DUI conviction will remain on your record forever. The following charges attach six points to your license for eleven years:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while intoxicated, resulting in maiming
- Involuntary manslaughter with alcohol involved
- Refusing breath or blood test
- Driving while your license is suspended or revoked for driving while intoxicated
- Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated, resulting in maiming
- Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated, resulting in involuntary manslaughter
For those under 21 years old, driving after illegally consuming alcohol is a six-point offense that stays on your record for only three years.
Contact McDougle Law Firm, P.C.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. represents those who face charges of drunk driving or driving under the influence. Contact the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. online or call 888.337.9971 to schedule your initial consultation today.