HOW MUCH JAIL TIME WILL I RECEIVE FOR MY DUI CHARGE?

What about jail time? What am I facing? What are the possibilities? There are lots of factors that go into your possible jail time.

There are several factors in determining Jail Time:

  • Have you had prior DUI’s?
  • What was your BAC?
  • What was your driving behavior?
  • Was there an accident involved with other vehicles?
  • Who’s your attorney?

There are a couple mandatory jail times which takes some of that out of the control of the judge or the commonwealth attorney or your attorney.

  • Mandatory DUI Jail Sentences are determined by statute §18.2-270:

A. Except as otherwise provided herein, any person violating any provision of § 18.2-266shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $250. If the person’s blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in this article or by any other scientifically reliable chemical test performed on whole blood under circumstances reliably establishing the identity of the person who is the source of the blood and the accuracy of the results (i) was at least 0.15, but not more than 0.20, he shall be confined in jail for an additional mandatory minimum period of five days or, (ii) if the level was more than 0.20, for an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days.

B.1. Any person convicted of a second offense committed within less than five years after a prior offense under § 18.2-266shall upon conviction of the second offense be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and by confinement in jail for not less than one month nor more than one year. Twenty days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.

B.2. Any person convicted of a second offense committed within a period of five to 10 years of a prior offense under § 18.2-266shall upon conviction of the second offense be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and by confinement in jail for not less than one month. Ten days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.

B.3. Upon conviction of a second offense within 10 years of a prior offense, if the person’s blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in this article or by any other scientifically reliable chemical test performed on whole blood under circumstances reliably establishing the identity of the person who is the source of the blood and the accuracy of the results (i) was at least 0.15, but not more than 0.20, he shall be confined in jail for an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days or, (ii) if the level was more than 0.20, for an additional mandatory minimum period of 20 days. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $500.

C.1. Any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266committed within a 10-year period shall upon conviction of the third offense be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The sentence of any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266committed within a 10-year period shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days, unless the three offenses were committed within a five-year period, in which case the sentence shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement for six months. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.

C.2. A person who has been convicted of § 18.2-36.118.2-36.218.2-51.418.2-51.5, or a felony violation of § 18.2-266shall upon conviction of a subsequent violation of § 18.2-266be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The punishment of any person convicted of such a subsequent violation of § 18.2-266 shall include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.

C.3. The punishment of any person convicted of a fourth or subsequent offense of § 18.2-266committed within a 10-year period shall, upon conviction, include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.

How is Mandatory Jail Time Calculated?

Mandatory jail sentences are what we call “day for day” jail time. It is not the typical Virginia half days where, if you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, you only serve half your time. For example, if the judge sentences you to 10 days in jail, you only actually do five days in jail. When it’s mandatory time, you have to do “day for day” so when the judge says five days in jail, you’re actually doing five days in jail.

When the judge sentences you to more than the mandatory statutory jail time, (i.e. “I hereby sentence you to 20 days, 10 are mandatory”) you would do the mandatory days first, and then the days you would do half the time because DUI is a misdemeanor.

Make sure you’re speaking with an attorney if you’re facing these elevated BACs. Usually the attorney can poke holes in either the administration of the breath test or some other defenses that they have, which they can use with the Commonwealth attorney try to reach a plea agreement to knock the BAC down or reduce the charge from a second of five to a second and 10 to help reduce the amount of mandatory jail time you’re facing.

If you are charged with DUI, you should speak with an Attorney

If you’re facing a DUI, that’s more than just a first, you really, really need to speak to an attorney. If you’re facing a DUI first, you should still really think about hiring an attorney instead of going your own route. Years of experience have taught me that just because you’re charged with it, doesn’t mean that they’re going to find you guilty of it. Force the Commonwealth to prove their case. So make sure that you hire an attorney that can, put pressure on them to make sure that they’re being able to prove their case and meeting the requirements set out by statute.

 

 

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