Common Virginia Beach Criminal Charges

The following is taken from an interview with a Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer. To learn more about your case schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

Virginia Beach DUI

During the summer months Virginia Beach sees a lot of DUIs. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a very big deal in Virginia Beach. This type of conviction carries very harsh penalties which for a first time offender includes a driver’s license suspension for one year, an assessment for alcohol abuse which may be treatment and educational program, fines, 5 days mandatory in jail and also a costly and a very inconvenient ignition interlock system for the driver’s vehicle if they are allowed to have restricted license.

Later if the driver is convicted of another DUI then the penalties will further increase which is true for each subsequent offense if there are any after the second as well. This means longer jail sentences, heftier fines and more time with a suspended license.

We think that DUIs are more common in Virginia Beach because the city is home to so many bars on the ocean front and there are a lot of tourist attractions. People come from all over to let loose and then unfortunately many don’t make the best decisions at the end of the night. Virginia Beach law enforcement is prepared for this and always has multiple checkpoints located throughout the city very close to the bars which anticipates the intoxicated drivers.

Types of Traffic Charges

Traffic laws are heavily enforced in Virginia Beach with many violations actually charged as criminal offenses such as reckless driving, DUIs, and driving on a suspended license. All of these are class 1 misdemeanors if it is the first offense, which means that they are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2500.

The distinction between being a traffic violation and being a criminal offense means that a conviction results in more than just demerit points on someone’s DMV records but also impacts their criminal records for the rest of their life. A conviction on a criminal record is very serious because it can affect security clearances, insurance, somebody’s career and many other aspects of someone’s life so it is crucial to do everything possible to fight these charges.

Where Will My Case By Heard?

The criminal cases are most likely to be heard in Virginia Beach’s General District Court. If the case is appealed from General District Court then it will move up to circuit court. Both Virginia Beach’s General District Court and Circuit Court are located in the same courthouse.

Traffic matters are also heard in Virginia Beach’s General District Court. There is a separate traffic section of the courthouse which is specifically for these traffic violations but it is all located in the same courthouse.

If someone is arrested in Virginia Beach they will be taken to the jail which is also conveniently attached to the Virginia Beach’s General District Courthouse.