4 Different Virginia DWI Laws:
Fairfax DUI Lawyer Suggests Reading These if You Drive in VA
(not the typical DUI case)
DWI laws in Virginia are strictly enforced. Depending on a person’s age, driver’s license type, and facts surrounding the incident, one or more different laws may be charged against a driver in connection with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). A typical DWI involves a driver over the age of 21 years of age, driving a non-commercial vehicle, not involving death, injury, property damage, or an accident. For information about the typical type of DWI in Virginia, visit our main DWI defense page. This page will provide an overview of several DWI charges that involve special circumstances. For more details about the offenses, click the name of the offense below (for penalties, explanations by our Fairfax DWI lawyer, and other helpful information).
These four offenses are very serious crimes:
- Underage Driving After Consuming Alcohol in Virginia
- Operating Under the Influence (DWI while driving a commercial vehicle)
- DWI Manslaughter, Aggravated Manslaughter, and
- Causing a Serious Injury (DUI / DWI Related)
Underage Driving after Consuming Alcohol
Although many people begin driving with a valid license as a teen, any driver under 21 years of age will be charged with this offense if it is believed that he or she has consumed alcohol. It is so important to find a Juvenile Defense Attorney in Fairfax, Stafford, Prince William, or where you face the charge, so you can properly defend the case if necesarry.
- suspension of license before trial
- license revocation for a year
- $500 fine (minimum, could be much higher)
- if no fine, 50 hours of community service (minimum, could be higher)
See Virginia Code 18.2-266.1(A) and 46.2-391.2
Operating Under the Influence (OUI)
or Virginia Commercial Driver DUI / DWI
46.2-341.24(A) of the Virginia code covers drivers behind the wheels of commercial vehicles while under the influence.
A BAC level of just .04 is against the law and very serious. As a Fairfax, Virginia DUI Attorney, I think of this law as one in which a charged commercial driver falls into one of three categories:
(1) BAC of .08 or more;
(2) BAC of .04 – .079999; and,
(3) BAC less than .04.
Having any alcohol at all in your system as a commercial driver could result in a violation of the law. The easiest way to think about the penalty scheme in Virginia for this law is to remember, the greater the BAC level, the lengthier the time without a commercial driver’s license will be, and the longer the potential jail sentence.
In Northern Virginia, we have many well known interstate highways where truckers and commercial drivers of all types regularly travel to make a living. As a Fairfax DUI attorney, commercial drivers tell me their number one goal is to avoid conviction or a plea deal requiring a guilty plea to the offense as charged. The reasoning always being that they simply cannot have their commercial license suspended or revoked. It is important to tell your lawyer what your goals are, so that he or she can explain why or why not losing the privilege to operate a commercial vehicle, if convicted, is a possible outcome. Your lawyer can tell you what can be done to have the best chance to avoid such a negative outcome.
It is against the law to have any alcohol in one’s system if you are a commercial driver.
Read more about this offense here, including the full explanation of penalties.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
DUI manslaughter in Virginia may be charged as a felony. If it is a misdemeanor offense, it is probably safe to say nearly all Fairfax DUI Lawyers would still suggest a charged individual seek legal representation. Consultations are free at Vincenzes Law, a Fairfax, Northern Virginia serving criminal defense law firm.
Why is it so important to have a lawyer guide you through this process despite status as a felony or misdemeanor?
Simple: because the legal battles ahead of you may involve possible:
- loss of liberty (jail time)
- large fines from the Commonwealth, and
- civil lawsuits down the road.
Because of the long-term legal issues sometimes associated with a case where a person is killed unintentionally by another, the importance of finding an experienced and well-respected Virginia Defense Attorney is impossible to understate, given how greatly a person’s outlook could change (long-term) depending on the criminal case disposition.
Felony manslaughter is also known as aggravated manslaughter. It is a life-changing experience, and our professional Fairfax DUI lawyer understands this, as well as the need to respect client sensitivities. We serve our clients by acting as advocates in front of the big system against them, the system that will be responsible for taking liberty or property if the case is not resolved favorably for the defendant. Despite where you find a Virginia DWI lawyer, make sure you do find one sooner rather than later; there is much to protect.
This offense punishable by one to 20 years. The first year cannot be suspended, and the prosecution has the ability to charge the offense as a homicide if the facts are particularly bad enough in their eyes. Make sure you contact and hire a Virginia defense attorney or local Fairfax criminal lawyer as soon as possible once charged or notified of an investigation.
Learn more about DWI manslaughter here.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Normally, a first or second DWI in Virginia is a misdemeanor (still a very serious crime with jail time typically), but when another person is injured, the offense is a felony. As a Virginia Class 6 felony, five years in jail could be handed down by a judge if the defendant is found guilty.
Learn more about causing a serious injury in connection with a DWI charge.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Latest posts by Brent Vincenzes (see all)
- Fairfax Defense Attorneys: 4 charges GMU students frequently face - February 23, 2017
- New Marijuana Policy and Laws for Virginia 2017 - February 13, 2017
- How should a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer object to police radar reliability? - June 13, 2016
- Poking Holes: Virginia DUI Test Problems - October 24, 2015