Skip to Content
Call Us for a free consultation 703-382-5840
The Factors That Elevate The Punishment For DUI In Virginia

There are a number of factors that can elevate a typical misdemeanor DUI into a charge that carries serious consequences.

While many DUI charges in Virginia are considered misdemeanors, there are certain factors that will elevate the consequences of a conviction. For example, last year, a Roanoke man drove the wrong way on Interstate 81. According to WDBJ7, he caused a head-on collision that seriously injured the other car’s 17-year-old driver and caused injuries to several other people.

The man had an alcohol level twice the legal limit and was charged with driving under the influence as well as two counts of felony maiming. He was sentenced to serve more than eight years in prison. Anyone facing a DUI charge should be aware of the possible punishment involved when the following factors are present:

1. Multiple offenses

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, someone’s first DUI conviction will typically merit a minimum fine of $250 as well as a one-year license revocation. However, a second DUI conviction will up the fine to at least $500, result in a three-year driver’s license revocation and lead to the possibility of up to a year in jail.

A third DUI conviction will mean that a driver loses his or her license indefinitely. Further, there is a mandatory fine of at least $1,000, and the charge will be prosecuted as a felony. For a fourth conviction, there is an additional minimum sentence of one year in jail.

2. Multiple offenses in a certain time frame

There are several scenarios for multiple convictions in a certain time frame, and those are the following:

  • If someone receives a second DUI conviction within 10 years of the first, there is an automatic jail term of at least 10 days.
  • A second conviction within five years of the first will have a mandatory 20-day jail term, possibly longer.
  • Three DUI convictions in 10 years will result in indefinite revocation of a license, at least 90 days in jail and forfeiture of a vehicle that is solely owned.

Lastly, three DUI convictions in five years will tack on at least six months of jail time to other penalties.

3. Exceptionally high BAC

The Virginia DMV points out that anyone who registers a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.15 to 0.20 percent will have a minimum jail term of five days on the first offense. A second such offense within 10 years of the first will result in 10 days in jail at a minimum.

Any BAC higher than 0.20 percent will merit a minimum 10 days in jail, doubling that minimum for a second or subsequent offense.

4. Transporting children

At the time of the arrest, if there is a passenger 17 years or younger in the vehicle, state law mandates a five-day jail term on top of any other associated penalties. The fines may also increase.

5. Causing injury or death

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that should a drunk driver in Virginia cause an accident that results in serious injury or death, the result will be a felony charge. These charges can carry as much as 20 years in prison.

These consequences illustrate the importance of putting together a strong defense to any DUI charge. People who have questions about this matter should consult with an attorney.

Reviews & Testimonials

At Lawrence, Smith & Gardner, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    “I am forever grateful for your help!”
    Dear Mr. Brillantine and Mr. Smith,
    Thank you so much for your time and effort in the past several weeks. I am forever grateful for your help! Thank you.
    - Previous Client
    “The efficient way you and your staff handled my case, resulted in less anxiety for me.”
    Dear Mr. Smith,
    I just wanted to drop you a note to express my thanks and appreciation for your professional and courteous help and service. The efficient way you and your staff handled my case, resulted in less anxiety for me.
    - Previous Client
    “We appreciate the courtesy and professionalism of your wonderful staff.”
    Dear Mr. Smith,
    We just want to thank you for all your help in our son’s recent traffic case. Things were looking extremely bleak. However, thanks to your knowledge of the law, persistence, ability to talk to people, hard work and grace … What a relief it has been. We also appreciate the courtesy and professionalism of your wonderful staff.
    - Previous Client
    “Thank you for making it possible for me to continue with my life.”
    Dear Ron,
    I am consumed with awe for your legal maneuvering to assist me in court yesterday. Thank you for making it possible for me to continue with my life.
    - Previous Client
    “I appreciate the courtesy and professionalism.”
    To Ron Smith,
    I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you for representing me earlier this month when I went back to court to obtain my restricted license. I appreciate the courtesy and professionalism from you and your staff and under no circumstances hope to ever need your services for a serious matter like that again.
    - Previous Client
    “Thanks for that usually elusive gift … a second chance.”
    Dear Mr. Smith,
    Thank you for all your help. Please extend my thanks also to Martin for his patient support of an incoherent client, as well as to Lisa for her many phone calls. Thanks for that usually elusive gift … a second chance.
    - Previous Client
    “Thanks again Ron you ROCK!”
    I can’t thank you enough for everything. If it weren’t for you I would be in a world of hurt today. I owe you so many thanks. If you ever need anything!! Please pass along all my thanks to your staff and co-workers. Please let Lisa I’m so sorry you missed her lunch too. Thanks again Ron you ROCK!
    - Previous Client
    “I can look back on this experience as a valuable lesson and continue on with my life.”
    Dear Mr. Smith,
    I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for your help with my recent difficult situation. I was amazed at your skill and knowledge of the court system, and appreciative of your insight in these matters. I can look back on this experience as a valuable lesson and continue on with my life. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.
    - Previous Client

Schedule Your Free Consultation

We’re Here to Help
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy