Portsmouth DUI Lawyer

If you have been arrested for driving while impaired, either by drugs or alcohol, you may not realize the seriousness of the charges and what lies ahead.  Being convicted of a DUI means that you will have a criminal record and everything that comes with it, along with other consequences that will end up costing you money and opportunities in the future. If you have been charged with a DUI, call a Portsmouth DUI lawyer today and set up your consultation.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 2013, there were over 27,000 DUI convictions across the state of Virginia. This means that in the city of Portsmouth alone, there were upward of 300 DUI convictions in 2013.  Also in 2013, there were a recorded 63 alcohol-related crashes in Portsmouth which resulted in 1 fatality and 42 injuries.

What Is a DUI?

DUI Lawyer in Portsmouth VAAs a Portsmouth DUI lawyer can explain, driving under the influence is a crime that means that someone is operating a motor vehicle while his or her ability is impaired. Someone need not be physically driving to get a DUI, just have the ability to operate the car, such as if someone is parked with their car running in a driveway or on the side of the road. While a DUI is most often given for those who are impaired by alcohol, someone can also get a DUI if they are impaired by drugs as well, even those that were legally prescribed by a doctor or bought over the counter. Someone can also be charged with a DUI in the case of being impaired by an inhalant.  When it comes to alcohol, impairment is presumed if one’s BAC is over .08.  The law also dictates the amount of some drugs that have to be present in someone’s system before they are presumed to be impaired, depending on the drug.

DUI Penalties in Portsmouth, Va

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, a DUI can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.  The sentence will vary, depending on a number of factors, including the number of prior DUI arrests and what someone’s BAC was. Some examples of DUI sentences are as follows:

  1. First offense, BAC between .08 and .15 – $250 fine and one year’s license revocation.
  2. First offense, BAC between .15 and .20 – minimum of 5 days in jail plus any fine and revocation.
  3. First offense, BAC over .20 – minimum 10 days in jail plus any fine and revocation.
  4. Second offense, BAC between .08 and .15 – minimum $500 fine, three-year license revocation, and up to one year in jail.
  5. Second offense, BAC between .15 and .20 – minimum 10-day jail term plus any other punishment.
  6. Second offense, BAC over .20 – minimum 20-day jail term plus any other punishment.

There are much higher punishments when someone has more than 2 DUI convictions, the severity of the punishment depending on how close together the convictions are. For example, a fourth or later arrest could result in a minimum of a year in jail.  Another thing that could impact the sentence would be the presence of a minor in the car, whether there was a collision, or whether anyone was hurt or killed as a result of your drinking and driving. If any of these scenarios have taken place contacting a Portsmouth DUI lawyer is imperative as you are likely facing much more severe punishments.

Long-Term Consequences of a DUI

Having a DUI on your record can result in a number of long-term financial consequences that would run outside of the criminal system.  First, because a conviction would mean having a criminal record, there would likely be future difficulties in business opportunities that require a background check, obtaining employment, being approved for housing, or obtaining a professional license.

With a DUI on your driving record, your insurance premiums would likely go up as well.  Additionally, unlike others in Virginia who can pay an uninsured motorist fee to the state to avoid having to get insurance, people convicted of DUI have to hold special insurance and give the state proof each month for a number of years.

Call Our Portsmouth DUI Attorneys Today

A Portsmouth DUI defense lawyer will know how to fight your case so that you get the best possible outcome, depending on the circumstances of your arrest.  Call today to discuss the punishments you might be facing and your legal options.