DUI or driving under the influence is considered a criminal charge of class 1 misdemeanor in VA. In case you face a conviction against the charge of DUI in VA, you will have a life long criminal record. In addition to that, there will six DMV demerit points added against your driving record. As with every criminal offense of class 1 misdemeanor in VA, DUI is also punishable by a jail sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $2500. Even for a first DUI offense in VA, there will be some compulsory penalties, which cannot be suspended or waived by the prosecutor or the judge under any circumstances. If you are convicted for a first offense of DUI in VA, you will be fined for a minimum $250 and will be obligated to complete an ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program). In addition, there will be a mandatory suspension of driving license for a period of one year even for those who hold an out of state license and a compulsory installation of IIS (Ignition Interlock System) on their vehicle for six months.
In most cases, if first DUI offense in VA, judges may not impose an active sentence of imprisonment against a conviction except some aggravating factors such as increased blood alcohol content (BAC) level or incident of DUI resulting into an accident, specifically leading to injuries. Under the VA law, if a person has a BAC level of 0.08 is considered to be intoxicated. While these circumstances do not have a mandatory jail sentence associated with them but the judge will consider an active jail time under these situations. Similarly if the charge of DUI is associated with another charge of reckless driving, the judges will consider an active jail time. Therefore it is advisable to hire a lawyer who will able to assist you by providing complete guidance about handling any aggravating factors of your case. In addition to above penalties, the suspension of driving license is also a mandatory penalty against the charge of the first DUI offense in VA. Generally a judge may not want a charge of DUI to have a severe impact on your life specifically when it is your first offense.