DUI Penalties in Charlottesville & Albemarle, Virginia

DUI Penalties in Charlottesville and Albemarle, VA

If you were arrested for a DUI in Charlottesville or Albemarle county, you will be expected to appear in the Albemarle General District Court, or the Charlottesville General District Court for a 1st appearance, typically a week or so after your arrest date. Please note these courts are separate from one another.

A DUI, even for a first offense, is a serious matter in Charlottesville and Albemarle, Virginia. The maximum penalties are very severe and although rarely ever imposed, allow for one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2500. While those maximum penalties are uncommon, there are minimum penalties which are very commonly imposed, and which still result in active jail time and a license suspension of 12 months. This is true whether you are a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia or are from out-of-state.

Because DUI charges in these jurisdictions carry the possibility of jail time, you must appear in court to be advised of your right to counsel. This occurs at the first appearance.

For a first DUI conviction, Virginia law requires mandatory jail time if the defendants BAC was found to be .15 or greater and the law provides for additional mandatory jail time where the drivers BAC was found to be greater than .20. The judge has no discretion to work around these mandatory punishments leading to jail time if this is evidence submitted before the court.

The maximum penalty for a DUI 1st in Virginia is $2500 but, typically, in most courts the fine is about $250 to $350, but this fine may increase in cases involving higher BAC's.

The driver can also expect to pay hundreds more dollars in costs related to probation and installation and maintenance of the required ignition interlock device.

First DUI in Charlottesville and Albemarle, VA
  • Maximum fine of $2,500 and 1 year in jail
  • Mandatory minimum fine of $250
  • If BAC .15 or greater = 5 days in jail
  • Greater than .20 = 10 days in jail
  • 7 day administrative license suspension
  • 12 month license suspension by the court
  • If requesting a restricted license, ignition interlock required § 18.2-270.1 for 6 months
  • Completion of a VASAP course
Second DUI within 5 years in Charlottesville and Albemarle, VA

While all DUIs Virginia are serious, certainly a second DUI in Charlottesville carries serious penalties. There is mandatory jail time, which in some instances can be substantial, license suspension where there is no option for a restricted license in certain cases, and higher fines and costs. It is important to act to ensure that you are in the best position to protect your future. 

In Albemarle County, Virginia, for a DUI 2nd within 5 years, the driver will lose his privilege to drive in Virginia for three years and will also be subject to an ignition interlock requirement for the entirety of that three year license suspension. Perhaps the most significant penalty for a DUI second in Virginia is that the driver will not be eligible for a restricted driver's license in Virginia for an entire year if the prior offense was committed within five years of the current offense. There is also a mandatory $500 fine and the driver can expect to incur hundreds more dollars and costs associated with the Ignition interlock requirements.

  • Maximum fine of $2,500 fine
  • $500 minimum fine
  • 20 day mandatory minimum jail sentence
  • Additional 10 day jail sentence if BAC greater than or equal to .15
  • Additional 20 day jail sentence if BAC greater .20
  • Restricted license eligible after 1 year § 18.2-271.1(E)
  • Iginition interlock required for 6 months to 3 years
  • License suspension for 3 years by DMV § 46.2-391(A)
Third DUI within 10 years in Charlottesville and Albemarle, VA 

All DUI convictions in Charlottesville are serious, but naturally a third DUI conviction will be even more severe than a first or second conviction would be. 

A third DUI in Virginia is a class VI felony and requires one to five years in prison. There is a 6 month mandatory minimum period of incarceration for a DUI third within 5 years, and a 90 day mandatory minimum period for a DUI third within 10 years. 

A DUI third within five years is a class VI felony and carries 1 to 5 years in prison or up to one year in jail plus a $2500 fine in Albemarle, VA.  Furthermore many judges will not grant a defendant facing a DUI third charge bond and that defendant can expect to be held it in custody at the jail during the pendency of his case.

Perhaps the most significant negative consequence of a conviction for a DUI third is that the defendant will lose his privilege to drive in Virginia indefinitely. In order to regain his privilege to drive the driver must petition the Circuit Court, and may not simply request a license from the DMV after having completed a pre-set license suspension period. After three years a driver may petition the court for a restricted license but the requirements to obtain this license are substantial. The defendant's vehicle will also be subject to forfeiture. There is also a six month ignition interlock requirement that must be completed upon restoration of a drivers license.

  • Class 6 felony conviction
  • $1000 fine
  • 90 day mandatory minimum jail time
  • Not eligible for restricted license
  • May petition for restricted license 3 years after date of conviction. Limited to driving to and from work and in course of employment
  • Ignition interlock required at least 6 months upon restoration of license or with a restricted license during time of suspension
  • License suspended indefinitely but may petition after 5 years
  • Vehicle forfeiture

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