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If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Northern Virginia your first question is probably…
“Will I go to jail if I’m found guilty?”
First, some quick facts: Virginia defines driving under the influence (DUI) as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above a .08.
If you are under the age of 21, a DUI occurs if you operate a motor vehicle with a BAC over a .02.
If you are a commercial driver, a DUI occurs if you are driving a motor vehicle with a BAC over .04.
Virginia treats DUIs as serious offenses as statistics show that DUIs can endanger the life of the driver as well as the lives of any passengers and nearby drivers and pedestrians.
It’s precisely due to these dangers that some DUIs will result in a mandatory jail sentence –BUT NOT MOST!
To stay out of jail, mandatory or otherwise, when you are charged with a DUI here in Virginia it is critical that you hire an experienced DUI Defense Attorney.
Mandatory Jail Sentence
In short, MOST first-time DUI offenses will NOT result in a mandatory jail sentence.
If your BAC is up to .14, Virginia does NOT require mandatory jail!!
Assuming that there are no other aggravating factors such as serious injuries or property damage, most Northern Virginia convictions will result in a suspended jail sentence along with a fine, a mandatory anti-DUI probationary class known as the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) and a 12-month Driver’s License suspension (with the allowance of a “Restricted” Driver’s License –allowing you to drive to work, school, daycare and doctor’s appointments.
So How Does Mandatory Jail Come Into Play?
If you are charged with a second DUI and the second DUI occurred within five years of your first DUI, then you will face a mandatory jail sentence of 20 days if you are found guilty.
If you receive your second DUI between five years and ten years after your first DUI, then there is a mandatory jail sentence ten days in jail.
Of course, there are a number of other penalties involved with a second-time DUI such as a fine of at least $500.00, a 3-year license revocation, the ASAP class, etc..
From here, if you receive a third DUI within five years of your second DUI, you will face a mandatory six months in jail.
If you receive a third DUI within 10 years of your second DUI, you will face a mandatory 90 days in jail.
A third DUI in Virginia can be charged as a FELONY!
You will also be required to pay a fine (minimum of $1,000.00) and you will face a felony charge. There are several additional penalties with this.
Finally, if you receive a fourth DUI (again, that would be a FELONY), among other penalties, you will face a mandatory jail sentence of one-year minimum.
Hire A DUI Defense Attorney
To best protect your rights, it is imperative that you hire an experienced DUI Defense Attorney. The NoVa Law Firm has the skill and experience needed to aggressively take on your case.
With over 15 years of experience defending individuals charged with DUIs, DUI Defense Attorney Eric Clingan makes every effort to provide you with the knowledge and information you need to face your case with confidence in court. Serving Fairfax, Virginia and surrounding areas.