Virginia DUI / DWI – Will You Go To Jail?

If you’re charged with a DUI or DWI in Virginia, you should talk with an attorney to determine if you’re actually facing jail time.

Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Andrew Flusche. I’m a Virginia traffic attorney. If you’re facing a charge in Virginia of DUI or DWI you’re probably wondering if you’re looking at jail time. The answer of course is going to depend upon the specific nature of your case. There are a few rules of thumb though that I can give you that are based on Virginia law.

First of all, if it is a first offense, and a pretty standard first offense where it’s a low blood alcohol level (below .15) and there was no accident involved, you were just pulled over for speeding or something like that, in most courts, at least where I practice around Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Stafford, you would normally not be facing active jail time. What that means is that you would probably still be looking at suspended jail time. Suspended jail time just means that you have a period of jail time hanging over your head. So you’ll kind of be on probation if convicted, and as long as you do everything the court tells you to do, you would normally not go to jail. However, if you mess up on something, or you don’t do something, or you get into future trouble within that period of time, then you could be looking at active actual jail time. That’s all for a standard first offense, so to speak: below a .15 blood alcohol level, with no accident, and you were polite and there were no problems between you and the officer, and things like that.

Now, if it is a first offense and you had a blood alcohol level of .15 up to .20 what you would be looking at is the possibility of mandatory minimum jail time of 5 days. Basically, because you had a higher blood alcohol level, the law says that if you’re convicted, you have to get 5 days in jail. If your blood alcohol content is .20 or higher, you would have mandatory jail time of 10 days. Now, this is all for a first offense.

For a second offense case it gets much more complicated, but let’s just leave it as saying that in a second offense case, normally you do get actual jail time, even if you had just a .08 blood alcohol level. If it’s a second offense, normally you would be looking at some period of mandatory minimum jail time. The actual amount of time you would be facing is going to depend upon how long ago your first offense was and what your blood alcohol content was. So basically, the way the law works is if the first DUI was a short time ago and you had a higher blood alcohol content, you’re going to be facing more mandatory time than if your first DUI was 9 or 10 years and you had a blood alcohol content of just .08.

So that’s something that you definitely want to talk with an attorney about, in any case, is what kind of jail time you might be looking at. Of course, there are no guarantees, and there are a lot of little factors that can affect possible jail time, but those are some good rules of thumb and something to think about if you’re facing a Virginia DUI.

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.

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