In addition to criminal penalties and fines an individual charged with a first offense DUI in Virginia will face license suspensions beginning with the first seven days after a person is arrested. During this first period an individual cannot legally drive and should contact an experienced first offense DUI attorney to help review the evidence, potential penalties, and whether any other license restrictions may be in place.
The penalties for first time DUI in Virginia, because it is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, are up to 12 months in jail, and up to a $2,500.00 fine. In addition to that, the person is going to have their license suspended for one year and they are going to have to do the alcohol safety action program or ASAP in the state of Virginia. In addition, if the person gets a restricted driver’s license, which is where a judge will suspend the license but will still allow the person to drive under certain conditions like to and from work or to and from school; in those particular situations, the person will have to drive with an ignition interlock system attached to their vehicle.
After an arrest for a DUI first offense, a person’s privilege to drive will be administratively suspended for seven days. After the seven days, the person can legally drive until the court date. What happens on the court date will determine what happens to the person’s privilege to drive in Virginia. If it is a second offense, there is a 60-day administrative suspension, or it is suspended until the trial date, whichever happens first.
After a conviction, it is still going to get suspended for a year upon a conviction for a first offense and three years upon a conviction for a second offense within either 5 or 10 years of the first offense.
After being charged in Virginia, a person is not going to need a restricted license for seven days. Their license after a Virginia first offense DUI is suspended for seven days. It is just a hard walk for seven days; a person cannot get it in that time. But then if a person is convicted then they can apply for a restricted usually at the same time that the judge is deciding the sentence or they can do it anytime thereafter; a person can put a motion and send it to court.
If somebody’s license is suspended pursuant to a conviction, they are not going to be able to challenge that unless they appeal the conviction. For administrative suspensions imposed for a DUI first or second offense, an attorney can request a hearing to challenge the probable cause for arrest to change the administrative suspension. This is rarely done for DUI first offense cases because of the time-frame, seven days is so short.
In between the period when a person is charged and the criminal process then they are convicted, while a case is pending, while a person is at trial, while they have other things going on, their license is going to be fine during that period if it is a first offense DUI. The person will get their license after a Virginia first offense DUI back after seven days while the case is still pending. It is not until there is actually a conviction that it will be suspended for the year period.
If they are acquitted of a DUI, they are already going to have their license back. For a first offense, it was already sent back to them administratively and their licenses are just immediately reinstated upon acquittal.
When someone has their license suspended or restricted after a first DUI offense, they will need to consult with an attorney. A lawyer can review their case and determine the best course of action. An experienced DUI attorney can request a hearing to challenge the probable cause for arrest on behalf of their client.