If you’ve been charged with a Virginia DUI, you need to know about “enhanced penalties.” First, check out Virginia Code Section 18.2-270. Then keep reading here.
How enhanced penalties will apply in my Virginia DUI Case?
Enhanced penalties may apply when there are “aggravating factors” in your Virginia DUI. Aggravating factors include:
- An elevated blood alcohol level (BAC) (for example, above a (.15) BAC.
- Prior DUI convictions.
- An accident.
- A bad driving record.
- Passengers in the car, particularly juveniles.
If your case involved none of the above, and you’re facing your first DUI, we’d recommend you checking out our post entitled “What will I get for my first DUI Conviction in Virginia?”
So, I think my case is an Aggravated DUI. What next?
If you’ve read Virginia Code Section 18.2-270, you’ll see that Virginia law provides for specific enhanced penalties for certain circumstances. This section specifically accounts for Elevated Blood Alcohol Levels and prior DUIs. To be clear, there are additional penalties than the following to include the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program and Ignition Interlock. But below will provide you a frame work of mandatory jail time and charges.
Elevated Blood Alcohol Levels.
If you are convicted of a DWI with an elevated Blood Alcohol Level, you will be facing mandaotry jail time. Specifically:
- If your BAC was (.15) to (.19), you will be required to serve at least five (5) days in jail.
- If your BAC was (.20) or higher, you will serve at least ten (10) days in jail. These mandatory sentences are doubled on second offenses.
Second & Third Offenses.
Here are the penalties for multiple DUIs:
- For a second DWI within five (5) years of the prior offense, he or she will serve at least twenty (20) days in jail.
- For a second offense within ten (10) years requires the person to serve at least ten (10) days in jail.
- In cases of third offenses within a ten (10) year period, the DWI becomes a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Not only that, the person must serve at least ninety (90) days in jail unless the offense occurs within five (5) years of previous two, and in that case, a six (6) month sentence is required. (If your convicted of a felony, your vehicle may also be subject to forfeiture).
- For a fourth or subsequent offense within a ten (10) year period is a felony with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one (1) year.
All second, third, and fourth DWI convictions include additional mandatory fines and license suspensions as well.
As you might expect, you you’re facing a second or third offense and your case also involves enhanced blood alcohol levels, Virginia Code Section 18.2-270 requires additional mandatory jail time.
Other things to think about if your case is an aggravated case.
As is clear from Section 18.2-270, our legislatures intended to impose stricter penalties in more serious DUI cases. That’s because drunk driving is a danger to the community.
If you’re facing an aggravated DUI, make sure to reach out to Abrenio Law. However, one aspect that we are going to ask you to consider is alcohol treatment in addition to VASAP. This may include private therapy or inpatient treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, and/or whatever you need to ensure that you don’t end up with future charges or hurting someone.
What happens if I hurt someone in a DUI Accident.
To be clear, the penalties for injury someone in a Virginia DUI accident are severe. If someone is injured, you will likely face the charge of Maiming under Virginia Code Section 18.2-51.4. You will be facing a felony conviction and substantial jail time.
If you kill someone in a DUI accident, you will be facing at least Manslaughter charges under Virginia Code Section 18.2-36.1 and, if convicted, you should expect substantial jail time.
Still have questions?
Make sure to check out our Virginia DUI Practice Page where we’ve answered many other questions you likely have. James Abrenio is a Fairfax-Based Personal Injury & Criminal Defense attorney who practices throughout Northern Virginia. You can learn more about James Abrenio, some of our Prior Results, and Read Our Reviews. Make sure to contact us at Ph. 703-570-4180 for your Free Consultation.