Virginia DUI Laws
Virginia’s DUI Law, 18.2-266, prohibits driving a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) over 0.08 or at any level that impairs your ability to drive. If you have been arrested for an Arlington, Virginia DUI, here is some information you should know. Our attorneys are happy to answer any questions you may have.
The penalties for an Arlington, Virginia DUI range based on two things. First, your alleged BAC. Second, whether you have any previous DUI convictions, and when they were. For a full breakdown of the penalties, you can visit our DUI page.
In general, though, a first offense DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Your license will also be suspended for one year, though you may be eligible for a restricted license with an interlock device. A BAC of over .15, if convicted, will carry 5 days mandatory jail time. That mandatory time goes to 10 days if your BAC is .20 or higher.
A third offense DUI is a Class 6 Felony, which can carry serious mandatory jail time, as well.
Process for an Arlington, Virginia DUI
Being arrested for DUI is scary and intimidating.
First, you need to know that you do not need to do the Field Sobriety Tests if you are charged with an Arlington DUI. These optional tests include the Preliminary Breath Test (“PBT”), which is the hand-held breath test, as well as any of the roadside tests like the One Leg Stand, the Walk and Turn, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (following a pen with your eyes).
You are required to take a breath-test when requested after your arrest. This would be via the Intox EC/IR II machine, which is a stationary machine kept at the police station. Failure to take this test can lead to a separate charge for refusal.
If you cannot take a breath-test, or refuse to do so, the police may get a warrant for your blood, which will result in a blood-draw to test your BAC. The results of this test will come well after your arrest, but can result in your charge being amended to included an elevated BAC, if appropriate.
After your arrest for an Arlington, DUI you will have an arraignment set. This is your first court date. At this date, your charges will be read to you, and the Judge will ask if you plan to hire your own attorney. If you hire an attorney ahead of time, your attorney can enter their appearance and typically waive this arraignment.
For misdemeanor DUI offenses, the proceedings will take place entirely in the Arlington General District Court. This includes any motions, and a plea or trial. While there are no jury trials in the General District Court, you have an automatic right to appeal if you are convicted, and are entitled to a jury trial in the Circuit Court. If you are charged with a felony DUI offense, then your case will start out in the General District Court, but ultimately be tried, if necessary, in the Arlington Circuit Court.
Arlington County police now are issued Body-Worn Cameras (BWC). It is very important that your attorney review this footage. This footage, along with any video from Dash-Cams can help corroborate or disprove the allegations that the police make. The contents of these videos may provide support for any pre-trial motions that need to be made as well. The process for performing a proper DUI investigation and arrest is technical, and this footage can be used to ensure that your arresting officer followed the right protocol. If not, we may be able to use it in your favor.
Hire an Arlington DUI Attorney
DUI defense can be highly technical. And every client has different concerns and goals. Our Client-Focused Criminal Defense Team is prepared to defend your Arlington DUI. Contact Us to learn how we can help you.