What is the typical sentence for a standard first driving under the influence charge in Virginia?
This gets asked by many of our clients. Let’s first define a “standard first” DWI: no accident, no horrible driving, no passengers, pulled over quickly, cooperative with the officer, no horrible field sobriety tests, less than 0.14 grams/210 liters of breath test, no previous DWIs, fairly good driving and criminal records.
If found guilty, a typical sentence you will hear from the judge in Virginia is:
- “90 days in jail, all 90 days suspended; $500 fine with $250 suspended; the suspension of the jail time and fines is based upon good behavior for 2 years, payment of all fines and costs, and the successful completion of VASAP.”
- “Your license is revoked for 12 months. If you want a restricted license, ignition interlock needs to be installed for 6 months.”
There are local variations with how much jail time is given and suspended. A few judges will give and suspend 360 days. The fines can vary also but $250 to $300 of non-suspended fine is the norm on a simple first DUI.
Good behavior is usually defined as committing no other offense that could require jail but the law does not specifically define “good behavior.” Virginia courts have ruled that you can violate good behavior even without being convicted of breaking the law.
If you do get an additional offense, don’t complete ASAP, or don’t pay your fines, the judge could revoke any or all of the suspended jail days or fines.
Wrong on the web:
“First Offense: Minimum $250 fine; maximum $300 fine. (These fines may be directly related to eligibility for the Alcohol Safety Action Program.)”
Wrong! The maximum fine is $2500 by Code. The court fine has nothing to do with ASAP eligibility. You will need to pay at least another $300 for ASAP and then more for classes and potential treatment.