Contact Us for a Free Consultation, By Appointment Only (571) 407-7084

DUI Penalties

Fairfax DUI Lawyer Explains: The Penalties of a DUI Conviction 

If you are convicted of a DUI in Fairfax, VA (or anywhere in Virginia), there are penalties associated with a conviction.  For criminal offenses, the penalties typically involve a jail sentence and/or a fine.  For DUI, Virginia also imposes an additional consequence upon conviction – loss of privilege to drive or operate a vehicle in the Commonwealth and the requirement that ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program) be complied.

“Mandatory minimum” means you must serve the jail sentence, day for day, or pay the fine in the amount of the minimum.  (Man/Min)

Active jail sentence – for misdemeanors you serve one day and receive one day of good time credit.  This means if you are given a 10 day active jail sentence you will serve 5 days unless it is a mandatory minimum, in which case you will serve all 10 days.  For felonies, you must serve at least 85% of your active sentence, unless it is mandatory minimum.

Suspended jail sentence and fine – a suspended jail sentence or fine means you do not serve the suspended portion of the sentence or pay the fine unless you violate probation terms, meaning you fail to complete ASAP, commit new law violations, or otherwise violate probation.

  • Example: Upon conviction for a DUI1st offense, the Court could sentence you to 90 days in jail, with 90 days suspended; a $1,000 fine, with $750 suspended. You would pay a fine of $250.00 and the remaining balance of the fine and the entire jail sentence would not be due or served so long as you were of good behavior for one year (or longer if the court so requires).

Jail & Fines

Misdemeanor DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia.  The maximum penalty is 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00.

  • DUI, 1st
    • Man/Min fine of $250.00; up to $2,500.00
    • Up to 12 months in jail
    • 12-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 1st (BAC .15 to .20)
    • Man/Min fine of $250.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 5-day Man/Min; up to 12 months in jail
    • 12-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 1st (BAC over .20)
    • Man/Min fine of $250.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 10-day Man/Min; up to 12 months in jail
    • 12-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 2nd in 5 years
    • Man/Min fine of $500.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 20-day Man/Min; 30 days to 12 months in jail
    • 36-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible after 1 year
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 2nd in 5 years (BAC .15 to .20)
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 30-day Man/Min; 30 days to 12 months in jail
    • 36-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible after 1 year
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 2nd in 5 years (BAC over .20)
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 40-day Man/Min; 40 days to 12 months in jail
    • 36-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible after 1 year
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 2nd in 10 years
    • Man/Min fine of $500.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 10-day Man/Min; 30 days to 12 months in jail
    • 36-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible after 4 months
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 2nd in 10 years (BAC .15 to .20)
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 20-day Man/Min; 30 days to 12 months in jail
    • 36-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible after 4 months
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 2nd in 10 years (BAC over .20)
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 30-day Man/Min; 30 days to 12 months in jail
    • 36-month loss of license or privilege to drive; restricted eligible after 4 months
    • ASAP

Felony DUI is a Class 6 felony in Virginia.  The maximum penalty is 5 years confinement and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00.

  • DUI, 3rd in 10 years
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 90-day Man/Min; up to 5 years confinement
    • Indefinite loss of license or privilege to drive; may petition for restricted after 3 years and full restoration after 5 years
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 3rd in 5 years
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 6-month Man/Min; up to 5 years confinement
    • Indefinite loss of license or privilege to drive; may petition for restricted after 3 years and full restoration after 5 years
    • ASAP
  • DUI, 4th in 10 years
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 1-year Man/Min; up to 5 years confinement
    • Indefinite loss of license or privilege to drive; may petition for restricted after 3 years and full restoration after 5 years
    • ASAP
  • Any DUI after convicted of a felony DUI
    • Man/Min fine of $1,000.00; up to $2,500.00
    • 1-year Man/Min; up to 5 years confinement
    • Indefinite loss of license or privilege to drive; may petition for restricted after 3 years and full restoration after 5 years
    • ASAP

In addition to contesting your charge and proceeding to trial on the merits, a person charged can also engage in plea negotiations.  Whether to try a case or attempt a plea deal requires evaluating the strength and weaknesses of the Commonwealth's case.  Some cases are very much worth trying; other cases have bad facts and avoiding the extreme consequences may be more desirable.

As you can see, there are numerous penalties associated with DUIs depending on the number of priors one may have and when those priors occurred along with their BAC.  In negotiations, the factors that enhance the penalty can be “struck.”  This means if you are charged with a DUI 2nd in 5 years, BAC .15, you are facing 30 days mandatory minimum.  But if the Commonwealth, in exchange for your plea, struck the DUI to a 1st and struck the BAC, you could potentially serve no days in jail.  Your license suspension would also be reduced from 3 years to 1 year.

If you are driving a vehicle solely owned by you during the commission of a felony DUI, the Commonwealth may seek forfeiture of your vehicle.  Click here to read about Asset Forfeiture.

Additionally, any person who commits a DUI with a person 17 years of age or younger in the vehicle, in addition to the penalties set forth above, shall be fined an additional fine of $500.00 but not more than $1,000.00 and be sentenced to an additional mandatory minimum of 5 days confinement.  There is reason to believe this additional penalty is for each child in the vehicle. 

If you are granted a restricted license, it will severely limit where you may drive to during the period of restriction.  Additionally, an interlock device must be installed on the vehicle you are permitted to drive for at least 6 months without any violations.  However, if you are convicted of a DUI, 1st offense and your BAC is below a .15, you can request a restricted license with no restrictions except interlock will be installed for 12 months.

  • If you are convicted of 3 DUIs in 10 years, even if not a felony…even if you are convicted of 3 “firsts”, you will lose your license indefinitely. You may petition for a restricted license after 3 years; full restoration after 5 years.

As you can see, DUI penalties are severe.  George Freeman is a Fairfax DUI Defense Lawyer and former Fairfax County Prosecutor.  He has handled hundreds of DUIs and is ready to help you.  Contact him today for a free consultation. 

Contact Us Today!

2310b31a-b2da-4019-9247-ae02e3f3bf18_original.JPG

We offer a free consultation, in-person or virtually on video, and will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, day or evening, weekday or weekend. We answer calls day or night.

Menu