Mark R. Matney - Attorney - Newport News - DUI Attorney

Penalties For DUI Conviction

Penalties For DUI Conviction

Matney Law PLLC has put together this detailed document for Penalties For DUI Conviction in Virginia.  The Matney Law firm provides legal defense for drunk drivers in Hampton Roads, Newport News, Hampton,  Williamsburg, and the counties of York, James City, New Kent, Isle of Wight, and Surry.

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What are the Penalties for a DUI conviction in Virginia?

Virginia Code Section 18.2-270 provides mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for people who are convicted of DUI and imposes enhanced penalties for cases that involve a high BAC and/or a subsequent offense. A judge must sentence someone who is convicted of a first offense DUI whose BAC is below 0.15 as follows: fine between $250 and $2,500, one year license suspension, completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), and installation of an ignition interlock system for 6–12 months. Although there is no mandatory jail sentence for a first offense DUI with a BAC under 0.15, judges typically order a suspended jail sentence that could be imposed if the person fails to complete VASAP or does not remain of good behavior. In most cases, a first offender does not go to jail other than at the time of the arrest, receives a restricted license to drive for work, school, and certain other defined purposes on the day of court, and receives a fine close to the $250 minimum.

With respect to the alcohol level, even for a first offense, jail will be imposed for a BAC of 0.15 or above. In Virginia, a BAC of 0.15 to 0.20 will result in a five-day mandatory minimum jail sentence and if the BAC is above 0.20 the jail sentence will increase to a mandatory minimum of 10 days.

The penalties for a DUI conviction increase dramatically for a second offense. The judge must order the defendant’s license to be suspended for three years and the minimum fine increases to $500. If the second offense occurs within five years of the first offense, there is a mandatory minimum 20-day jail sentence and the defendant will not be eligible to apply for a restricted license until one year after the date of the conviction. If the second offense occurs within five to ten years of the first offense, then the mandatory minimum jail sentence is ten days and a restricted license may be obtained after four months. In both cases the judge may impose the ignition interlock machine for as long as the person has a restricted license.

The BAC is a significant factor in a second offense. The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a high BAC doubles when attached to a second offense. Thus, a person who is convicted of a second offense DUI with an elevated BAC will receive 10 mandatory days of jail with a BAC of 0.15 to 0.20 or a minimum of 20 days of jail if the BAC is over 0.20. Significantly, the mandatory jail for a high BAC is in addition to the mandatory jail for the second offense itself. This means that if a person is convicted of a second offense DUI within five years of a first offense and has a BAC over 0.20, then he would receive a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 20 days for the second offense, plus at least 20 days of jail for the high BAC, for a total of at least 40 days in jail.

A third offense DUI conviction is a Class 6 felony. This means the loss of certain rights (such as voting, serving as a notary, and possessing a firearm) in addition to the penalties imposed by the court. Being found guilty of a third DUI results in an indefinite license suspension and no opportunity to apply for a restricted license until three years after the conviction. The minimum fine for a third DUI is $1,000. The sentencing range for a third DUI conviction is one to five years with a mandatory minimum time in jail of six months for a third offense within five years and at least three months in jail if the third offense is within five to ten years of the priors.

In addition to the mandatory sentencing requirements of the Virginia Code, judges evaluate several other factors to determine whether a DUI sentence should include enhanced penalties. These factors include: blood alcohol level, refusal to submit to blood alcohol testing, whether or not the driver caused an accident, degree of cooperation with law enforcement, any additional charges against the defendant, and any prior criminal history. Moreover, many judges consider personal injuries to others as an aggravating factor that justifies imposing or increasing time in jail. In one of my first-offense DUI cases, the driver injured his passenger and received a six-month jail sentence (three months to serve after good time credit) and in another first-offense DUI case the driver injured a couple who was driving another vehicle and received a twelve-month jail sentence, which he appealed to the next level court. Most first-offense DUI cases do not involve any active jail time, but the extent of the injuries in these two cases provoked the judges to deal more harshly with the defendants.

It is important to note that judges consider lack of cooperation with the police when they make their sentencing determinations. Two reckless driving cases that I handled demonstrate how judges react adversely to conflict between the client and the police. The two clients were in similar situations with comparable speeds and the same judge. The first driver saw his charge amended from the misdemeanor of reckless driving to a traffic infraction. However, the second driver was found guilty of reckless driving. The driver who was convicted of reckless driving had ranted and cursed at the police officer. The judge was simply unwilling to give that driver a break after he had been so discourteous and uncooperative with the officer.

One situation that sometimes affects sentencing is a client’s past criminal history. If a client had a DUI conviction more than ten years before the new charge, then the prior offense cannot be used to elevate the new charge to a second offense. However, the prosecutor or the judge may argue that the person should not be treated the same as someone who is truly a first offender. This argument is sometimes successful in obtaining a more severe sentence than would be typical for someone without the prior record.

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Find Your Courthouse

Find Your Courthouse

Matney Law, PLLC, has provided this visual guide to help you Find Your Courthouse.  The Lawyers at Matney Law PLLC in Newport News Virginia defend people against traffic violations. The Matney Law firm defends people in traffic court against reckless driving, speeding, expired registration, expired license, running a red light or stop sign, failure to wear a seat belt, DUI, DWI, driving without a license or with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, hit-and-run accidents, passing a stopped school bus. Our attorneys serve Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Gloucester, Surry County, Toano.

Court Locations Court Locations
Chesapeake Court HouseChesapeake Circuit and
General District Courts
307 Albemarle Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23322
New Kent County Courts:  Circuit, General District,
Juvenile & Domestic Relations
12001 Courthouse Circle
New Kent, VA 23124
North Hampton County Court HouseHampton Circuit Court
237 N. King Street
Hampton, VA 23669
Hampton General District Court
236 N. King Street
Hampton, VA 23669
Newport News Circuit Court (1-4)
and General District Courts:2500 Washington Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607Please note that Circuit Court 5
and the Juvenile & Domestic Relations
Courts are located at:2501 Huntington Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607
Newport News – United States District Court
2400 West Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607
Norfolk Court HouseNorfolk Circuit and General District Courts
150 St. Pauls Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23510
Westmoreland Court HouseNorthampton County Courts:  Circuit, General District, Juvenile & Domestic Relations
5229 The Hornes
Eastville, VA 23347
York County Court HouseYork County Courts:  Circuit, General District,
Juvenile & Domestic Relations
300 Ballard Street, Yorktown, VA 23690
Gloucester Circuit and General District Courts
7400 Justice Drive, Room 102
Gloucester, VA 23061-0873
Suffolk Circuit and General District Courts
150 North Main Street
Suffolk, VA 23434
Virginia Beach Circuit and General District Courts
2425 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9057
Portsmouth Circuit and General District Courts
345 Court Street, Suite 104
Portsmouth, VA 23705-0129
Williamsburg / James City County Circuit and General District Courts
5201 Monticello Avenue, Suite 2
Williamsburg, VA 23188-8218
Isle of Wight Circuit and General District Courts
17000 Josiah Parker Circle
Isle Of Wight, VA 23397




Matney Law PLLC - DUI & Traffic Court Defense Attorney - Newport News, York County, Hampton

Matney Law

Matney Law PLLC

Matney Law - Top 10 Rating for DUI & DWI - Matney Law Newport News VAOur mission is to help you obtain the best possible result for your traffic-related case.  We will answer your questions, coach you on trial preparations, and advocate for you on your trial date.  Great results come from great preparation.  Matney Law PLLC with offices in Newport News Virginia has the experience and the system needed to prepare you and your case for the best outcome.  Visit (Avvo Reviews)  for testimonials of clients who were charged with reckless driving, DUI / DWI, speeding tickets, driving with a suspended license, driving without a license, hit-and-run, and other serious traffic charges.  We focus on the traffic courts in Newport News, Hampton, York County / Poquoson, Williamsburg and James City County.  

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Mark Matney is recognized as an industry leader in DUI cases and was asked to contribute the Virginia chapter as a co-author of the book A Cup Of Coffee With 10 Of The Top DUI Attorneys In The United States. This book become a Best Seller on Amazon.  For a free copy of the book, email

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My Career Was About to Be Over

It was one of the hardest moments of my life. I was pulled over for going 85 in a 60 and DUI. My career was about to be over. I keep asking myself how I could have been so stupid.
I chose Mr. Matney after calling and reviewing a few Lawyers. I was facing a Reckless Driving charge and DUI. I was going to lose my license for a year, face huge fines, maybe some jail time, and never get a job in my field again. I'm glad I chose Mark. The judge I had scheduled to hear my case had ZERO tolerance for DUIs (as he should), and if I went in there by myself, it would have been a sheep going to the slaughter. MARK GOT BOTH CHARGES DISMISSED! Invest in Mr. Matney. He knows so many tactics and has so much knowledge, you will be surprised by the outcome. Now I have my life back-- and Mr. Matney to thank. And I'll never drive after drinking (or speed!) ever again.


Speeding ticket defense attorney - Newport News VirginiaMatney Law Reviews...

Amazing Representation

I hired Mr. Matney to represent me in court for a Reckless Driving charge. I was going 95 in a 65. The other five lawyers who I spoke to all essentially stopped listening to me after they heard my speed and were all but certain I was going to jail. Mr. Matney heard me out, and shot very straight saying there was a possibility I could go to jail, but there was also a chance I could avoid jail if I followed his plan. Mr. Matney gave me a clear plan of what to do and how we would defend my case. With Mr. Matney help, I was able to get my charged reduced a simple speeding, for 79 in a 65. I paid a $100 fine and did not have to go to jail. This was the best possible outcome. I would highly recommend Mr. Matney and his legal services.

lawyer Mark Matney has a top 10 AVVO rating for 2018Attorney Endorsements...

Jacquelyn Gerlach, Criminal defense Attorney on Oct 8, 2017
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

I endorse this lawyer. Great DUI attorney!

James DePasquale, Criminal defense Attorney on Dec 13, 2016
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

I endorse this lawyer. Mark Matney is a great attorney. When a family member of mine caught a reckless driving ticket in Virginia Mark was referred to us by a family friend. Mark did a great job helping my relative and in the end there was a great result. He is a wonderful person and a man of faith. He is hands down the best traffic/DUI attorney in the area. He knows the law and he knows the system. I would recommend no one else in Hampton Roads for a driving matter. I fully endorse Mark Matney.

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DUI and Traffic Defense Attorney

DUI Attorney Mark Matney of Matney Law, PLLC, will defend you throughout the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  The lawyers at Matney Law defend people in traffic court charged with DUI, DWI, Reckless Driving, and other driving related charges.  They also help those who need to reinstate their licenses after habitual offender or felony DUI.  We encourage you to read the reviews of former clients.  They reflect our approach to helping you obtain the best possible result based on the facts of the charges you are facing.  We give the time necessary to evaluate, research, and prepare for trial for your case.  We involve you by recommending steps you can take to help us prepare and by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence with you.  We will show you your rights and show you that there is hope.

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