Is DUI a felony in VA

Matt Pinsker

December 14, 2022

DUI a felony

Whether you are a first-time offender or a seasoned veteran, there are some things that you should know about DUI in VA. There are specific laws that apply, meaning it is essential to understand what you can and can’t do to avoid a felony charge.

DUI laws change regarding implied consent law

Regardless of where you live, you are likely familiar with the implied consent laws. These laws allow law enforcement to ask drivers to blow into a breathalyzer. They are intended to support law enforcement’s efforts to determine the danger an impaired driver poses.

There are many different laws related to this topic. You will need to consult with an attorney for specific advice.

In Virginia, a motorist can be convicted of a DUI if arrested within three hours of operating a vehicle. This rule can have significant implications in accident cases.

Implied consent laws also cover underage DUI charges. If the motorist is under 21, the officer may require them to perform a preliminary breath test. These tests are often more intrusive than the standard field sobriety test.

DUI convictions stay on your criminal record

Getting a DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol in Virginia can have several consequences. One of the most serious is your criminal record. It can affect your job, housing, and auto insurance rates.

A DUI conviction in Virginia can come with many fines and a lengthy probationary period. In some cases, it can result in you losing your vehicle. In other cases, it can result in jail time. In addition, it may affect your ability to obtain a job or a security clearance.

Luckily, there are ways to reduce the harmful effects of a DUI or DWI conviction. In Virginia, you can complete a driver improvement seminar every two years. Moreover, you can request a restricted license from the court. You should also seek out legal representation if you find yourself in trouble.

Breathalyzer tests are more common than blood tests.

Whether you’re in Virginia or another state or have been accused of driving under the influence, there are different tests that police officers may use to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Often, these tests are used as evidence in criminal court. However, many things can go wrong with these test results. Fortunately, a Virginia DUI attorney can help you protect yourself.

Virginia’s most common type of breathalyzer test is the Intoxilyzer 5000(r). These machines are designed for the state and use infrared testing technology. They can also detect alcohol when a motorist exhales. These devices are attached to a law enforcement officer’s flashlight or clipboard.

These devices are used to establish probable cause for an arrest. In addition to field sobriety tests, a police officer can use preliminary breath test results to make an arrest.

DUI-related involuntary manslaughter

Having a criminal conviction for DUI-related involuntary manslaughter is a felony in Virginia. It carries severe penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence. Having a solid legal defense can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Aggravated involuntary manslaughter charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The offender faces a fine of up to $10,000 and a driver’s license suspension if convicted.

A conviction for involuntary manslaughter can result in a prison sentence of between one and ten years. The judge will determine the sentence. Depending on the circumstances, the jury could reduce the offender’s sentence.

The penalty for an involuntary manslaughter offense can also be increased if the driver kills another person. If the accident caused a fatality, the charge could rise to aggravated involuntary manslaughter.

Avoiding a felony DUI charge

Getting arrested for DUI is a terrifying experience. The consequences can be high, including jail time, a criminal record, and higher insurance premiums. The best advice is to avoid drinking and driving. Talk to a skilled Virginia DUI attorney if you’re unsure about your rights. They can evaluate your case and offer options to help you fight the charge.

First-time DUI offenders face a misdemeanor DUI offense. Sometimes, they may be required to appear in court and request a bond hearing. Those convicted of a first offense may have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

In Virginia, a felony DUI is charged when a person has two or more prior DUI charges within five years. A third DUI within that same time is considered a Class 6 felony and carries a stiff penalty. The felony can affect a person’s employment prospects, future firearms possession, and other civil liberties.