Protect Your Rights
If you have been charged with DUI, you need to hire a lawyer with the experience, knowledge and ability to successfully defend you in court. You have a lot at stake when you’ve been charged with a DUI, but you don’t have to face this alone. We are located in Charlottesville, but we try cases all over central Virginia. Our lead DUI attorney is a former prosecutor who has over 20 years of hard fought experience gained through handling thousands of cases in court. We are ready to work with you to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
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High Quality Representation
Our law firm has skilled attorneys who represent clients across Virginia. Our lawyers routinely practice in state and federal courts, both at trial, and on appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals, the Virginia Supreme Court, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Every lawyer at our law firm is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has distinguished himself or herself as a lawyer and as a member of the community. Each of our lawyers has been chosen to lead various state and local legal organizations. We are proud that our firm has been named a best law firm by U.S. News and World Report and received numerous other honors.
What is DUI?
The most common type of DUI charged in Virginia is a violation of Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 as it relates to alcohol. It can also be charged under driving under the influence of drugs (“DUID”).
Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 sets out five ways that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle:
- while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher
- while under the influence of alcohol
- while under the influence of any narcotic drug or intoxicant or combination to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle while under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree which impairs his ability to operate any motor vehicle while having a blood concentration of .02 milligrams of cocaine, .1 milligrams of methamphetamine.
What Are Possible Punishments for DUI?
A first offense DUI in Virginia is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a criminal charge. Criminal penalties include:
- Incarceration in Jail for Up to 12 Months
- Criminal Record (DUI Conviction)
- A Fine of up to $2500.00
- Supervised Probation
In addition, a DUI conviction can impact how and when a person can drive a car in the future. Penalties for first offense DUI include:
- Ignition Interlock
- Suspension of Driving Privileges for up to 12 months
- Attendance at the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP)
Penalties can be substantially higher for second offenses and can include mandatory minimum sentences in jail. Persons charged with a third or subsequent DUI can be convicted of a felony depending on the circumstances. A felony DUI conviction can lead to a long term of incarceration and permanent revocation of the right to drive in Virginia.
Impact of Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.)
There are enhanced mandatory minimum punishments for persons convicted of DUI with an elevated blood alcohol content (BAC). These include a mandatory term of incarceration of 5 days in jail for a DUI conviction where the BAC level is between .15 and .20 and a mandatory term of incarceration of 10 days in jail for a DUI conviction where the BAC level is above .20.
DUI Cases in Court
In Court, the Commonwealth (the state) presents its side first, and will present evidence of the driving and of the intoxication. This will usually be the officer’s testimony, and may also include additional evidence like the blood or breath test, witnesses, and videos or photos. The defendant will then have an opportunity to testify and present his or her evidence. The Court will rule after all the evidence is presented. If found guilty, a defendant is usually sentenced immediately after the court has reviewed the defendant’s driving and criminal record. In addition, restrictions such as an ignition interlock or license suspension can be immediately imposed.
If you are facing a DUI charge, we are prepared to stand up for your rights. To schedule your free consultation call us today at (434) 972-9600 or contact us using the form below.
Please note that the use of our contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship and therefore there is no attorney-client protection for the information you choose to submit to us. As such, please do not submit any confidential or privileged information in the contact form.
We are located in Charlottesville, but our lawyers handle cases in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Greene County, Fluvanna County, Louisa County, Nelson County, Madison County, Orange County, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, and across Virginia.
Davidson & Kitzmann, PLC
211 E. High Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
© 2019 Davidson & Kitzmann, PLC