How First Time DUI Offenses Are Treated in Norfolk

If you have been charged with your first DUI offense in Norfolk, your case will be heard in the Norfolk General District court. Below is more information about how your case is likely to be treated by local authorities. To learn more consult with a Norfolk first DUI lawyer today to discuss your case.

How Are First Time DUI Charges Treated By Prosecutors?

As long as there is no enhancement for a first time DUI, the standard offer that prosecutors in Norfolk will give to somebody is 2 years of good behavior, an ignition interlock on their car or 6 months if they’re eligible for restricted driver’s license, ASAT, a fine of $250 to $500 (depending on the facts), and a license suspension for 12 months.  If there was a refusal or there was also reckless driving charged, then usually the prosecutors will offer to increased penalties onto that charge.

Penalties For a First Offense DUI

In Norfolk for a first time DUI if somebody has a BAC of 0.08, but no more than 0.14 then the penalties include a fine of up to $2500, a loss of license for one year and a person might be eligible for a restricted license.  But if they want to get a restricted license, then they’re going to have to get an ignition interlock system installed into their vehicle, which they’ll be responsible for paying for as well as any fees that are associated with maintaining it throughout that restricted period.  Sometimes an alcohol substance abuse education program is also ordered.

If somebody has a BAC of 0.14 to 0.20, then the DUI comes with a mandatory minimum jail time of 5 days.  Also, ignition interlock, a fine, a year loss of license and a substance abuse program.  If they have a BAC of 0.21 or more, then that’s a mandatory 10 days in jail with all the rest being retained.

Additionally, in Norfolk, there is no divergent program that is offered to first time DUI offenders.  Probation comes as part of the usual sentencing when someone is found guilty of a DUI, which is typically 12 months long.

How Do Norfolk Courts Treat First Time DUI Charges?

The courts in Norfolk are pretty strict on first time DUI charges. Most of the time in Norfolk, they stick to the statutory guidelines really closely and unless there is some pretty strong evidence to influence them in another direction, they don’t tend to waiver from those guidelines. Also, unless there is also a serious defect in their case, then prosecutors will not tend to give anybody what they call a reckless which is when a DUI is reduced to reckless driving and judges very routinely do convict people just based on what the officer has to say that he observed through the field sobriety test.

Can You Expect More Leniency From a Judge or a Jury?

It depends. In Norfolk, the judges don’t deviate very much from the statutory guidelines when they make rulings.  So you can walk in with a DUI and know pretty much what to expect to walk out with.  The jury is a wild card.  It really could go either way depending on what juries get.  In general, juries tend to be harsher on sentencing than judges tend to be. Usually because they just don’t know what an appropriate sentence is for certain things.  So in general, it is not advisable to go to a jury trial for a DUI case.