The Ratliff Law Firm
Need assistance with traffic matters such as Speeding, Reckless Driving, Driving Suspended/Revoked, Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI)or other related issues? As a part-time prosecutor, Mr. Ratliff has experience that can get results in these serious cases.
Did you know that Reckless Driving, Driving Suspended in Virginia are Class 1 Misdemeanor Offenses? These charges carry potential for up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine in each occurrence. They also have significant long-term impact on your driving record and insurance rates.
Don't risk your freedom and your finances. Give The Ratliff Law Firm a call today to schedule a consultation. Let us put our expertise to work for you!
The Ratliff Law Firm
Reckless Driving is offense that can be charged by police for innumerable reasons. Reckless Driving by speed in Virginia is 20 miles over the speed limit or any speed over 80 MPH, regardless of speed limit. You can also be charged for driving too fast for road conditions (a completely subjective decision by an officer) and any time a single vehicle accident occurs. Potential penalties for Reckless Driving can be severe. Defenses exist to these charges.
Speeding charges can result in loss of driver points on your DMV record and increased insurance costs that follow you for years. Contact us to assist and to help prevent unnecessary ongoing costs related to a minor issue.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI)
Virginia law presumes all drivers to be under the influence of alcohol when their blood‑alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or above. Penalties for driving under the influence include:
First Offense: If the BAC is .08 to .14, the penalty is a one year license revocation, mandatory fine of $250, additional fines up to $2,500, and up to one year in jail. If the BAC is .15 to .20, there is an additional mandatory five days in jail. If the BAC is .21 or above, there is an additional mandatory ten days in jail.
Second Offense: Second offense DUIs receive the same punishment as listed above, but also have additional penalties.
If the second offense was committed within five years after a prior offense, the additional punishment is a mandatory fine of $500 and a jail sentence. The mandatory minimum sentence is 20 days in jail, but the sentence can be up to one year.
If the second offense was committed between five and ten years after a prior offense, there are different penalties. The additional punishment is a mandatory fine of $500 and a jail sentence. The mandatory minimum sentence is 10 days in jail, but the sentence can be up to one year.
If the second offense was committed within 10 years of the prior offense, and the BAC was between .15 and .20, there is an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days in jail. If the second offense was committed within 10 years of the first offense, and the BAC was between over .20, there is an additional mandatory minimum period of 20 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Third Offense: Any person convicted of three DUIs within 10 years is guilty of a felony. There is a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence if the three offenses were committed during the 10-year span. If the three offenses were committed within a 5-year period, the mandatory minimum sentence is 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Fourth or Subsequent Offense: Any person convicted of four or more DUIs within 10 years is sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of one-year imprisonment. There is also a $1,000 fine.
Representation in DUI cases is important. Call today (276) 522-1220.
Underage DUI or Possession of Alcohol
Possession of alcohol is illegal if the possessor is under age 21, the legal drinking age in Virginia. If you are apprehended possessing or drinking alcohol underage, the penalties are severe, including loss of driving privileges, significant monetary penalties, and more. Possession of alcohol by a minor or using false identification to obtain alcohol is punishable by suspension of a driver’s license for one year (regardless of whether the alcohol offense is related to driving), a fine up to $2,500, and a jail term of up to one year. Knowingly purchasing alcohol for a minor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500
For drivers under 21, the law presumes the influence of alcohol if the blood-alcohol content is .02 or higher. A minor arrested for driving with a BAC of between .02 and .08 faces forfeiture of license for six months and up to a $500 fine.
MISDEMEANOR PENALTIES IN VIRGINIA
Misdemeanors carry different penalties in Virginia depending on the Class. Class 1 Misdemeanors are the most serious:
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