License Following a First-Offense DUI in Virginia
Prosecutors vigorously handle DUI charges vigorously. Prosecutors rarely are moved by the concept that this is the person’s first-offense and it is sometimes seen as a stepping stone to future DUI offenses. In fact, most prosecutors think that if a person is charged with first-offense DUI, that just means they have gotten away with it before. As a result, prosecutors will often push for penalties like suspension of a license, or jail time. With the stakes so high, it is of the utmost importance that you get in touch with an attorney. A DUI lawyer can explain what happens to your license following a first-offense DUI in Virginia, and the other consequences you may face. If you have been charged with a first-offense DUI, contact a qualified DUI lawyer who can build your case.
License After a First-Time Virginia DUI
If charged, a person is going to lose their license following a first-offense DUI in Virginia for a period of seven days, that is an administrative suspension and that seven days means that that person is not driving at all. An individual cannot get that restricted to go to and from work, school, or anything else. That is a hard seven-day suspension that where a person is not allowed to drive.
If an individual has been convicted of a DUI, that individual loses their license for 12 months. However, that person will be able to get that license restricted to go to and from work, to and from school, to take one’s kids to and from school or daycare, and to attend the alcohol safety program, which will be required as part of that person’s sentence, and that individual will also be required, as a condition of that restricted license, to have an ignition interlock put on their vehicle for at least six of those 12 months.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Virginia
If a person is convicted of a first-offense DUI they will be facing a 12-month loss of license following a first-offense DUI in Virginia. The person will also be required to complete ASAP, which is the Alcohol Safety Action Program. Lastly, there is a fine of generally $300 to $500. That license suspension is able to be restricted. That person can drive to and from work, to and from school, and a number of other restrictions that are available under Virginia law.
Unfortunately for Virginia drivers, Virginia does not have any diversion program or probation options like our friends in the District of Columbia and Maryland enjoy. If a person is charged with a first-offense DUI in Virginia and the government can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, that person is not going to be given the opportunity to go into any diversion program. It does not exist under Virginia law.
If an individual is convicted of a DUI, they cannot challenge that suspension. The only opportunity that the person has to make it go away is to appeal their case to the circuit court.
Applying for the Restricted License
Someone can choose to apply for a restricted license following a first-offense DUI in Virginia.There is a form that a person can fill out that will include all information about places that they need to be driving. It will include their home address, their work address, school address, and wherever it is that they need to be going. They will need to include the times that they will be traveling to and from those destinations. Once they fill that form out, the judge will evaluate it and either accept it or deny it. Perhaps the person may have an opportunity to amend it to include fewer things that they will be driving to and from but eventually, a judge will sign a restricted license application at that time. The court will generate a document that is, in fact, the restricted license and that person is absolutely required to carry that document with them at all times while they are driving.
Contacting a Lawyer
A first-time DUI can be a stressful experience. Wondering what might happen to your license following a first-offense DUI in Virginia can add to the stress, especially if you rely on your car to get to work, and do not have access to other modes of transportation. A compassionate DUI lawyer will understand how much is at stake, and can work with you to defend your case, and can help you challenge your suspension.