Virginia DUI Jail
Unlike some criminal offenses, which may be punishable by only fines and probation, a Virginia driving under the influence (DUI) charge carries the very real possibility of jail time. Even if this is your first DUI offense, the judge may order you to spend time behind bars. The only way to avoid a Virginia DUI jail sentence is to successfully fight your charges; for this reason, hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer is strongly advised.
In Virginia, the judge must abide by the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines when determining the punishment for a drunk-driving conviction. This means that while the judge may increase the penalty, he or she cannot go below the minimum sentence.
The Virginia DUI jail sentence depends on a number of factors, such as your blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether you have a prior record of DUI convictions. If you are facing a first DUI offense and your BAC was between .15% and .20%, you could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of five days in jail. This sentence is increased to 10 days if your BAC was over .20%.
If you commit a second DUI offense within five years, you could face a minimum of 20 days in jail (maximum of one year). A second DUI within 10 years may result in a minimum jail sentence of 10 days. If your BAC was between .15% and .20%, an additional 10 days may be added, while 20 additional days may be added if your BAC was higher than .20%.
Because a third offense within 10 years is classified as a Class 6 felony, the minimum jail term is substantially increased to 90 days. Committing a third offense within five years can result in a minimum of six months in jail. A fourth offense requires a minimum of one year in jail.
In addition to jail time, your sentence could include fines, alcohol education courses, and a suspended driver’s license. With so much to lose, you need a qualified DUI defense lawyer on your side at this time to contest your charges. The Law Office of Michael C. Tillotson only handles Virginia DUI cases, which means our lawyers have the background and experience necessary to help you at this time.
For a free Virginia DUI case evaluation from a skilled defense lawyer, please enter your information into our online form now.
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