Richmond DUI/DWI Lawyers
Richmond, Virginia, is one of the country’s most historic cities. As the capital of the Commonwealth, it’s one of the most populated cities, sprawling across the James River with an expansive network of highways that link dozens of suburbs and smaller towns.
Police officers throughout Richmond are always on the lookout for erratic drivers, particularly those who display signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Their mission is to take drunk drivers off the streets to uphold a safe environment for all motorists. If they suspect you have been drinking, you can expect officers will not be sympathetic to your situation.
Most people understand that driving under the influence is against the law. Some may not, however, know the specifications that may lead to an arrest. A person who blows a 0.08 BAC or higher on a breath test will be arrested and charged with DUI. As a class 1 misdemeanor crime, DUI is one of the most dangerous traffic offenses and thus can incur some of the most severe criminal penalties upon a conviction. If you’re suspected of DUI in Richmond and have received a citation, it’s crucial to contact a Richmond DUI and DWI lawyer immediately.
What are the penalties associated with a first-time DUI in Richmond?
Driving while intoxicated is a class 1 misdemeanor, meaning that it’s just one step below a felony. While some people believe that misdemeanor charges are relatively harmless, class 1 misdemeanor convictions could lead to an array of harmful penalties, in addition to a devastating car accident. Even a first DUI offender with a BAC below 0.15 could face one or more of the following:
- A fine of up to $2,500 plus court fees
- Incarceration in jail for up to 12 months
- Driver’s license revocation
- Mandated driver education and alcohol treatment
Other Possible Consequences of a DUI Conviction
In addition to criminal and administrative penalties, your entire life can change before you know it. Your relationships with family members and friends can suffer, as can your relationship with your employer. In some cases, employers who discover a DUI on an employee’s record will terminate the employee. Many people who face a DUI struggle with the following:
- Social stigma
- Loss of job and other employment opportunities
- Damage to your reputation
- Permanent criminal record
- Challenges regaining family and friends’ trust
- Financial troubles due to loss of employment, difficulty finding employment, and costly court fees
- Higher car insurance payments
It can be extremely difficult to overcome the social and emotional hardships that follow a DUI charge or conviction. At Pendleton Law, our team of compassionate attorneys aims to provide all the support you need to get through this difficult time with as little damage as possible to your everyday life.
What You May Face Upon a Second DUI Charge in Virginia
A second DUI offense within 5 years of the first offense will result in a 3-year mandatory license suspension. During this period, you will not be eligible to apply for a restricted license for one year. You will also be required to spend a minimum of 20 days in jail.
A second offense DUI within 5-10 years of your first DUI conviction will also lead to a 3-year license suspension; however, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license after four months. A second DUI charge within 5-10 years of your first conviction will lead to a mandatory 10-day minimum jail sentence. You must also install an ignition interlock device in your car for at least 6 months of the restricted license period.
Potential Penalties for a Third DUI Offense in Virginia
Penalties for a third DUI conviction in Virginia are even worse than those for a second. A third DUI offense within 10 years is considered a class 6 felony in the Commonwealth. The Virginia DMV will revoke your driving privileges indefinitely upon a third DUI conviction. If you hope to get your license back, you must petition the court that convicted you. After 3 years, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license. You may be eligible for a full restoration of your driving privileges after 5 years.
A third offense DUI will lead to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days for a third DUI within 10 years. You will be sentenced to a six-month minimum jail sentence for your third DUI within 5 years.
Protect Your Reputation by Working with a Team of Richmond DWI Lawyers
An attorney who fights DUI and related charges in Richmond will make it his goal to mitigate the charges against you, and protect your license and reputation. With the help of an experienced lawyer, it may be possible to persuade the court to drop your DUI charge so that you may continue to live your life. If it’s not possible to drop or reduce the charge, your lawyer will do everything in his or her power to reduce the consequences of a conviction.
At Pendleton Law, our team of criminal lawyers fights DUI and other alcohol charges. We understand it may be a challenging and emotional time for you and your family, and will do whatever it takes to reduce the impact your DUI charge has on your life. Whether you’ve received a DUI for driving with a BAC of more than 0.15 or were arrested for DUI and are under 21, our lawyers will protect your rights and reputation at each turn. Understand that you face a hostile justice system when you’re arrested for DUI. You need the support of confident lawyers to get you through this with strong results.
Your DUI trial date will usually take place within 60 days of the date charges were filed against you. You must act quickly to obtain qualified legal representation before then. The Pendleton Law Team has been awarded Avvo’s Client’s Choice and our founder, Christina Pendleton, has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star. Discover how our firm can help you fight a DUI and protect your rights by calling our criminal hotline at (804) 554-4444 or completing our contact form for a free case review.