Is Jail Time Mandatory for 1st DUI in VA?
Not if you're acquitted! But there are number of enhancements that can apply to 1st DUIs that can trigger mandatory jail time upon conviction.
Under Virginia law, if a driver's blood alcohol content ("BAC") is .15 or greater, mandatory five days minimum jail time is required by law. A Fairfax judge can hand down a higher sentence, however. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to challenge the BAC and get jail off the table in your case. If the BAC is .20 or greater, mandatory 10 days minimum jail time is required by law. Once again, a Fairfax judge can hand down a higher sentence. An experienced DUI attorney may be able to challenge the BAC and get jail off the table in your case.
Jail Time Can Happen Even If Not Mandatory
Remember this: a Fairfax judge can sentence anyone convicted of a DUI for up to 12 months in jail under VA Code 18.2-226. This could happen for a variety of reasons. Bad facts, an accident or injuries, and prior driving convictions are factors Fairfax judges may consider when deicing whether to impose jail time. Fairfax prosecutors are also increasing DUI enforcement and cops are making more arrests than ever.
Standard First DUIs Are Not A Thing
Drivers often make the assumption that the DUI plea their friend got is a standard plea that he or she will get. Don't make that assumption. At S.L. England, we don't assume the prosecution can convict you and look to win your case. But if the case is difficult to win, don't assume jail won't be sought by the prosecution.