Matney Law - DUI Lawyers - Traffic Court Attorneys - Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown

Trial in Absence Blog

Matney Law - DUI Lawyers - Traffic Court Attorneys - Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown

I Welcome Your Comments

Trial in Absence

Blog - Trial in Absence
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com


Often people contact me who do not live locally and they ask whether they need to appear for court. For traffic infractions that do not involve an accident, I can usually appear on behalf of my clients. However, for misdemeanors and accident situations we have to look at each individual case to evaluate whether the judge would permit the client’s absence and whether we would be likely to obtain the best result in the client’s absence.

I had three recent cases in which I appeared on behalf of clients in their absence.
10/07/19: Speeding 76/60, amended to defective speedometer, which carries no demerit points.
10/10/19: Reckless driving by speed, 85 / 65, amended to improper driving, avoiding the misdemeanor and reducing the demerit points and the length of time the charge will be reported by DMV.
10/15/19: Speeding, 64/45, amended to defective equipment with no demerit points.

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Reductions & Dismissals

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

I Welcome Your Comments

Reductions & Dismissals, and Some Great Deals !!

Traffic Court Reductions & Dismissals
Posted by Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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The week, or so, of September 10-19, 2019 was a lot of fun for the clients of Matney Law, PLLC.
9/10: Speeding, 50/35. Amended to defective equipment despite client having two prior speeding tickets on her DMV transcript. No DMV demerit points!
9/11: Speeding, 49/35. Dismissed with only the payment of court costs!
9/12: Driving with Suspended License, 4th offense. Amended to Driving without a license with only a $100 fine. This avoided a mandatory sentence of 10 days of jail and 90 days of license suspension.
9/16: Speeding, 73/55. Amended to defective equipment. No DMV demerit points!
9/17: Reckless Driving by Speed, 85/55. Dismissed without a fine or court costs! Avoided criminal misdemeanor and DMV demerit points.
9/17: Reckless Driving by Speed, 104/65. Jail sentence limited to one weekend despite 39 mph over the limit and over 100 mph. The Peninsula judges start considering jail at 90 mph and at 30 miles over the speed limit regardless of the speed limit.
9/18: Speeding, 63/45. Amended to improper equipment. No DMV demerit points!
9/19: DWI, 1st offense. Amended to Reckless Driving. Avoided the stigma of DWI and the ignition interlock machine and reduced the restricted license period from 12 months to 6 months.
9/19: DWI, 1st offense. Avoided active jail sentence despite an accident with injuries and presence of an illegal substance in client’s system.

Mark Matney will defend you in traffic court against DUI - DWI - Speeding Tickets

Avoid DMV Demerit Points

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

I Welcome Your Comments

 

DMV Demerit Points

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Can you avoid DMV Demerit Points? Today in Hampton I helped two clients charged with speeding achieve amendments to defective equipment.  Both avoided 4 DMV demerit points.  [May 1, 2018, Mark Matney].

Click Here to Contact Matney Law
Call 757-784-3507

Handling a wide array of traffic violation cases

Matney Law PLLC of Newport News Virginia regularly represent clients charged with traffic violations, including:

Reckless driving
Speeding
Expired registration
Expired license
Running a red light or stop sign
Failure to signal when changing lanes
Failure to wear a seatbelt
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Driving without a license or with a suspended license
Leaving the scene of an accident
Violating license restrictions
Hit-and-run accidents
Passing a Stopped School Bus
Failure to Yield
Unsafe Lane Change
Following too Closely
Whether you have been charged with a moving or nonmoving violation, I possess the knowledge needed to protect your best interests in traffic court.

DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer - Newport News Virginia

Counseling

Counseling and Substance Abuse Treatment

The Lawyers at Matney Law PLLC – counseling and substance abuse treatment information. The Matney Law firm defends people against reckless driving, speeding, expired license, running a red light, DUI, DWI, driving without license, passing a stopped school bus. Our attorneys serve Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Gloucester, Surry, Toano.

Recovery for Life – Dr. Paul Hardy
Virginia Beach
757-456-0093
www.myrecoveryforlife.com

Edgehill: A Recovery Retreat Center
540-662-8865
315 East Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601
http://edgehillrecovery.org/

The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place
757-565-0106 / 800-582-6066
5477 Mooretown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188
http://farleycenter.com/

Rehab Center
Phone: 888-979-9592
Website: www.rehabcenter.net

Norfolk Court House

Ignition Interlock Providers

Ignition Interlock Providers

If you are required to have an ignition interlock machine installed due to a DUI conviction, you will need to contact one of these providers.  You must complete six months without any violations in order to have the ignition interlock removed from your vehicle.

Alcolock VA

www.alcolockva.com

(877) 859-4782

LifeSafer

www.lifesafer.com

(866) 202-3381

Draeger, Inc.

www.draeger.com/en-us_us/Ignition-Interlock

(800) 332-6858

Smart Start, Inc.

www.smartstartinc.com

(800) 880-3394

Intoxalock

www.intoxalock.com/virginia

(804) 381-4774

 

 

Today in Newport News

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

I Welcome Your Comments

Today in Newport News

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Today in Newport News...   Matney Law helped four clients accomplish their goals in Newport News courts. The first client was charged with driving on a suspended license, 2nd offense. He needed more time to reinstate his license before his final hearing and the judge granted him a continuance.

Two of the clients were charged with reckless driving by speed with speeds over 80 mph. Both of these clients received amendments to traffic infractions and avoided misdemeanor convictions.

The fourth client received the greatest benefit when his three charges related to an accident were dismissed. It does not happen often, but this client’s dismissals were the result of a law enforcement officer who was not present due to taking another job.

These results were fun, but the day also included another highlight. A stranger paid for my lunch at the hotdog stand across from the courthouse when the vendor had trouble running my credit card.

DUI / DWI Defense Attorney

DUI & traffic court Attorney Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC in Newport News Virginia is one of the top traffic law firms in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  Matney Law defends people in traffic court charged with, DUI, DWI, drunk driving, reckless driving, traffic law, speeding, accident, suspended license, failure to yield.  Our coverage area includes, Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Williamsburg, York County, James City County.

Charged with a DUI call Matney Law PLLC 757-784-3507

DWI Amended to Reckless Driving

DWI Amended to Reckless Driving

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Today I was glad to help a client achieve an amendment from DWI 1st offense to Reckless Driving General.  This result avoided the DWI label while also helping the client avoid the ignition interlock and reduce the period of license suspension from 12 months to 6 months.

Each case involves its own set of circumstances and facts, so I cannot guarantee a particular outcome in a specific case.  In some recent DWI cases the charges associated with the DWI case were dismissed and/or reduced without an amendment of the DWI itself.  However, three other recent DWI clients in the past two weeks received amendments of their DWI charges.  Two clients charged with DWI 2nd offense had their cases reduced to DWI 1st offense and another client received an amendment from a DWI with an elevated 0.20 blood alcohol level to the standard blood alcohol level of below 0.15.

Traffic Violations

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.

So You Got A Ticket

Traffic tickets are serious business.

While many view traffic violations as minor infractions and nuisances, traffic tickets and moving violations have the power to wreak havoc on your life. Fees quickly mount, and points from tickets can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket or result in a revoked or suspended license. Matney Law PLLC does not underestimate the seriousness of traffic violations and doggedly works on your behalf to get the charges you face reduced or dismissed.They can result in fines, court costs and points being placed against your driving record. Accumulating enough points within a two-year period subjects a person to additional sanctions by the Motor Vehicle Administration, including driving school, an official warning letter, a point system conference, suspension or even revocation or driving privileges. And imagine how high your car insurance will be.

Call 757-784-3507

I Welcome Your Comments

Handling a wide array of traffic violation cases

I regularly represent clients charged with traffic violations, including:

Reckless driving
Speeding
Expired registration
Expired license
Running a red light or stop sign
Failure to signal when changing lanes
Failure to wear a seatbelt
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Driving without a license or with a suspended license
Leaving the scene of an accident
Violating license restrictions
Hit-and-run accidents
Passing a Stopped School Bus
Failure to Yield
Unsafe Lane Change
Following too Closely
Whether you have been charged with a moving or nonmoving violation, I possess the knowledge needed to protect your best interests in traffic court.

York County Court House

2016 Case Results

2016 Case Results

This is a listing of the 2016 Case Results handled by Matney Law, PLLC.  Matney Law defends people in traffic court charged with, DUI, DWI, drunk driving, reckless driving, traffic law, speeding, accident, suspended license, failure to yield.  Our coverage area includes all of Hampton Roads, especially Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Williamsburg, York County, James City County, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Suffolk, and Isle of Wight.

Disclaimer for Case Results…

I am frequently asked for the results of my representation. I have therefore summarized the cases I handled in 2016 and provided them on the website for your review. I chose not to post only the most successful cases or a sampling of cases. Instead, I have provided outcomes for all of my traffic related matters. In some instances I have reported only the final Circuit Court result when a case was presented in the General District Court and then appealed to the Circuit Court.

To protect confidentiality, I have removed the identities of clients, judges, and law enforcement personnel.

This information accurately reflects the outcomes of those cases but the results in each situation depend on many factors and cannot be relied on to guarantee the result in your particular matter. Each case is unique because it involves its own combination of evidence, client history, law enforcement, prosecutor, and judge.

Comment for Reckless Driving Cases

In every case where a Reckless Driving charge is amended to Speeding or Improper Driving, the criminal misdemeanor is avoided and the result is a traffic infraction.  This reduces the length of time the charge remains on the driver’s DMV transcript and in most cases it also reduces the number of DMV demerit points.

January

Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 65/35, $250.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Hampton.  Speeding, 69/60.  Result: Amended to Defective Equipment with $54.00 fine. No demerit points.
Newport News.  Public Intoxication.  Result: Dismissed.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 89/60.  Result: Amended to Speeding, 79/60, $250.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 87/60.  Result: Guilty of RD with $200 fine. Appealed to Circuit Court.
Norfolk.  2 Charges: (1) DUI with elevated BAC of 0.18, (2) Failure to Appear.  (1) Agreement with prosecutor for DUI = Amended to Standard BAC to avoid 5 days jail, ASAP, $500.00 fine with $250.00 suspended; 12 months jail – all suspended, 12 months suspended/restricted License, 6 months ignition interlock, 2 years good behavior. (2) Dismissed Failure to Appear.
Isle of Wight.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 77/55.  Result: Amended to Speeding 64/55, $132 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Williamsburg / James City County.  DUI 1st and Refusal.  Nolle pros Refusal charge.  Appealed DUI to Circuit Court.
Suffolk.  Misdemeanor Failure to Yield Right of Way approaching stopped emergency vehicle.  Result: Dismissed.
Newport News.  DUI 1st & Hit and Run.  Result: Agreement with prosecutor. Amended DUI to Reckless Driving, Nolle Pros Hit and Run.  Sentence:  $350.00 fine.  No probation or restricted license.
Williamsburg / James City County.  Expired Registration.  Result: No fine or court costs. No demerit points.
Hampton.  Speeding, 70/55.  Result: Amended to Defective Equipment with $25.00 fine. No demerit points.
York.  ASAP/Probation Violation.  Result: Guilty of Probation Violation. Sentence: Revoked the 80 days suspended jail and Re-suspended 40 days, leaving 20 days active jail after good time credit, terminated ASAP, no fine.
Williamsburg / James City County.  Charge: DUI (RD previously dismissed in GDC.) Result: DUI. Sentence: VASAP, $250 fine, 90 days jail – all suspended, 12 months suspended/restricted license, 6 months ignition interlock, 2 years good behavior.
Isle of Wight.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 74/45.  Amended to Speeding, 54/45, $174.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.

February

York.  Speeding, 59/35.  Amended to Speeding, 54/35, $114.00 fine.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
York.  Felony DUI 3rd offense.  Result: Amended to Misdemeanor DUI 2nd offense after hearing challenging the sufficiency of one of the prior court orders. Sentence: 12 months jail with 8 months suspended; 3 years suspended license; ASAP & CCD probation; $500 fine; $50 trauma fund; Eligible for restricted license after 12 months.  Reduced from Felony to Misdemeanor.
York.  3 Charges: DUI, Refusal, Failure to Obey Highway Lane Marking. Result: Negotiated an amendment of the DUI to Reckless Driving with Nolle pros of the charges of Refusal and Failure to Obey Highway Lane Markings. Sentence for the Reckless Driving was severe due to the tradeoff to avoid the DUI and Refusal convictions. Sentence: $500 fine, ASAP, 6 months suspended license, 90 days jail with 86 suspended (one weekend to serve), 2 years good behavior. Video showed client performed fairly well on field sobriety tests. However, client hit the curb and refused the preliminary breath test and the formal breath test.  Avoided DUI and ignition interlock.
Newport News.  2 Charges: Driving w/suspended license, Failure to Dim Headlights.  Result: Dismissed Failure to Dim Headlights, Amended Driving with Suspended License charge to No Operator’s License in Possession with $10.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and license suspension and achieved traffic infraction with no DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 91/60.  Amended to Speeding, 20+ mph, Fine: $186.  Avoided misdemeanor.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 60/35.  Amended to Speeding 54/35, $114.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Possession of Marijuana. Result – Nolle Pros. Officer agreed that there were proof issues so the judge brought the prosecutor into the case to nolle pros the charge. Dismissed.
Williamsburg / James City County.  Felony Grand Larceny. Result: Guilty. Sentence: 5 years jail with, 4 years and 9 months suspended (3 months to serve), 7 years supervised probation, restitution of $1,299.00.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving – Failure to Maintain Control (Accident).  Result: Amended to Improper Driving, $50.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
York.  Speeding, 54/35.  Amended to Improper Equipment, $50.00 fine.  No DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 82/60.  Amended to Speeding, 74/60, $84.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Hampton.  Speeding 45/25 in School zone.  Amended to Speeding, 34/25.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
Hampton.  Speeding, 79/60.  Amended to Speeding 69/60, $54.00 fine.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 83/60.  Amended to Speeding 69/60, Fine $54.00.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by speed, 92/60. Amended to Speeding, 20+, $200.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor.
Suffolk.  Speeding, 77/60.  Result: Dismissed with payment of court costs only.  Dismissed.
Hampton.  2 charges:  (1) Reckless Driving by Speed, 81/60. Amended to Speeding, 79/60, $114.00 fine.  (2) Illegal window tint – Dismissed.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Hampton.  2 Charges: Destruction of Property & Trespassing.  Withheld findings for both charges.  To be dismissed in one year if comply with conditions.

March

Sussex.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 99/70.  Result:  Guilty of Reckless Driving, $445.00 fine, 60 days suspended license, NO jail.
Gloucester.  2 Charges: DUI 2nd and Refusal.  (1) Nolle Pros Refusal, 2nd Offense.  (2) DUI, 2nd in 10 years. Sentence = ASAP, 6 months jail with 5 months + 20 days suspended (10 days mandatory), $500.00 fine, 3-year suspended license (eligible for restricted after 4 months).
Hampton.  DUI with elevated 0.21 BAC. Trial on not guilty plea. Result: Guilty of DUI. Sentence: VASAP, $500 fine with $250 suspended, 30 days jail – all suspended (10 days mandatory), 2 years good behavior, 12 months suspended license, 6 months ignition interlock.
York.  Speeding, 80/65.  Amended to Defective Equipment, $50.00 fine.  No DMV demerit points.
Isle of Wight.  DUI 1st.  Amended from DUI 1st to Reckless Driving (general). Sentence = ASAP, $250.00 fine, 30 days jail – all suspended, 6 months Suspended License, Restricted License after 3 months,  2 Years Good Behavior.  Avoided DUI and ignition interlock.
Newport News.  2 Charges: (1) Reckless Driving by Speed, 88/65. Amended to Speeding, $150.00 fine.  (2) Failure to secure child in seatbelt – Dismissed.  Avoided misdemeanor.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 67/45.  Amended to Speeding, 54/45.  Avoid misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 57/35.  Amended to Speeding, $132.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor.
Newport News.  2 Charges – (1) DUI with elevated BAC (0.15) and (2) Reckless Driving.  Agreement with prosecutor: (1) Reckless Driving dismissed.  (2) DUI amended from elevated (0.15) to standard to avoid mandatory jail.  ASAP; $250.00 fine + costs = $450.00, 12 month suspended license – eligible for Restricted License – 6 month ignition interlock; one year good behavior.
Newport News.  3 Charges: DUI, Refusal, RD.  Agreement with CA (1) Refusal – Nolle Pros, (2) RD dismissed, (3) DUI Conviction.  Sentence:  DUI – ASAP, $250.00 fine, 180 days jail – all suspended, 12 months restricted license, 6 months Ignition Interlock, one year good behavior.
New Kent.  Improper/Erratic Lane Change.  Result: Amended to Fail to Obey Hwy Sign, a -0- demerit point infraction, $75.00 fine and driver improvement class.  Avoided DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 87/60.  Dismissed.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 75/55.  Amended to Speeding, 64/55, $54.00 fine.
Isle of Wight.  Charges: (1) Concealed Weapon; (2) Distribution of Marijuana.  Agreement with Prosecutor.  (1) Guilty of concealed carry – (a) Court Costs, (b) all jail suspended – 60 days, (c) No fine, (d) Forfeit weapon, (e) 24 months good behavior.  (2) Marijuana Distribution amended to possession with First Offender Program (1) 6 months good behavior, (2) 6 months suspended license, (3) Class-CCP = (3 hour class), (4) Court Costs, (5) To me dismissed with no court appearance if comply with terms.
Newport News.  3 Charges: (1) DUI 1st (elevated BAC); (2) Reckless Driving – Accident; (3) Following too closely (accident). Agreement with prosecutor to dismiss reckless driving, nolle pros following too closely, and amend DUI to lower BAC to avoid active jail.  $250.00 fine, ASAP, 180 days jail – all suspended, 12 months suspended/restricted license, 6 months ignition interlock.
York.  Failure to Yield Right of Way.  Dismissed.
Accomack.  Following Too Closely.  Dismissed.
Virginia Beach.  Underage possession of alcohol. First Offender: (1) Court Costs; (2) ASAP; (3) Good behavior. To be dismissed on review date.

April

Newport News.  Reckless Driving – Fail to maintain control (accident).  Amended to Improper Driving, $30.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Civil Trial. Defended landlord against former tenant’s Warrant in Debt action seeking return of the security deposit. Judge ruled in favor of my client after 1 1/2 hour trial in which we showed that the tenant breached the lease. Successfully avoided any award to client’s opponent.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 86/60. Result: Amended to Speeding, 20+ over limit, $156.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor.
Newport News.  2 Charges: (1) No operator’s License – Dismissed. (2) Reckless Driving by Speed 91/60 – Amended to RD 90/60, $750.00 fine, 10 days jail – All Suspended, 6 months Restricted License.  Appealed to Circuit Court.
Newport News.  6 charges. Dismissal / Nolle pros of 4 charges: (1) Reckless Driving, (2) Refusal 2nd, (3) Open Container, and (4) Suspended License.  Guilty / Sentenced for 2 charges: (5) DUI 2nd in 10 years – Sentence:  ASAP, $500.00 fine, 180 days jail with 160 days suspended, 3 years Suspended License with/ Restricted after 4 months, 2 year good behavior. (6) Evade & Elude Police. Sentence: 180 days jail with 160 days suspended. One year good behavior.
Newport News.  Speeding, 80/60.  Amended to Speeding 79/60, $114.00 Fine.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
Williamsburg / James City County.  Charges: (1) DUI, 2nd in 5 years, 0.19 BAC, (2) Reckless Driving by Speed, 60/35, (3) Driving with Suspended License (46.2 – 301).  Results: (2) Nolle Pros Reckless Driving by Speed, (3) Amended Suspended. License to Driving without a License (46.2 – 300), $150.00 Fine, 60 days jail (all suspended). (1) DUI 2nd – (a) ASAP, (b) $500.00 Fine (c) 3 years Suspended License (Restricted after 12 months), (d) 180 days jail – 150 days suspended. Avoided 90 days additional license suspension and achieved mandatory minimum sentence despite second offense with elevated BAC in short amount of time after prior DUI.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed 64/45.  Amended to Speeding 54/45, $54.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  3 Charges:  (1) DUI, (2) Refusal, (3) Reckless Driving by Speed (75/45).  Result: Nolle Pros Refusal and RD by Speed.  DUI Sentence- $250.00 fine, ASAP, 180 jail – all suspended, 12 months Suspended/Restricted License, 6 months ignition interlock, one year good behavior. Two charges dismissed and mandatory minimum sentencing for DUI charge.
Suffolk.  2 Charges: (1) Aggressive Driving, (2) Fail to Obey Highway Lane Markings.  Trial Result: Dismissed Fail to Obey Highway Lane Markings.  Aggressive Driving Sentence: $75.00 fine.
Williamsburg/James City.  DUI 1st and Refusal. DUI sentence: 90 days jail – all suspended, $250.00 fine, 12 months suspended license, ASAP, Ignition Interlock 6 months, 2 years good behavior. Nolle Pros Refusal.  Dismissed Refusal and mandatory minimum sentence for DUI.
York.  2 Charges: (1) Driving Suspended (3rd) amended to Driving without a License (46.2-300). (2) Dismissed Fail to have vehicle Inspected. Amendment of Driving Suspended avoided 10 days mandatory jail and avoided 90 days mandatory license suspension.
York.  Speeding 55/35.  Amended to Speeding 54/35, $114 fine.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
Sussex.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 91/70.  Amended to Speeding, 79/70, $400 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Speeding, 60/45. Result:  Amended to Speeding, 54/45, $54.00 fine.  (Judge considered amendment to defective equipment, but declined this due to -7 DMV Transcript).
Hampton.  Following too closely (Accident).  Result:  Dismissed!
Norfolk.  DUI 1st, elevated 0.18 BAC. Agreement with prosecutor to amend from elevated BAC to standard BAC to reduce from 5 days mandatory minimum jail to one weekend of jail. Sentence:  $500.00 fine with $250.00 suspended, VASAP, 12 months suspended/restricted license, 6 months ignition interlock, 180 days jail with 176 days suspended (one weekend to serve), 2 years good behavior.
Isle of Wight.  Reckless Driving.  Amended to Improper Driving, $100.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.

May

Hampton.  Speeding, 78/60. Amended to Speeding 65/60, $30.00 fine.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
Suffolk.  4 Charges:  DUI, Refusal, Driving without a License, Defective Equipment.  Agreements with Prosecutor = Nolle pros 3 charges: Refusal, Driving without A License, Defective Equipment.  DUI Sentence = $250.00 fine, ASAP, 30 days jail – all suspended, no request for Restricted License because client does not own a vehicle, 2 years good behavior.
York.  Speeding, 79/65.  Amended to Improper Equipment, $50.00 fine.  Avoided DMV Demerit points.
York.  Following too Closely (accident).  Amended to Improper Equipment, $50.00 fine.  Avoided DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving, Passing Stopped School Bus.  Result: Amended to Improper Driving, $150.00 fine.  Avoided Misdemeanor, decreased demerit points from -6 to -3, decreased length of time the charge will appear on DMV Transcript from 11 years to 3 years.
Chesapeake.  Charges: (1) DUI 2nd in 5 years, elevated BAC (0.15), (2) Failure to Maintain Lane – $30.00 fine, (3) Following too Closely – $30.00 fine.  DUI Amended to standard BAC – Agreement with Prosecutor – $1,000 fine, $500 suspended; 184 days jail, 160 days suspended (20 days mandatory); ASAP; 2 years good behavior.  Agreement avoided 10 days mandatory jail that would have been imposed due to elevated BAC at time of second offense.  Appealed all 3 charges.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 49/25. Amended to Speeding 44/25, $75.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
York.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 89/70.  Amended to Speeding, 89/70.  Avoided misdemeanor.
Newport News.  RD by Speed, 46/25.  Amended to Speeding, 34/25, $250.00 fine. Reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Amended to RD by Speed, 83/60 to Speeding 79/60.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Hampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 89/60. Amended to Speeding, 69/60, $54.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Northhampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 81/55. Amended to Improper Driving, $240.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Virginia Beach.  Driving with Suspended License, 3rd offense.  Result: Dismissed.
Newport News.  4 charges: DUI 1st; Refusal; Reckless Driving; Improper Passing. Dismissed Reckless Driving, Nolle Pros Refusal and Improper Passing.  DUI Sentence: VASAP, $250.00 fine, 180 days – all suspended, 12 months suspended/restricted License, 6 months ignition interlock, one year good behavior.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 79/55. Amended to Speeding, 69/55, $114.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Unsafe Lane Change.  Trial on Not Guilty Plea.  Judge found client guilty with $75.00 fine.  Client appealed to Circuit Court.
York.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 82/65. Amended to Speeding, 74/65, $54.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 80/55. Amended to Speeding 74/55, $114.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
York.  3 charges. (1) Reckless Driving by Speed, 83/65. Amended to Improper Driving with $200 fine, (2) Dismissed Illegal window tint, (3) Possession of Marijuana: 30 days jail – all suspended, $100 fine, 6 months suspended/restricted license, 2 years good behavior.  Avoided misdemeanor for the Reckless Driving charge and reduced DMV demerit points.

June

King & Queen.  DUI, 1st. Agreement with Prosecutor. Result: Amended from DUI to Reckless Driving. Sentence: 90 days jail – all jail suspended, $500.00 with $250.00 suspended, 6 months Suspended License, ASAP, 3 years good behavior.  Avoided DUI.
Newport News.  3 charges: (1) Felony DUI 3rd within 5 years – Amended to Misdemeanor 2nd DUI in 5 years. Sentence:  ASAP, $500.00 fine, 3 year Suspended License, 365 days jail with 340 days suspended, 3 years good behavior, 6 month interlock; (2) Nolle pros Refusal; (3) Dismissed Reckless Driving.  Avoided felony, resulting in reduction of mandatory minimum jail from 6 months to 20 days.  Also two other charges dismissed.
Newport News.  3 charges.  (1) Nolle pros (dismissed) Strangulation causing injury (felony); (2) Nolle pros (dismissed) Delay telephone communication. (3) Withheld Finding: Assault on Family Member to be dismissed if comply with conditions:  (a) 2 years good behavior, (b) CCD-PRIDE – Anger Management, (c) No unwanted contact with victim; (d) Reasonable efforts to obtain gainful employment and prove GED completed; (e) Pay court costs.
Newport News.  DUI 1st with elevated 0.18 BAC. Result: DUI sentence: 12 months probation, ASAP, $250 fine + $25 special assessment, 12 months suspended license, 5 days mandatory jail with delayed report for weekends.
Newport News.  Speeding 46/25. Result: Dismissed with payment of court costs.
Hampton.  Failure to Obey Highway sign. Result: Amended to Defective Equipment, $50.00 fine. Avoided DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  3 charges:  DUI with elevated BAC, Reckless Driving, Driving without a License.  Dismissed Reckless Driving, Nolle pros (dismissed) Driving without a license.  DUI sentence:  Amended from elevated BAC (0.23) to standard BAC to avoid 10 days mandatory minimum jail, $250.00 fine, ASAP, 12 months Suspended/Restricted License, 180 days jail – all suspended, 6 months ignition interlock.  Avoided two charges and 10 days jail.
Norfolk.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 85/55.  Amended to Speeding 74/55, $114.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.

July

Gloucester.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 81/55. Amended to Speeding, 81/55, with $250 fine. Avoided misdemeanor.
Newport News.  Speeding, 79/60. Amended to Defective Equipment, $50 fine. Avoided DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  DUI.  $500.00 fine, No active jail, Probation/ASAP, 12 months suspended / restricted license.
York.  3 charges: (1) DUI, 2nd in 5 years, no BAC; (2) Refusal 2nd; (3) Speeding, 54/35.  (2) & (3) Nolle Pros Refusal 2nd and Speeding. (1) DUI, 2nd in 5 years. Sentence: ASAP; $500.00 fine ($1,000 fine with $500 suspended); 3 years suspended driver’s license; 180 days jail – 160 days suspended (20 days mandatory minimum); Restricted License when eligible; Ignition interlock when applies for Restricted License for at least 6 months. Client appealed to Circuit Court.
New Kent.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 76/55.  Amended to Speeding, 64/55, $75.00 fine and Driver Improvement course.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Williamsburg/James City.  3 Charges:  (1) DUI 1st, 0.16 BAC, (2) Open Container, (3) Driving Without a License.  Result:  Agreement with CA – Nolle pros Open Container and Driving Without License charges.  DUI Sentence: $250.00 fine, 90-days jail – 85 days suspended (5 days mandatory), VASAP, 12 months Suspended License, 2 years good behavior. Did not apply for restricted license.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 54/25. Result: Dismissed upon Motion to Strike due to lack of certificate of accuracy for Radar.
Newport News.  Speeding 55/35. Result: Amended to defective equipment, $100.00 fine. Reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  3 charges. (1) Reckless Driving – Nolle Pros. (2) Hit & Run – $500 restitution, 12 months jail – all suspended, 2 years good behavior. (3) False Report – $1,000 fine, 12 month jail – all suspended, 2 years good behavior, 90 hours community service.

August

Southhampton.  (1) DUI, 2nd in 10 years – $250.00 fine, 30 days jail – 20 suspended (10 days mandatory, weekends), VASAP, 24 months, 3 years suspended License, 6 months ignition interlock. (2) Speeding – $138.00 fine. Appealed to Circuit Court.
Hampton.  3 charges: (1) DUI 1st – Nolle Pros. (2) Evade/Elude Police – Nolle pros. (3) Reckless Driving – amended to Speeding.  $250 fine, 6 months suspended/restricted license.
Newport News.  Speeding, 80/60.  Amended to Speeding 74/60, $84.00 fine. Reduced DMV demerit points from -6 to -4.
Newport News.  Failure to Yield Right of Way (accident). Result: Dismissed.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving (accident).  Result: Dismissed.
Newport News.  DUI 1st with elevated 0.35 BAC & Reckless Driving. Result: Dismissed Reckless Driving.  DUI sentence: VASAP, $250 fine, 12 months suspended/restricted license, 6 months ignition interlock, 180 days jail with 170 suspended (10 days mandatory, weekends). Successfully avoided additional penalties that the prosecutor and judge were considering due to their concern with the high BAC.
Newport News.  3 charges: DUI 1st with elevated 0.25 BAC, Reckless Driving, Improper Stop on Highway.  Result: Dismissed Reckless Driving & Nolle pros Improper Stop on Highway. DUI sentence: VASAP, $250 fine, 12 months suspended/restricted license, 6 months ignition interlock, 180 days jail with 170 suspended (5 days to serve with good time credit, weekends). Agreement with prosecutor to amend from BAC above 0.20 to BAC between 0.15 and 0.20 in order to reduce jail from 10 days to 5 days.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 83/60.  Amended to Speeding (79/60). This result avoided the misdemeanor and reduced the DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Unsafe Lane Change (accident).  Result: Not Guilty.
Newport News.  DUI, 1st.  Result:  Agreement with prosecutor to not exceed mandatory minimum sentence. Sentence:  $250.00 fine, 12 months probation, 12 months suspended license, no active jail, will consider early termination of probation.
Salem.  Violation of Probation (ASAP).  Result:  Judge revoked 24 days jail and re-suspended 20 days, leaving 4 days. One weekend to serve with good time credit applied.  Judge converted 20 days remaining suspended jail to 160 hours of community service to be monitored by Peninsula ASAP.
Hanover.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 88/65.  Amended to Improper Driving, $350.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Driving Without a License. Result: Guilty, $100.00 fine. Delayed case 6 months, but client was unable to obtain valid license in order to receive a lesser charge.
Williamsburg/James City.  ASAP Violation (Show Cause). Result: Revoked 90 days of jail and re-suspended 82 days, must complete an appropriate after-care program.

September

Hampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed (125/60).  GDC Result: $500.00 fine, 2 years good behavior, 90 days jail, 84 suspended (6 days of jail, 3 days to serve). Circuit Court Result:  Agreement with prosecutor and restricted license request argued to the judge.  Result: No fine – court costs only; 2 years good behavior; 90 days jail with 86 suspended (4 days jail, 2 to serve), 30 days suspended license with restricted license granted.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed (82/60).  Result: Dismissed on motion due to Trooper’s laser certification outdated.  Avoided misdemeanor conviction and DMV demerit points.
Hampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 89/60.  Amended to Speeding, 79/60, $114.00 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 91/60. Dismissed on my motion to dismiss.  Previously achieved dismissal of Driving without a License in General District Court.  Dismissed.
Newport News.  Consumption/possession of alcoholic beverage in a park.  Result: Dismissed with payment of court costs.

October

Southampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 82/60.  Amended to Speeding, 74/60, $84.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 83/60.  Amended to Speeding, 79/60, $114.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 84/60.  Amended to Speeding, 79/60, $114.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 86/60.  Amended to Speeding, 76/60, $96.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving General (Accident).  Amended to Improper Driving, $150 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Northampton.   Reckless Driving by Speed, 79/55.  Amended to Improper Driving with $200 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Isle of Wight.  5 charges.  Results: Dismissed charges 1 and 2: Expired Registration and Failure to have vehicle inspected.  Charge 3: Speeding 70/55 – $90.00 plus costs.  Charge 4: Seat Belt Violation – $25.00.  Charge 5: Driving with Suspended License, 3rd offense – Amended to Driving Without a License, $100 fine – all suspended.  Avoided 10 days of mandatory jail and 90 days mandatory license suspension.
Virginia Beach.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 81/55.  Amended to Speeding, 74/55, $114.00 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Hampton.  5 Charges:  DWI 1st, Refusal, Reckless Driving, Driving Under Suspension 3rd offense, Fail to Obey Hwy Sign.  Result:  Nolle pros / dismissal of all charges.  Separate charge of Failure to Appear: Guilty, $100.00 fine, 30 days jail with 20 days suspended.
Hampton.  Calling with Intent to Annoy.  Result: Dismissed.
Isle of Wight.  Speeding, 71/55.  Amended to Defective Speedometer, $96.00 fine.  Avoided DMV demerit points.
Hampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 81/60.  Amended to Defective Equipment, $100.00 fine. Avoided DMV demerit points.

November

Newport News.  Felony Failure to Report Accident.  Result: Defense motion to strike was granted. Dismissed.
Newport News.  Speeding.  Result: Dismissed on motion to due officer not having certificate of accuracy for Lidar.  Dismissed.
Newport News.  Driving while suspended (4th offense) and Speeding, 62/45.  Result: Judge granted motion to dismiss.  Both charges dismissed.
Newport News.  False report to law enforcement officer.  Result: Amended to Obstructing Justice. The amendment will prevent client from having to report the conviction as a crime of moral turpitude (lying, cheating, stealing). Sentence: 12 months jail – all suspended, 12 months good behavior, no fine.
Newport News.  Charges: Failure to report accident (hit and run), Reckless Driving in parking lot, and Suspended license 4th offense.  Result: Agreement with prosecutor. Guilty plea to Failure to Report accident ($500 restitution, 5 days community service, 12 months jail – all suspended, 12 months good behavior). Nolle pros Reckless Driving in parking lot and Suspended license 4th offense. Avoided 10 days mandatory jail and 90 days mandatory license suspension for the suspended license charge.
Newport News.  Following too closely (accident).  Result: Not guilty.
Chesapeake.  Speeding, 49/35.  Result: Amended to Failure to obey highway sign with no demerit points, $84 fine.  Avoided demerit points.
Hopewell.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 96/70.  Result: Withheld finding. Charge to be amended to Improper Driving if client completes Aggressive Driving course and 40 hours of volunteer work.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 97/45.  Result: Dismissed.
York.  Speeding, 80/65.  Result: Amended to Defective equipment, $50.00 fine.  Avoided demerit points.
Hampton.  3 charges: Reckless Driving by Speed 88/60, Expired registration, Failure to obtain registration. Trooper’s Lidar certificates did not cover the date client was stopped. Client obtained valid registration three days after stopped.  All 3 charges dismissed.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 82/55. Result: Client Judge granted a withheld finding when the case was heard and then dismissed the charge on the review date. Conditions: completed driver improvement course a second time, completed volunteer work, and no new violations for six months.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 67/45.  Amended to Speeding, 64/45, with $114 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  4 charges: DUI 1st, No valid operator’s license, Following too closely, No proof of insurance. Prosecutor discovered prior DUI conviction and offered an agreement instead of amending from 1st DUI to 2nd DUI.  Result: Client accepted the prosecutor’s offer.  Dismissed No Valid Operator’s License. Dismissed No Proof of Insurance. Following too closely = $50 fine. DUI sentence – $250 fee, ASAP, one year suspended license, 180 days jail – all suspended.  Result: 2 charges dismissed and avoided amendment of DUI from 1st offense to 2nd offense, which would have required 20 days mandatory minimum jail.
Newport News.  Speeding, 72/55.  Result: Dismissed with payment of court costs.
Hampton.  Failure to Yield Right of Way (Accident).  Not Guilty.
York.  4 charges: Counterfeit inspection – Dismissed, Illegal window tint – Dismissed, No state inspection – $35 fine, Child seat violation – $50 fine.
Newport News.  DUI 1st.  Result: VASAP, $250 fine, 12 months suspended license, 6 months ignition interlock, probation with conditions.
Surry.  Client charged with two separate incidents of Driving while Suspended (7th offense & 8th offense) and Open Container.  Result: Agreement with prosecutor to nolle pros both Open Container charges and one of the Driving while Suspended charges. Sentence for Driving Suspended 7th: $100 fine, 6 months jail with 4 months suspended (leaving 30 days to serve with work release).
York.  Speeding, 63/45.  Result: Dismissed with payment of court costs.
York.  Failure to Yield Right of Way.  Result: Amended to Failure to Obey Highway Sign (a no demerit point violation) with $50 fine.  Avoided DMV demerit points.
Hampton.  Tunnel over height violation (misdemeanor). Result: Amended to defective equipment with $30 fine.  Avoided criminal misdemeanor, DMV demerit points, and $1000 mandatory fine.

December

Hampton.  Failure to Obey Hwy. Sign.  Amended to no demerit point version of the charge with $30 fine. No DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  ASAP violation (show cause). Result: Charge dismissed. Reinstated into ASAP.
Hampton.  Speeding, 47/35.  Result: Dismissed.
Hampton.  Speeding, 48/35.  Result: Withheld finding. To be dismissed upon completion of conditions: (1) driver improvement course, (2) pay court costs, (3) no new violations.
Hampton.  Reckless Driving by Speed 91/60.  Amended to Improper Driving with $150 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
York.  Driving with suspended license, 4th offense.  Result: Amended to Driving without a license.  Avoided 10 days mandatory jail and 90 days license suspension.
Spotsylvania.  2 charges: DWI 1st (0.18 BAC) & Improper Stop on Highway.  Result: Agreement with prosecutor. Nolle pros Improper Stop on Highway. DWI Sentence: VASAP, $350 fine, 12 months suspended/restricted license, 6 months ignition interlock, 90 days jail with 85 suspended (5 days mandatory), 2 years good behavior.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 85/60.  Amended to Speeding, 79/60 with $114 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 90/60.  Amended to Speeding, 79/60 with $150 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
York.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 88/60.  Amended to Speeding 79/60 with $114 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  Charges: (1) Reckless Driving by Speed, 85/60 and (2) Suspended license 3rd.  Result: (1) Reckless Driving amended to Speeding, 79/60, with $114 fine and (2) Suspended license sentence: $300 fine, 30 days jail with 20 suspended, 90 days suspended license.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving by Speed 73/45.  Amended to Speeding, 64/45 with $114 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
York.  ASAP non-compliance related to license reinstatement petition. Result: Judge reinstated client into ASAP. Ordered client to report to ASAP for new evaluation, payment of ASAP fee. Review date on March 23, 2017 to decide if client should be issued a restricted license.
Newport News.  Three charges (1) Open container – Dismissed. (2) RD by Speed 84/60 – Amended to Speeding 79/60 with $114 fine. (3) Suspended license 2nd – $200 fine, 90 days suspended license.
Hampton.  Traffic infraction related to interfering with a funeral procession.  Dismissed.
Newport News.  Speeding over 80 mph.  Amended to Speeding, 75/60, with $90 fine.  Reduced DMV demerit points.
Newport News.  Two clients charged with same offense.  Reckless Driving by Speed, 72/45.  Result: Both clients received amendment to Speeding, 64/45, with $114 fine.  Avoided misdemeanor and reduced demerit points.
Newport News.  2 Charges: (1) Driving while Suspended 4th Offense; (2) Texting While Driving.  Result:  Both charges dismissed.  (Trooper did not identify client and judge granted motion to dismiss).
Newport News.  2 charges: Suspended license (4th offense) & Speeding 43/25.  Result: Suspended license: $2500 fine all suspended conditioned on not driving while unlicensed, 90 days jail with 80 suspended (10 days mandatory), license suspended 1 day.  Speeding amended to 34/25 with $54 fine.
Newport News.  Reckless Driving General.  Amended to Improper Driving with $100 fine. Avoided misdemeanor and reduced DMV demerit points.
Fairfax City.  DUI 2nd in 5-10 years with elevated BAC (0.16).  Result: Agreement with prosecutor to amend from 2nd offense to 1st offense and to amend from elevated BAC to standard. The resulting sentence reduced the license suspension from 3 years to 1 year and the jail from 20 days to 3 days. Sentence: $1500 fine with $1200 suspended, ASAP, 180 days with 175 suspended, one year suspended/restricted license, 12 months ignition interlock.
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.

Call 757-784-3507 or Click Here to email Matney Law for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation!

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.

Charged with a DUI call Matney Law PLLC 757-784-3507

DUI FAQs

DUI FAQs

DUI Defense Attorney Mark Matney of Matney Law, PLLC, is one of the top DUI and traffic law attorneys in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. His experience defending clients charge with DUI and his training with the National College for DUI Defense enable Mr. Matney to identify the legal, factual, technical, and medical defenses in your DUI case. He spends the time necessary to review every document and watch every video related to your case. He will share his findings with you and discuss the best strategy for your specific situation.

Call 757-784-3507 or Click Here to email Matney Law for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation!

1.  How do you prepare for a DUI case?

At the beginning of a case, I must assume that my client and I are preparing for a trial. My staff and I prepare for court by obtaining and reviewing all of the available information. We analyze police reports, accident reports, questionnaires that help our clients share all that they remember about their particular situations, breath and blood test results from the Department of Forensic Science, and videos if available. I examine all of this information to look for every possible legal, factual, medical, or scientific defense. I then discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case and the possible defenses with my clients. Being prepared for trial places us in the best position to point out any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case or to take advantage of any problems the prosecution may face on the day of court. Sometimes discussing these issues with the prosecutor generates favorable offers that avoid the uncertainties of trial.

2.  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.

3.  Should I go to trial or accept a plea bargain?

For most people, their first concern is to find a lawyer who will fight for them and not just plea bargain their case away. Some prospective clients tell me that they are concerned about lawyers who promise to “get them a deal” and others confide that they have experienced negative situations where they felt their prior lawyer pushed them into a plea agreement instead of helping with their cases. In other words, the idea of plea bargaining has a very bad connotation for many people. They believe that if their attorney enters into a plea bargain, he is not adequately representing his client. As a lawyer, I feel that my job is to obtain the best possible result for my client and that I need to explore all of the options, including both going to trial and negotiating with the prosecution.

When I accept a case, I become responsible for the zealous representation of my client. My staff and I research the facts and the legal issues and I inform my clients of our findings. My counsel includes discussing the risks of accepting an offer from the prosecution versus the risks of going to trial. I advise my clients that there is a risk involved regardless of whether they choose to negotiate a result with the prosecutor (a plea bargain) or to present the case to the judge. Going to trial means giving up the best offer from the prosecutor and risking a worse result from the judge. On the other hand, accepting the prosecutor’s best offer means losing the possibility of a better result at trial.

Sometimes the focus of a case must be on avoiding a worse result as compared to “winning” or achieving a lesser charge. For example, one of my clients was charged with DUI because he fell asleep in the drive-thru lane at a fast food restaurant. When the police officer approached him, he saw that my client had vomited on himself and that he had receipts in his car for a large quantity of alcohol. There were numerous complicating factors in this case, including being assigned to a judge who was known for dealing harshly with DUI cases. I spoke with the officer to explore option of going to trial and then discussed the situation with my client. The officer agreed that if we pled guilty to the DUI, he would not inform the judge of the aggravating factors: vomiting on himself, waking up with difficulty, performing poorly on field tests, and possessing receipts in his vehicle for large quantities of alcohol. When I explained the situation to my client he approved accepting the agreement instead of risking a trial. The end result that morning was a DUI without any of the enhanced penalties that would have been likely if the police officer had described the details of what he observed during the arrest. Although it is not as exciting as a trial, an agreement that avoids the risk of a more severe outcome may be the best result that can be accomplished in a particular case.

Another example of the challenge of deciding whether to negotiate a resolution or to go to trial can be seen in a case that involved an unusual medical defense. My client was charged with a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15, which is almost twice the legal limit of 0.08. The 0.15 BAC triggers a five-day mandatory minimum jail sentence when someone is found guilty. As we prepared for trial, we received an offer from the prosecutor to amend the BAC so that my client would avoid any jail time. Although the offer of avoiding a jail sentence without the risk of a trial was tempting, my client chose to proceed to trial instead of accepting the prosecutor’s offer. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge expressed his agreement with our medical expert and ruled that my client was not guilty of DUI. In hindsight, it is clear that the client made the best decision for his case. However, when the decision to reject the offer was made, there was no guarantee that we would prevail at trial. In fact, another client with a similar medical defense lost her case with a different judge, despite a lower BAC.

It is not always easy to decide whether the plea bargain or the trial is the best option. The plea agreement can sometimes sound very inviting. The prosecutor may offer to dismiss additional charges or to agree to a favorable sentence. As attorneys, we use all of the information available to us to provide the best counsel to our clients. Ultimately, however, clients must decide whether to risk the unknown result of a trial or accept the certainty of an agreement with the prosecution.

4. Can a prior DUI in another state be used against me?

The Virginia Code provides that in order for a person to be found guilty of a subsequent offense based on an out-of-state prior conviction, the law of the other state must be substantially similar to Virginia’s law for the particular charge. It can be challenging for the prosecution to prove the validity of the out-of-state order and that the law in effect at the time of the out-of-state conviction is substantially similar to Virginia’s law. It is sometimes possible, therefore, to exclude those prior convictions and reduce the severity of the new DUI charge, such as amending a charge of second offense DUI to first offense DUI.

5. What if my DUI case involves an accident?

DUI cases that involve accidents require the prosecution to prove certain additional elements in order to introduce the defendant’s BAC (blood alcohol content). These factors include showing that the defendant did not have access to alcohol after the accident and that he was arrested within three hours of the accident. The prosecution also has an additional burden when the defendant’s BAC is determined by a blood test instead of a breath test. In order to introduce a blood test result in court, the prosecution must produce the person who drew the blood and the person who analyzed the blood sample.

6. How Should I Plead at Court?

When my client and I appear in court, the judge will ask us how we plead. We have three options. My client can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Each plea communicates something different to the judge and to the prosecutor.

By pleading guilty, my client declares that he is responsible for the offense he is charged with. Sometimes a guilty plea to one charge is part of an agreement for the dismissal or amendment of other charges. At other times, a guilty plea may be the result of negotiations for a concession on sentencing. There are also situations where the strength of the prosecution’s case is so great that entering a guilty plea before the judge may help to avoid a more severe sentence.

A no contest plea indicates that we believe that the prosecution’s evidence is sufficient for a judge to find my client guilty. We may take issue with certain parts of the prosecution’s case but conclude that we are unlikely to prevail at trial. The no contest plea allows my client to avoid pleading guilty while also having an opportunity to explain the circumstances or other mitigating factors to the judge.

A plea of not guilty requires the prosecution to prove the case against my client. Pleading not guilty does not necessarily mean that we are pleading innocent. We may not dispute the fact that my client committed the act he is charged with, but a not guilty plea places the burden of proof on the prosecution. The prosecutor must prove each element of the offense that the defendant is charged with. In a DUI case, the prosecutor must prove that the police had a reasonable suspicion that justified stopping the defendant, that they had probable cause for arresting the defendant, and that the evidence as a whole demonstrates guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

My responsibility as a defense lawyer is to obtain the best possible outcome for people who have been charged with criminal and traffic offenses. Since my work lies on the defense side, my goal is to present my clients and their cases in a manner that will result in the court erring on the side of mercy. The famous William Blackstone stated in his Commentaries on the Laws of England that, “… it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer,”[1]while Benjamin Franklin went as far as commenting in a letter he wrote in 1785 that “… it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.”[2]

Based on that time-honored reasoning, I believe that everyone deserves a fighting chance to plead his case and have his day in court. Although there are times when I believe that a trial will not be in my client’s best interest, the client is the final decision maker about whether to present the case to the judge at a trial or as an agreement with the prosecution. I counsel my clients about the relative strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case and the possible outcomes at trial and then permit them to decide how to proceed.

Sometimes clients choose to pursue a trial even when it is the riskier option for their case. For some, the idea of accepting an offer from a prosecutor would be worse than losing at trial. One morning, I handled DUI cases for two men who were both facing several other charges in addition to their DUIs, such as open container, refusal, and reckless driving. In each case, I was able to negotiate with the prosecutor that, in exchange for a guilty plea to the DUI, the prosecutor would dismiss all of the other charges. This was a generous offer based on the facts of these two cases. The first client liked the idea of ending up with only one conviction and avoiding the consequences of the other charges. He also appreciated the fact that the agreement would assure him of the minimum sentence for the DUI. The second client decided that he wanted to go to trial because he wished to tell the judge his side of what happened. He was convicted of every single charge. We appealed and eventually negotiated a better result, but he had to incur the additional time and costs involved in the appeal process. However, he was glad with the outcome because he placed greater value on “having a fighting chance” and “going down swinging.” For him, the trial was preferable because he received his day in court.