DUI Attorney in Lynchburg, Virginia

In Virginia, DUI convictions come with severe penalties and devastating consequences for your quality of life and professional future. If you are facing drunk driving charges, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your driving privileges and future opportunities.

For DUI defense in the Blackstone and Lynchburg areas of Virginia, call E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law to schedule a consultation.

DUI vs. DWI vs. OVI vs. OWI

The different terms and acronyms can be confusing, so here is a helpful list describing what each term stands for:

  • DUI = Driving Under the Influence
  • DWI = Driving While Intoxicated
  • OVI = Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated
  • OWI = Operating While Intoxicated

Is There any Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Virginia?

All of the acronyms above generally refer to the same thing – a person was suspected to be driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Unlike some states that draw a distinction between DUI and DWI, Virginia does not. Both are interchangeable and carry severe penalties.

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Criminal Penalties for DUI in Virginia

Virginia is known to have tough laws against drunk driving offenses. Criminal penalties can range from jail time to fines, probation, and license suspension.

In 2018, 34% of all traffic fatalities in Virginia were alcohol-related. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 19,790 people were convicted of DUIs in 2018. However, the severity of your penalty will vary if you are a first-, second-, or third-time offender. Here are the criminal penalties for DUI in Virginia: 

First Offense

A DWI/DUI is considered a first offense if the driver has no previous DUI convictions within the last ten years. However, factors such as your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) and carrying minor passengers can increase your penalties.

  • Jail Time: Up to 12 months in jail 
  • Fines: Between $250 and $2,500
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • Treatment: You must complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). 

You can apply for a restricted license that requires you to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for a minimum of 6 months.

Second Offense

Two DWI/DUI convictions within a 10-year period can result in the following penalties:

  • Jail Time: 10 days to 12 months in jail 
  • Fines: Between $500 and $2,500 and a $50 trauma fund fee. An additional $500 to $1000 might be added by the court if you were carrying a juvenile passenger.
  • License Suspension: 3 years
  • Treatment: You must complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). 

You can apply for a restricted license that requires you to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least six months. The restricted license permits you to drive to and from school, work, and treatment centers.

Third Offense

A third DWI/DUI conviction in a 10-year period is classified as a Level-6 felony in Virginia, with penalties including:

  • Jail Time: Felony prison time can range from one to five years.
  • Fines: Between $1000 and $2,500. An additional $500 to $1000 might be added by the court if you were carrying a passenger under the age of 18.
  • License Suspension: Indefinitely
  • Treatment: You must complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) and substance abuse evaluation.
  • Vehicle Forfeiture: For a third DUI conviction, the judge can order the forfeiture of your vehicle. 

Your license will be revoked indefinitely (or up to 5 years), and you are not eligible for a restricted license. The court can grant you a restricted license for at least six months if you show good cause after the revocation period.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Defending your DUI charges on your own can put you at risk of suffering the maximum penalties. With a criminal record, you can lose your professional license and other future opportunities. If you are facing drunk driving charges, it is important to seek the help of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney to represent you and pursue the best outcome possible.

Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Serving Lynchburg, Virginia

Don’t face your DUI charges alone. Let a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney fight vigorously on your side. Gordon has been helping clients pursue a more favorable outcome in their DUI cases in Virginia for over 17 years and serves clients in Lynchburg, Blackstone, Amherst County, Campbell County, Bedford County, and other areas in Virginia. Gordon can offer you the knowledgeable legal guidance you need. Call E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, to schedule a consultation.