How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Virginia?

Aligning Yourself with a Knowledgeable Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer Could Help You Keep a DUI Off of Your Record


how long does a dui stay on your record in virginia

Every year, numerous people who have never been arrested before face DUI charges in Virginia. For many people, the only charge they ever pick up is a DUI.

However, that one simple mistake that you made getting behind the wheel after having a drink could be costly if you don’t act right away.

If you have a first-offense DUI charge and have a clean record, you might be wondering what you should do to keep your record clean. Seeking the help of an extremely knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced Virginia DUI lawyer can give you the best chance possible to keep your criminal record clean.

Is a DUI Record in Virginia Permanent?

A conviction for DUI in Virginia remains on your criminal record indefinitely. There are no provisions under Virginia law currently that allow for a judge to expunge your record for a conviction.

Criminal records follow you wherever you go. If you have a DUI conviction in another state, there is a good chance that the prosecution will find out and use that against you. Similarly, if you have a DUI conviction in Virginia and pick up a DUI charge in another state, then you could face a second-offense DUI charge in that state.

As you can see, keeping a DUI conviction off of your criminal record is very important.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record in Virginia?

Your driving record is an important piece of your history. It contains information about deferred prosecutions, convictions, traffic violations, revocations, suspensions, and accidents for which you bear responsibility.

Unlike with criminal records, the Virginia DMV automatically removes entries from your driving record after a specific amount of time passes. For example, a first-offense conviction for DUI must remain on your record for 11 years.

After 11 years, the DMV will remove the entry. DUI charges older than 10 years do not technically count as priors in Virginia to automatically enhance your penalties, but they can still be considered by the court.

The DMV may record information about your DUI arrest and whether you have an administrative suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test.

Under the Virginia DMV’s demerit system, a DUI conviction carries six demerit points. The six demerit points remain on your driving history for at least two years.

Six demerit points are the most the DMV will assign for one offense. The DMV will assign three or four points to less severe offenses.

The DMV has the authority to suspend your license if you accumulate too many demerit points over two years. If you accumulate 12 demerit points in 12 months or 18 points in two years, then the DMV will assign you to complete its driver improvement clinic.

You have 90 days to complete the program from the date you acquire your 12th point or 18th point. The DMV will suspend your license if you do not complete the driver improvement clinic in the 90-day window.

If you have 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in two years, the DMV will suspend your license for 90 days and require you to complete the driver improvement clinic.

How Does a DUI Charge Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

A DUI charge could cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. Your insurance company might not impose a higher rate if you receive an acquittal. Your rates will almost certainly go up if you have a DUI record in Virginia.

Following a DUI conviction, the DMV will consider you a high-risk driver. As a result, you may have to carry higher minimum insurance limits for bodily injury and property damage and file an FR-44 financial responsibility form with the DMV.

Why Is It Important to Keep Your Criminal Record and Driving Record Clean?

Your criminal record tells the world only a small part of your story. Sometimes people place too great of an emphasis on a person’s criminal history as a good barometer of their character. Having a DUI charge is certainly not proof of a bad character.

Nonetheless, having a clean criminal record is beneficial in many situations. Some of those situations include:

  • Searching for a new job;
  • Trying to obtain a security clearance;
  • Applying for a firearms license;
  • Obtaining a commercial driver’s license;
  • Applying for housing;
  • Filing a mortgage application;
  • Applying for permanent residency or naturalization; and
  • Applying for a driver’s license in another state.

In any of these situations, you may lose out on your chance for advancement if you have a DUI conviction on your record.

What Are the Other Penalties for a DUI Charge in Virginia?

A typical first-offense DUI charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. The most jail time you could get for a DUI conviction is one year. Also, the court could order you to pay fines up to $2,500.

You face the threat of stiffer penalties depending on the circumstances of your arrest. If someone suffers an injury or dies in a collision, the police could bring felony charges against you. Additionally, the severity of the penalty increases if you have a long criminal history, including previous DUI convictions.

Jail and fines are not the only punishment you could suffer for a DUI conviction. The court may put you on probation. While on probation, you must attend the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), perform community service, and attend counseling if deemed necessary.

Additionally, the court will revoke your driver’s license for one year. If you want to have your license reinstated on a restricted basis, you will need to install an ignition interlock device for at least six months. Sometimes the Virginia DMV will also make you go through the whole license testing process again.

How Can a Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer Help Me Keep My Record Clean?

Having a lawyer who is willing to fight for you tooth and nail can help you achieve the best result possible for your DUI charge.

Although results are never guaranteed, you stand a better chance of successfully negotiating with the prosecution to get your charges reduced. However, if the prosecution refuses to plea bargain and reduce the charges against you, there are several options available.

A lawyer who has litigated hundreds, if not thousands of cases, understands how to handle a DUI defense. First, a high-quality DUI lawyer will take a close look at the actions of the police to determine whether they violated your rights.

You have the right to file a motion to suppress if the arresting officers violated your constitutional rights.

Fourth Amendment Violation

The prosecution must prove that the police performed their duties without violating your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

For example, if the police pulled you over without an accident, the police have to show that they had reasonable suspicion to stop you. The judge must throw out the evidence against you if the police violated your rights.

Miranda Warnings

Additionally, you might have a good argument to make if the police asked you questions while you were in custody but didn’t read you your rights. You could ask the judge to exclude any incriminating statements you made to police.

The prosecution does not have to dismiss the case if the court suppresses your statements. However, preventing your statements from coming into evidence at trial could severely weaken the Commonwealth’s case against you.

Here’s a common example of how a statement you made could hurt you.

Suppose you drive your car into a ditch on the side of the road. When police investigate, they suspect you had been drinking. They take you back to the police station and begin to ask you questions. If you admit that you had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel, the prosecution may try to use this admission against you.

However, the judge might rule that you were under arrest if you were not free to leave. In that situation, the police must read you your Miranda rights. If they don’t, then the judge will not let the prosecution use your statements in court. This could severely hamper the prosecution’s ability to prove you were driving under the influence.

Defending Your Rights at Trial

One way to keep a clean record is to win an acquittal at trial. Remember that the prosecution always has the burden to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

With the advice of a highly experienced attorney, you could evaluate your chances of success at trial. Receiving an acquittal from the jury means that your case is over and no one could ever hold it against you. In that case, your record remains clean.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer to Learn More About How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Virginia

Throughout my career, I have worked to help people like you avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI charge. When my clients ask, How long does a DUI stay on your record in Virginia? I advise them of the possible consequences of a DUI conviction and then help them figure out the best solution for them.

In some cases, negotiating a favorable plea bargain is the best way to minimize the harm a DUI conviction could cause. In other cases, my client’s best option is to fight every step of the way. Call me today at 540-318-5824 to make an appointment and find out how I can help keep your record clean.


Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz