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Richmond DUI Attorney

Charged with DUI or DWI in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield or Hanover, Virginia?

Fighting the consequences of a DUI DWI charge is a complicated task, especially for college or university students, military service members or individuals who make a living on the road, including truckers with CDL licenses. Having the guidance of an experienced Richmond, VA DUI attorney can increase your chances of successfully defending your driving privileges.

Virginia is tough on drunk drivers, and with good reason. One out of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lives. Alcohol-related injuries occur about every two minutes, and fatalities occur every 32 minutes, on average. That is why it’s important to know the facts about driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and to avoid this behavior entirely.

If you’ve never had a DUI or DWI, you might not realize that it’s not a traffic violation―it’s a criminal offense! You’ll be handcuffed, carted off to the police station, and required to go to court. If you want to plead innocent and fight the charge, you will probably want to hire a Richmond DUI attorney to defend you.

Definitions

Drunk driving refers to driving (a motor vehicle, boat, or watercraft) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at a level where you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). This is 0.08% in Richmond, Virginia.

Impaired driving means that your skills, including judgment, coordination, and response time, are affected before your BAC reaches that level, or if you are using drugs.

You can be convicted of DUI in Richmond, VA if your BAC is less than 0.08%. For example, if there is proof that you are under the influence of drugs (even legal prescription or over-the-counter drugs) that impair your driving, you can be arrested for DUI with a BAC of zero.

Breath Tests

You can’t choose what type of chemical test to take when you’re pulled over for probable cause (or another traffic offense) and if  Richmond, VA law enforcement suspects you’re intoxicated. You must take the breath test, and refusing to do so is a misdemeanor.

If you have either a prior conviction for refusing the breath test or a prior DUI conviction, refusing the breath test again carries a three-year license suspension penalty. If you are involved in an accident and law enforcement has probable cause to believe you were drunk, they can arrest you for DUI―without a warrant, anywhere, and anytime within three hours.

Administrative License Suspension

In addition to the license suspension imposed by the courts for a Richmond, Virginia DUI conviction or for refusing a breath test, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles imposes its own suspensions. These suspensions happen the moment you are arrested―before you go to court.

For your first Richmond DUI offense and/or refusal of a breath test, when your BAC is 0.08% or higher, your license is automatically suspended for seven days. For a second Richmond DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your license will be automatically suspended for 60 days or until you go to trial, whichever is first. On your third offense, it gets suspended until you go to trial.

Penalties

Once you are convicted, you’ll endure another round of consequences―more serious ones. The first time you are convicted of a DUI in Richmond, there is a mandatory fine of at least $250. Your driver’s license will be revoked for one year.

After your second DUI offense, there is a mandatory minimum $500 fine, driver’s license revocation for three years, and possible jail time up to one year. If it is within five years of your first offense, there is a mandatory 20 days in jail―10 days if within 10 years of your first offense.

For your third DUI offense, there is a mandatory $1,000 minimum fine and an indefinite license revocation. You will be prosecuted for a Class 6 felony. If it’s within five years of your previous DUI, there is a mandatory six-month jail term. Within 10 years, the mandatory jail term is 90 days. Either way, you will also permanently forfeit your vehicle, if you are the sole owner.

When your blood alcohol concentration is 0.2% or higher when you are arrested, your penalty will include a mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence in addition to your other penalties. The second such offense within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 20 days in addition to the other penalties.

If you have two drunk driving convictions within 10 years, you must install an ignition interlock system on all vehicles you own either solely or with another person. If you fail to do so, you face a possible Class 1 misdemeanor charge and risk having your license revoked―again―for one year. Plus, you may be put into jail for up to one year and be nailed with a $2,500 fine.

Richmond, Virginia has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21 years old. Anyone under 21 caught driving with as little as a 0.02% BAC can face a $500 fine, a six-month license suspension, and jail time. Those under 21 who drive under the influence of drugs or with a BAC of 0.08% or greater are subject to the same penalties as those over 21, listed above.

The Virginia DMV’s brochure, It Can’t Happen To Me, explains the Virginia DUI laws and penalties in greater detail. It also covers other alcohol-related offenses, such as minors in possession of alcohol, open-container laws, and using a fake ID to buy alcohol. The DMV’s drinking and driving page can also lead you to more facts, statistics, myths, and resources on the topic.

Because a DUI charge is a serious criminal offense, consider consulting an attorney who specializes in DUI cases before you go to trial. Many DUI lawyers will give you a free initial consultation, so you can be a little more informed before you decide how to proceed.

Remember, having the guidance of an experienced Richmond DUI DWI lawyer can increase your chances of successfully defending your driving privileges if you’ve been charged with a Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield or Hanover Virginia DUI DWI.

DUI DWI Reckless Driving Speeding Attorney Richmond Henrico Hanover Chesterfield VA

DUI, DWI, Reckless Driving, Speeding Ticket Traffic Attorney in Henrico, Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover, Virginia

Richmond traffic lawyer Gregory R. Hough, P.C. defends Reckless Driving, Speeding tickets and DUI DWI traffic law cases.

Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. is a Richmond Virginia DUI attorney, Richmond Reckless Driving Attorney, and Traffic Lawyer, with an office across the street from the Henrico County Traffic Court House in Henrico, Virginia. The law firm represents clients who are charged with Reckless driving, DUI, DWI, Speeding and other types of traffic violations in the Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, or Hanover Virginia areas. (See also VA Code 18.2-266 ).

It is important to retain the Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. Richmond traffic attorney as soon as possible if you are charged with Reckless driving, DUI, DWI, Speeding and other types of traffic violations in the Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, or Hanover Virginia areas.  In addition to fines, your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended in the state of Virginia. Also, depending on your BAC, you may face mandatory jail time in Virginia if convicted of a Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, or Hanover DUI or Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, or Hanover DWI.

If you wish to consult a Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. Richmond Reckless Driving attorney or Richmond traffic lawyer, please simply contact us via e-mail, phone, or by filling out our online form. The Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. will gladly consult with you regarding your Richmond Reckless Driving, Speeding or DUI traffic ticket.

To obtain a free legal consultation for DUI DWI, Reckless Driving, Speeding Tickets, or other traffic violations in the Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, or Hanover Virginia areas please contact our office using the form on the right hand side of this page or call the number listed above.

Virginia DUI DWI Commonly Asked Questions.

The following are some of the questions the clients of the Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. ask us when they have been charged with a Virginia DUI DWI offense.

  • This is my first DUI charge in Virginia. What is the law in Virginia regarding a first offense DUI?
  • Is there anything else that is going to happen to me if I get convicted of a DUI in Virginia for the first time?
  • Will I lose my license if I am convicted of 1st offense DUI in Virginia?
  • I blew a .08 at the police station. What does this mean in Virginia?
  • Is the law tougher on those who have a BAC higher than a .08 in Virginia?
  • Is there any good news regarding the revocation of my license in Virginia for a DUI/DWI? How am I going to get to work in Virginia?
  • What can I do with a restricted license in Virginia?
  • What does the implied consent test mean in Virginia?
  • If I am under the age 21, can I still be charged and convicted of a DUI in Virginia, even if my BAC was not a .08?
  • I have a CDL and I operate a commercial vehicle. Are the laws different for those who have a CDL in Virginia?
  • What will a conviction for a Virginia DUI/DWI  do to my automobile insurance rates?
  • What if I am convicted of DUI/DWI related injury in Virginia?
  • Why do I need a Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. Virginia DUI – DWI lawyer or Virginia traffic lawyer?
  • NEW CIVIL FEES
  • Uniform Fine Schedule
  • Conviction Code Conviction Description

This is my first DUI charge in Virginia. What is the law in Virginia regarding a first offense DUI?

A conviction for a DUI/DWI offense in Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor.

What is a class one misdemeanor mean?

A class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $2500 in fines.

Is there anything else that is going to happen to me if I get convicted of a DUI in Virginia for the first time?

Like most states, Virginia requires all individuals who have been convicted of a DUI to enter in and successfully complete an Alcohol Safety Action Program (Commonly referred to as ASAP.

Will I lose my license if I am convicted of 1st offense DUI in Virginia?

Yes, if you have been convicted of a first offense DUI in Virginia, then the law requires that you license to drive in Virginia be revoked for a period of one year.

I blew a .08 BAC at the police station. What does this mean in Virginia?

In Virginia, if you blow into the Intoxilyzer 5000 and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is a .08 or higher, the presumption is that you are DUI/DWI. If your BAC is .08 or higher, you automatically have your license suspended for seven days.  Please keep in mind that this is separate and apart from the 1 year loss of your license to drive in Virginia for one year. However, it the Commonwealth of Virginia’s burden to prove that if you are charged with refusal in Virginia, that your refusal was unreasonable.

Is the law tougher on those who have a BAC higher than a .08 in Virginia?

A BAC of .15 or higher does have mandatory penalties even for first time DUI/DWI offenders in Virginia. Please see the chart to see a comprehensive list of penalties for those who are convicted of have a BAC of .15 or higher in Virginia.

Is there any good news regarding the revocation of my license in Virginia for a DUI/DWI? How am I going to get to work?

The law does give the Court authority to grant a person who is convicted of a first offense DUI/DWI in Virginia to get a restricted license.

What can I do with a restricted license in Virginia?

The following are the different things a person with a restricted license for a DUI/DWI can do in Virginia:

  • Driving to and from VASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program)
  • Driving to and from work
  • Driving during work hours if it is necessary for your job. (You will have to show proof that you are driving for work purposes if you are stopped during your working hours.
  • Driving to and from school
  • Driving to and from medical treatment
  • Driving to and from the daycare if you have children.
  • Driving to and from the other parent’s house if you have court ordered visitation.

What does the implied consent test mean?

By Virginia law, if you drive or operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways of Virginia, you have automatically agreed to take a chemical test by virtue of you getting behind the wheel. The test is mandatory, not optional. Failure to take the test will result in your license being immediately suspended for seven days. You will also be charged with refusal to take a breath test. If you are convicted of a refusal in Virginia, then you will lose your license for one year and you are not eligible for a restricted license. That means no driving, no matter what.

If I am under the age 21, can I still be charged and convicted of a DUI in Virginia, even if my BAC was not a .08?

If you convicted of a Virginia DUI/DWI and you are under 21, your BAC will determine what the penalty will be. If your BAC 0.02 or higher but less than 0.08, you can be fined up to $500 and have your driver’s license suspended for six months. To learn more, please read about the DUI/DWI laws and underage possession of alcohol in Virginia. However, if your BAC is .08 or higher, then your penalties will be the same as a driver over 21.

I have a CDL and I operate a commercial vehicle. Are the laws in Virginia different for those who have a CDL?

A number of our clients are commercial vehicle drivers such as truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, etc who have been charged with a Virginia DUI/DWI. Therefore, we recognize that some of our clients are faced with the daunting prospect of loosing their job if they are convicted of a Virginia DUI/DWI. The Virginia DUI laws regarding a Virginia DUI/DWI for those who possess a CDL is that there is a mandatory loss of the CDL if your BAC is.04 or higher at the time of the person operating a commercial motor vehicle. The Virginia DUI law is even more severe if the commercial vehicle operator was transporting hazardous materials at the time of the stop by the police officer. This will cause the person possessing the CDL to lose their license for three years. Again, a refusal of a blood or breath test in Virginia will result in a one year loss of the person’s CDL.

Lastly, a lot of our clients ask us what will a conviction in Virginia for a DUI/DWI do to their automobile insurance rates?

If you are convicted of a DUI/DWI in Virginia, your insurance rates will definitely go up. Car insurance companies require those who have been convicted of a DUI/DWI in Virginia to get a special type of high risk insurance called an SR-22. This is a very expensive insurance policy. If you do not get this insurance policy, your insurance company will most likely drop your insured status. If you are stopped and the officer finds out you do not have car insurance, then you will be charged with a separate offense.

What if I am convicted of DUI/DWI related injury in Virginia?

If you are convicted of a DUI/DWI and another person was hurt as a result of you driving under the influence, the penalties are significantly higher. You are strongly urged to consult with a Virginia DUI/DWI defense lawyer.

Why do I need a Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. Virginia DUI – DWI lawyer?

The media often makes it seem as if a DUI or DWI charge in Virginia are no-win situations. Because of this, many people unwittingly face a criminal system armed with unlimited resources to convict violators. However, Richmond Virginia DUI DWI lawyer Gregory R. Hough, P.C. have proven time and time again, it IS possible to defend drunk driving (DUI) charges AND to avoid DUI convictions.

The Virginia DUI – DWI law attorneys of Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. can advise you as to whether you were stopped without proper authority, subjected to fallible sobriety tests, or arrested because of inaccurate intoxilizer readings.  Unfortunately, none of this matters if you do not consult a Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. Virginia DUI – DWI law defense attorney to challenge the prosecutor’s case.

DUI offenses in Virginia result in six points on your driving record and stay on your record for eleven (11) years with the exception of the underage DUI which stays on your record for three (3) years. The following are the different driving under the under the influence offenses in Virginia:

  • Driving while intoxicated – (DWI)
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – (DUI)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs – (DUID)
  • Driving after illegally consuming alcohol (persons under age 21) – Baby DUI
  • Driving while intoxicated – maiming – (DWI)
  • Involuntary manslaughter/alcohol
  • Refusing blood/breath test
  • Driving while your license is suspended or revoked for driving while intoxicated (DOS/DWI)
  • Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated – maiming
  • Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated – involuntary manslaughter

When you hire the Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. Richmond, Virginia traffic defense lawyer or Richmond, Virginia DUI lawyer, you receive a dedicated attorney that will defend your legal rights in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C. provides quality representation to their clients when they are called upon to defend traffic charges such as reckless driving, driving on suspended or revoked license, aggressive driving, speeding, etc.

Please keep in mind that a conviction for a Virginia moving traffic violation will result in points on your driving record and it also has the potential to significantly increase your auto insurance premiums. Additionally, most of the serious traffic charges in Virginia have an additional bite of either a suspension of your driving privilege or actual jail time or both depending on the severity of the traffic offense. Therefore, it is very important to defend even a first time Virginia traffic ticket summons. Do not take a Virginia uniform summons lightly. Call us today for a consultation with a Henrico Virginia traffic defense lawyer who understands the importance of defending you and not take your case lightly.

For more information or to make an appointment with Law Office of Gregory R. Hough, P.C., please call, or complete our online form.