You should never drink and drive. No one should, but it happens every day in Virginia. So many impaired drivers are unaware that it takes a surprisingly small amount of alcohol to push them over the legal limit. Having one or two drinks before getting behind the wheel can result in your arrest, suspension of your driver’s license and years of legal headaches.

What Happens If I’m Arrested for DUI in Norfolk?

A DUI arrest in Virginia is going to have an immediate impact on your life, and the legal problems will linger for years. At the time of your arrest, you’ll face two consequences, you’ll be arrested and your driver’s license will be suspended. If you are convicted, there are even more penalties, and over time you will end paying $10K to $20K. So, what happens first?

DUI Arrest

In the interest of public safety, police can arrest drivers they suspect of being impaired and display the signs of impairment. If you are arrested, you will be taken to a nearby jail where you will be fingerprinted, photographed and given another breathalyzer or a chemical test.

Jails in the Norfolk, Virginia area:

Norfolk Sheriff’s Office

811 City Hall Avenue,

Norfolk, VA 23510

norfolk-sheriff.com

You can get out of jail before your arraignment by posting bail. You will need to enlist someone on the outside to pay your bail or get a bond if you cannot afford your bail amount. Norfolk courts are responsible for making a bail schedule, so the person responsible for bailing you out should contact the facility where you are being held. Your bail can be just a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands depending on the facts of your case. If you are a repeat offender or caused a deadly accident, expect a higher bail amount.

Once your bail is paid, and the booking process is complete, you will be released and scheduled for an arraignment. After your release, it’s wise to get the advice of a criminal defense lawyer in Virginia as soon as possible.

Most officers do their job by the book and respect the rights of the citizens they encounter, but some officers cross the line and abuse their power. You need to speak up and contact a police brutality lawyer in Virginia if an officer wrongfully accuses you of a crime or uses excessive force during your arrest

Administrative License Suspension

Another penalty for a DUI arrest is an administrative suspension of your driver’s license upon your arrest and if you are convicted. Luckily, you might be able to get some of your driving privileges restored soon after your arrest.

Under Virginia law, you are required to comply with an officer when they ask you to take a breathalyzer or chemical test as a condition of being given a driver’s license. Refusing these tests means you are in violation of the Virginia’s implied consent law and your driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

If you want limited driving privileges, you must file a request with the courts.

Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk’s Office

150 St Pauls Blvd.,

Norfolk, VA 23510

norfolkcircuitcourt.us

 

What Happens if I’m Convicted of a DUI in Virginia?

The repercussions you face for a DUI in Virginia are far-reaching and go beyond your arrest and driver’s license suspension. Law enforcement can report your arrest to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, and your DUI can show up on your criminal record and background checks.

Criminal Penalties for DUI

First DUI Conviction

Jail: No minimum

Fines: $250

Driver’s License: Revocation for one year with limited driving privileges possible

 

First DUI Conviction with 0.15 percent BAC up to 0.20 percent

Jail: Minimum five days

Fines: $250

Driver’s License: Revocation for one year with limited driving privileges possible

 

Second DUI Conviction within Five Years

Jail: 20 days

Fine: $500

Driver’s License: Revocation for three years with limited driving privileges possible after one year

 

Second DUI Conviction within Ten Years

Jail: Ten days

Fine: $500

Driver’s License: Revocation for three years with limited driving privileges possible after four months

If you are in the military, a DUI conviction can result in disciplinary actions and possible military prosecution for related crimes.

A DUI conviction also has an effect of a person’s immigration status. Green card holders and immigrants with a visa may receive an Order of Removal and put into deportation proceedings if they are convicted of impaired driving. It’s important they speak with an immigration lawyer in Virginia before deciding how they will plead or whether to accept a plea bargain.

You Can Beat a DUI in Norfolk

There are ways to beat a DUI conviction but doing so requires legal expertise. With so many penalties associated with drunken or drugged driving conviction, it’s smart to speak with a DUI lawyer in Norfolk, Virginia to discuss a defense strategy. It’s the only way to rid yourself of DUI charges and put your mistake behind you. USAttorney.com has listings for top-notch defense attorneys in Norfolk who will give your case the attention it deserves.