If so, will I be able to drive at all?
As traffic and DUI lawyers in Virginia, we constantly hear from clients that they feel like Virginia’s DUI/DWI punishments are too heavy. In addition to certain mandatory jail sentences for certain DUI convictions and mandatory ignition interlock requirements, clients often express their fear that they will lose their job or not be able to take their kids to school if they get convicted of a DUI.
While it is certainly true that Virginia’s DUI laws can be among the toughest in the country, a good DUI lawyer can help you, even if you get convicted of the DUI charge. Under Virginia law, someone who gets convicted of a first offense DUI gets his or her license suspended for one full year (second or subsequent offense DUI convictions carry longer license suspensions and different time-frames for obtaining a restricted driver’s license). They can, however, request that the judge grant them a restricted driver’s license. In Virginia, judges have the authority to grant restricted driving privileges for certain purposes. For example, they may allow a person convicted of a DUI to drive to and from work, or even during work hours for work purposes. They may also allow them to drive to and from their children’s schools, day cares and medical appointments. Although Virginia law does not permit a judge to grant someone convicted of a DUI the ability to drive to and from grocery stores, they can allow them to drive to and from one religious service each week and to their own medical appointments or those medical appointments for their parents or an elderly person in their care.
And while Virginia law authorizes a judge to grant these restricted driving privileges (and a few others), the decision to grant any or all of them ultimately lies in the discretion of the judge. In fact, different judges throughout Virginia handle these matters differently. Some judges grant restricted driving privileges to those convicted of a DUI for any and all legal and approvable purposes. Other judges, analyze each request independently and make a decision concerning each request. As a result, it is imperative to hire an attorney who not only knows the law concerning DUI restricted licenses, but who also handles a lot of DUI cases in the jurisdiction in which your case is pending. An attorney needs to be able to persuasively and professionally get the broadest restricted license possible, in the event you get convicted of the DUI. After all, oftentimes your job and many aspects of your personal life depend on your ability to drive even with a suspended driver’s license.
As Viginia DUI attorneys we are dedicated to constantly pursuing the very best result in a DUI case for our clients. Sometimes, that advocacy can result in a dismissal of the charge. Other times, it results in the DUI being reduced to a lesser offense. And still yet, at times it means working diligently to get our client the very broadest restricted license possible. We handle a large number of DUI/DWI cases throughout central Virginia, including Richmond, Hanover County, Henrico County, Spotsylvania County, Caroline County, New Kent County, King George County, Goochland County, Powhatan County, Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights, Sussex County, Prince George County, Hopewell, and Dinwiddie County.
If you or someone you know gets arrested for DUI/DWI, please feel free to call the attorneys at Weiland Upton, PLLC, at (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation.