Glass, handcuffs, car keys indicating Virginia DUI charges

Why You Need a Skilled Manassas Criminal Defense Attorney for Felony and Misdemeanor DUI Offenses 

You face much more serious charges if you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. You must fight the charges—even if you think you’re guilty—to avoid the harsh punishments of a conviction. Let the skilled Manassas DUI lawyers at The Wilson Law Firm mount an aggressive defense so you achieve the best outcome in your criminal case. 

Virginia Misdemeanor DUI Charges and Penalties

Facing DUI charges in Virginia is a serious matter, even if it’s your first offense. You must understand the crucial differences between misdemeanor and felony DUI cases in Virginia so you have the knowledge you need to make the right decisions during this challenging time.

You can be charged with DUI as a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Code §18.2-266 for driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that impair your ability to drive safely. Here are the penalties you face if convicted: 

  • First offense. Jail sentence of up to one year, fine of up to $2,500, and one year driver’s license suspension. 
  • Second offense. Mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days, fine not to exceed $2,500, and three-year driver’s license suspension.
  • Third offense. Up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $2,500, and indefinite driver’s license suspension.

Felony DUI Charges and Penalties in Virginia

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-270, DUI can be charged as a Class 6 felony if you are convicted of a DUI three times or more within 10 years, or caused an accident involving injuries or death. If charged with DUI as a felony, the stakes are higher, and the punishments can be more severe. You could be sentenced to the following:

  • Minimum jail sentence of 90 days in jail that can be increased to one to five years in prison
  • Mandatory minimum $1,000 fine
  • Indefinite suspension of your driver’s license

How the Court Process Differences in Virginia Misdemeanor and Felony DUI Cases

Class 1 misdemeanor cases are decided in district court. Any trials are determined by the judge only. If charged with a DUI as a felony, your case would be heard in circuit court. You have the right to have your case decided at a jury trial.

Being well-informed about these nuances in the charges and penalties is crucial when facing DUI charges. At The Wilson Law Firm, our team of experienced Virginia DUI lawyers are ready to guide you through the legal complexities, pursue defense strategies, and ensure the best possible result for your case.
Post A Comment