Is DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor in Virginia

If a person is sentenced with DUI in Virginia, he will be charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony. Both are considered as criminal charges but a misdemeanor carrier less charges as compared to felony. Individuals who have a third DUI will be charged with a felony and will face higher consequences. For first time offenders, the charges of DUI are serious and can result in negative influence on your freedom, wallet, insurance rates and reputation. Regardless of whether the DUI is classified as misdemeanor or felony, DUI will be on your criminal record permanently.

Is DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor in Virginia

Offenses which Institute Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor is a lesser offense than felony. Under Virginia Law there are levels of misdemeanor of which Class 3 and 4 are less serious. These classes include a fine but no jail time. On the contrary, Class 1 and Class 2 misdemeanors are more sever. Class 1 contains a jail time of upto one year while Class 2 contains a jail time of six months. Moreover, both the class includes a certain amount of fine as well.

Sentences and Costs of Misdemeanors

The sentence and cost of misdemeanor depend on the levels of alcohol blood content and whether you are charged with a first or second DUI offence, you will face 20-25 days in jail. You will also have to pay a fine of either $250 or $500 and your driving license will also be cancelled for one year.

Blood Alcohol Level is DUI

According to Virginia law, the crime has been committed if an individual has been found guilty of alcohol concentration in blood above the level of 0.08 and above the small milligrams of narcotic like methamphetamines, PCP and cocaine. The two test for blood alcohol concentration include:

Primary Breath Test

This test is administered at the scene before an arrest. The results of this test are not admissible in court but they are used as a possible cause to make an arrest.

Required Breath Test

The second breath or blood test is conducted in the police station and which is required. This test is agreed by all individuals who operate a vehicle under ‘Implied Consent’ law of Virginia. This test should be conducted within three hours of arrest and its result analyze the concentration of alcohol in blood.

Penalties for DUI

Penalties for a DUI varies based on the levels of alcohol found in blood through a breath or blood test. Following penalties are included in a DUI offense:

  • Jail
  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Required alcohol classes
  • High rates of insurance
  • DUI sentence record

The Code of Virginia categorizes DUI as a Class 1 misdemeanor, and sentenced persons may be charged up to $2,500, and can go to jail for one year. If a DUI event cause some serious injuries which cause permanent or several disability or death, then the individual will be charged with a felony. The law of Virginia regarding DUI are complex and have serious penalties. If you are facing a DUI charges you need to contact SRIS Law Group and discuss your case with us.

If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney

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