If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Virginia, and your case appears to be an “aggravated” case, you need to be aware that the Virginia code provides for so called“enhanced penalties.” This post is intended to educate you about Virginia DUI law, and our enhanced penalties, so you’re in a better position to make the right decisions about your own case. To begin with, you should check out Virginia Code Section 18.2-270 where most of the information below is based upon.
How do I know if my case is an “aggravated” Virginia DUI Case?
To be clear, the term aggravated DUI is not in the Virginia Code. Rather, it’s a term of art within the Virginia criminal defense bar. Simply put, aggravated DUIs are cases that involve driving behavior that’s more egregious than simply being pulled over and arrested for a DUI. This involves situations such as:
- You having an elevated blood alcohol level (BAC) (for example, above a (.15) BAC.
- You’ve been previously convicted of a DUI.
- Your DUI involved an accident.
- You injured someone.
- You have a particularly bad driving record.
- You had 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 the framework laid out in Virginia Code Section 18.2-270, our legislatures intended to impose stricter penalties, the more serious a person’s DUI case becomes. The reason being is that alcoholism is a real problem in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And the danger it poses is significantly enhanced when you mix drinking with driving. That’s becuase the lives of others is being put at risk.
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.
More Questions about your Virginia DUI? Give Abrenio Law a call!
This is a short article about Virginia DUIs. Likely your case warrants a much more in depth discussion. If you have more questions review, give Abrenio Law a call at Ph. 703-570-4180. You can also learn more about Owner James Abrenio here.