Richmond, Virginia DUI Lawyer
Challenging Drunk Driving Charges in Richmond
At Portner & Shure, P.A., our Richmond DUI attorneys have been defending individuals accused of alcohol-related driving offense for years. Our experienced attorneys know how to evaluate a criminal case and identify possible defenses, especially when a driver is pulled over under questionable circumstances. We are ready to zealously fight to protect your rights and driving privileges that you rely on every day.
Get your case rolling in the right direction. Call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.
Virginia DUI Law
Virginia Code §18.2-266 makes it illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. A driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit at or above 0.08 is legally intoxicated, which means it becomes strictly illegal to drive.
You can be charged with driving under the influence if you were:
- Tested with a BAC level of 0.08 or more
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of any drug
Driving “under the influence” is an intentionally vague legal statement. It basically means that you can be arrested and charged for a DUI even when your BAC level is under the legal limit as long as you were driving dangerously due to alcohol and/or drugs in your system.
Virginia DUI Penalties for First-Time DUIs
Under Virginia law, a first-time offense for a DUI is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for a first time DUI charge carries a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum fine of $2,500, as well as a maximum jail sentence of 12 months.
The minimum jail time a defendant faces depends on their blood alcohol level when arrested:
- 0.08 to 0.14: No mandatory jail time; however, the sentence is suspended
- 0.15 to 0.19: Mandatory 5-day jail sentence
- 0.20 or above: Mandatory 10-day jail sentence
In addition to criminal penalties, individuals convicted for a first-time DUI will also have their license suspended for 1 year. They will also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle and will be required to complete the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP).
Second-Time DUI Offenses in Virginia
Under Virginia law, a second DUI offense is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for a second time Driving Under the Influence charge carries an increased minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $2,500. A conviction for a second-time DUI charge will also carry a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail.
Again, the minimum jail sentences depend on the defendant’s record BAC level:
- 0.15 to 0.19: Mandatory 30-day jail sentence
- 0.20 or above: Mandatory 40-day jail sentence
A mandatory 20-day jail sentence is imposed if the second offense occurred within 5 years of the individual’s first offense. Additionally, a mandatory 10-day jail sentence is imposed if the second offense occurred within 10 years of the individual’s first offense.
Drivers convicted for a second-time DUI will also have their license suspended for 3 years. They must also install an IID in their vehicle and complete the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP).
Third-Time DUI Offenses with Heavy Penalties
A third offense for a DUI is classified as a 6 felony if it occurred within 10 years of the defendant’s first offense. A conviction for a third-time DUI charge carries an increased minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,500. Furthermore, a conviction can carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison along with a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail. If the third offense occurred within 5 years of the defendant’s first offense, the minimum sentence increases to 6 months. Finally, a conviction for a third offense results in an indefinite suspension of their driver’s license.
Portner & Shure, P.A. – Unique Approach to DUI Defense
When you are charged with a DUI, you are legally presumed to be innocent. The prosecution is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the facts of your case, meeting this burden may be difficult.
The Richmond DUI attorneys of Portner & Shure, P.A. are ready to thoroughly review the facts of your case to identify the best defensive approach. Information about the initial traffic stop and whether the police officer properly administered the chemical breath can be crucial to forming your defense, for example. Or we might be able to uncover that the police officer who pulled you over has a history of profiling people by race or the car they drive, which could make the stop unlawful. In any circumstance, our attorneys will fight diligently to protect you from the overly harsh consequences of a DUI conviction in Virginia.
Our dedication and professionalism have allowed us to build an excellent reputation in Virginia’s legal community and Virginia’s Hispanic, Latinx, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) communities. To schedule a free consultation regarding your DUI case, dial (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.