New Kent First Offense DUI Penalties

Due to the potential danger to the community at large, DUI offenses are treated very seriously even for a first offense. Further, if the individual has an elevated blood alcohol content they may face even more serious penalties including mandatory incarceration in some cases. Because of this and the long-term impact that a conviction can have, it is imperative to both understand what penalties apply to your specific situation and then consult with an experienced first offense DUI attorney.

Criminal Consequences

A first offense DUI in New Kent is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. With every first offense DUI, there is the possibility of a one-year suspension of one’s driver’s license. If the defendant is given a restricted driver’s license, they may have an ignition interlock placed in their car for a minimum of six months as well.

If a person is convicted of a DUI without an elevated BAC, they are responsible for reporting to probation and being placed in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program or VASAP. Further, if their BAC is between 0.15 and 0.20, there is mandatory incarceration for five days; if the BAC is 0.20 or higher, there is a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail.

Driver’s License Penalties

Under Virginia Code 46.2-391.2, there will be an automatic administrative suspension of a person’s driver’s license for seven days when the driver is an adult and their BAC is 0.08 or higher, or when the person is charged with refusing to provide a BAC after a probable cause arrest. Subsequently, if one is convicted of the DUI, one’s driver’s license is automatically suspended for one year. That is by statute so a judge cannot change that penalty.

With that said, in a New Kent first offense DUI case, one may have the penalty option of a restricted license. With a restricted license, one is required to have the ignition interlock system, which is a breathalyzer placed in the car for a minimum of six months. The ignition interlock requires the driver to blow into the system any time that they start the car to establish that they are not under the influence. After that period, the person can petition the court to remove the ignition interlock.

When assessing penalties for a first offense DUI in New Kent, a defendant should always ask their attorney to explain their options in depth. For example, you can challenge the administrative suspension to the original seven-day suspension by petitioning the court and proving, using the preponderance of the evidence standard, that there was no probable cause for arrest so you did not refuse to be tested. You cannot challenge the subsequent suspension if you are, in fact, convicted of a DUI.

New Kent First Offense DUI Lawyer