Virginia drivers have certainly heard about how much a DWI conviction can cost them criminally and financially, and how it can affect their futures. Many people experience these consequences every year.
The consequences people face depend on different factors. One of them is a previous DWI conviction. The potential consequences for a second DWI are harsher than those for a first DWI.
Consequences if second DWI within five years of first
If drivers are convicted of a second DWI within five years, they will have a jail sentence of at least 20 days. Those convicted also face a fine of at least $500.
Consequences for second DWI within 10 years of first
For a second conviction within 10 years of a first DWI conviction, the jail sentence will be at least a month. The mandatory minimum fine is $500.
Consequences for people with high BAC
Drivers found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.15% and 0.20% at the time of their second DWI conviction, the mandatory minimum jail sentence increases by 10 days. For those with a BAC above 0.20% at the time of their second conviction, the mandatory minimum jail sentence increases by 20 days. The mandatory minimum fine remains $500.
These are serious consequences that include mandatory time in jail. However, DWI charges do not automatically result in a conviction and these penalties only apply for DWI convictions. Those accused of DWI may have defenses available to them.
Those accused of DWI in Virginia must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Having a good defense is important and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.