A Virginia DUI conviction can have serious ramifications on your freedom, your criminal record, and your personal finances. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, consider the below penalties; they summarize some, but not all, of the possible consequences that you could face if convicted.
The hard costs of a DUI conviction can add up quickly and place considerable financial burden on you and your family:
- Costly fines. Whether it’s your first DUI or a subsequent one, you will pay a minimum $250 fines if you’re found guilty.
- ASAP costs. Any DUI conviction in Virginia requires you to report to an Alcohol Safety Action Plan, which can cost anywhere between $300-400 depending on your area.
- License reinstatement fees. You’re required to pay $175 to get your license reinstated if you’ve been convicted for refusal to submit to a breath or blood test or driving on a suspended license as a result of a DUI conviction. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you’re required to pay $220.
- Car impoundment fees. If your vehicle was impounded during a DUI arrest, regardless of your conviction, you’ll have to pay to retrieve it.
- Ignition interlock device fees. If you’ve been sentenced to an ignition interlock device for any length of time, you will pay roughly $60 per month for interlock device monitoring. Virginia now requires an ignition interlock for at least six months for any DUI.
An experienced DUI attorney may be able to get the DUI charges against you dropped or reduced. The intangible costs of a DUI conviction are harder to quantify, but they still result in considerable stress with long-term impacts on your life:
- Difficulty maintaining or obtaining employment. A conviction and punishment can be tricky to explain to your boss or a potential employer. If your license has been suspended as a result of your sentencing and you haven’t yet been issued a restricted driver’s license, you might have to find alternate transportation to work. This may result in unemployment or underemployment. In particular, if you are a doctor, dentist, nurse, pilot, pharmacist, teacher, law enforcement agent, stock broker, commercial trucker, or firefighter, you may find additional penalties imposed and be unable to work in these professions.
- Potential increase to your auto insurance premiums or being dropped by your insurance provider. A DUI conviction in Virginia requires you to file a FR-44 with the DMV, which shows that you have carry additional liability insurance coverage because you’re considered an at-risk driver. Unless you’re already carrying higher levels of liability insurance, this will likely cause your premiums to rise for years to come. In some instances, your auto insurance provider may drop you as a customer if it deems you’re too risky a driver.
- Difficulty renting a car. In the future, you may wish to rent a car. Many rental companies look through your driving record, and even one DUI conviction can mean exorbitant rental rates and additional liability fees. Some companies may not even allow you to rent.
- Difficulty traveling around the U.S. If you have been convicted of a second DUI in your lifetime, the Interstate Compact ?????
- Difficulty traveling internationally. Some countries have strict entry/exit requirements for anyone with a criminal record, and this typically includes alcohol-related driving misdemeanor offenses. Canada, for example, requires you to obtain a rehabilitation approval weeks or months before you plan to travel. If you have been convicted of a felony DUI, many countries may deny your entry.
- Difficulty with naturalization and immigration to the U.S. In certain situations, you may be denied naturalization if your DUI is considered to be conduct against good moral character. You may also have issues renewing work visas or Green Cards depending on the conviction, and entering the U.S. could be denied or delayed.
- Child custody rights may be at risk. If you’re in the process of getting a divorce or if you are already divorced with a child custody arrangement, the other party may use your DUI conviction as leverage to either obtain full custody or change the agreement.
- Wage garnishments if another party was injured, maimed, or killed during or as a result of the DUI offense. If you someone was hurt or killed in an accident caused by the DUI offense, it’s possible that a resulting personal injury claim is brought against you as well. This means that your wages can be garnished until the debt in this claim is paid in full, and it cannot be discharged if you file for bankruptcy.
- Inability to purchase or possess firearms and other losses of civil rights. If you’ve received a felony DUI conviction, you will not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. Nor will you be allowed to vote.
All of the above consequences – and more – can affect you if you’re convicted of a DUI. If you’ve been charged, having a criminal defense attorney represent you can help you avoid long-term impact on your career, finances, and personal life. Hire a good DUI attorney for your case today.
Call a Roanoke DUI Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with a DWI / DUI in Virginia, the experienced Roanoke criminal defense attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help evaluate the details of your case and your options. For an appointment, call us at (540) 343-9349.