What Can a DUI be Reduced to in Virginia?
Being charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience. A conviction can have significant legal repercussions and impact your personal and professional relationships. Yet did you know that a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to help you get a DUI charge reduced to “wet reckless” driving charge?
At Whitestone Young, PC, we know what an emotionally charged time this can be for you and your family. However, you don’t have to face a DUI charge alone. At Whitestone Young, PC, our experienced criminal defense team wants you to understand your legal rights and how having an attorney on your side may help you pursue reduced charges in your case.
Virginia DUI Laws
Virginia uses the acronym DWI to refer to driving while intoxicated, although many still refer to the offense as a DUI. DWI laws prohibit motorists from operating motor vehicles when:
- A driver has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher
- A driver has a blood concentration of .1 milligrams per liter or more of methamphetamine
- A driver has a blood concentration of .02 milligrams per liter or more of cocaine
- A driver has a blood concentration of .01 milligrams per liter or more of PCP
A driver may also be driving while intoxicated if drugs or alcohol impairs the person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Penalties for DWI
The penalties for a DWI conviction can vary depending on the number of previous offenses on an individual’s record. Most people will receive fines, jail time, or a combination of both.
DWI 1st Offense –
- Fines between $250 to $2,500
- Jail time up to 12 months
- 1-year license suspension
DWI 2nd Offense –
- Fines between $500 to $2,500
- Jail time from thirty days to 12 months
- 3-year license suspension
DWI 3rd Offense –
- Fines between $1,000 to $2,5000
- Jail time from 90 days to five years
- Indefinite license suspension
An individual may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle.
Can a DUI be Reduced in Virginia?
Yes. In Virginia, you may be able to get a DWI charge reduced to a lesser violation. A strategic and skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to reduce a DWI charge down to what is sometimes known as a “wet reckless.” Wet reckless is another term for a reckless driving offense that involves drugs or alcohol. Instead of potentially facing the penalties of a DWI conviction, a plea bargain involving a reckless driving charge can mean you avoid the consequences of a DWI conviction and accept the repercussions of a reckless driving offense.
A reckless driving charge can result in fines, possible jail time, and the temporary suspension of your driver’s license. A person may also be required to complete a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
How Do You Reduce a DWI Charge to Reckless Driving in Virginia?
Getting a DWI charge reduced in Virginia can be challenging. Only the prosecutor has the authority to reduce criminal charges against an individual. That means your defense attorney must build and present a compelling case on your behalf to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges against you. A defense attorney may demonstrate that the evidence against you is of questionable accuracy or flawed in some way. An experienced defense attorney may also choose to use the attributes of your case to show that you deserve to face a lesser charge.
While all cases are unique, the ideal candidate for a reduction in a DWI charge will:
- Have no prior criminal history
- Have a clean driving record
- Not have been involved in a significant accident
- Have a BAC at or below .08%
- Have cooperated with law enforcement
A reckless driving charge does not carry the same penalties as a DWI conviction. Nor does it carry the same social stigma. Talk to a seasoned Virginia criminal defense attorney about the potential for reducing a DWI charge to the offense of reckless driving.
Contact an Aggressive Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you been arrested for DWI in Virginia? You need immediate and effective legal representation. Having a zealous criminal defense attorney on your side can improve your chances of pursuing a reduced DWI charge.
At Whitestone Young, PC, we have the experience to help you navigate the Virginia legal system. Contact us online or call our office today at 703-591-0200 and let us review your case and outline your legal options.