Facing drunk driving charges means you will have to deal with a number of different potential consequences. Everything from your ability to receive financial aid to college to continued employment at your current job may hinge on whether you plead guilty, get convicted or successfully defend yourself against impaired driving charges.
Whether it is your first offense or not, one of the most profound impacts of driving under the influence (DUI) charges is likely the loss of your driver’s license. Virginia courts have the authority to suspend or revoke your license after any number of impaired driving charges. Even a first-time offense could result in the suspension of your license. Thankfully, you do have rights that could allow you to stay on the road.
You have the right to petition the court for a limited license
Having a car is a basic necessity of modern life. You don’t just use that vehicle to cruise around and have fun. Instead, you likely use it to get to and from work, to take your children to school, to run errands for your household and for emergencies. Not having a driver’s license can mean having great difficulty getting to your job or meeting other important deadlines.
Thankfully, the Virginia courts understand the importance of mobility for modern adults and families. You have the right to request that they reinstate restricted driving privileges even while your license is under suspension. If this was your first DUI offense, the court can actually award you a restricted license at the time of your conviction.
For those who have second or subsequent charges related to impaired driving, there may be a required waiting period between conviction and requesting a limited license, ranging from four months to three years. The exact circumstances of your previous conviction, as well as your current life circumstances will influence your rights in that situation.
Working with an attorney improves your chances of retaining your license
You might think that if you simply plead guilty and comply with the request of the court, that you will receive lenient treatment. In reality, the courts are loathe to let those accused of DUI offenses off with a slap on the wrist. They want to deter you from making the same mistake in the future and set an example for others contemplating similar decisions.
Working with an attorney is the best way to limit the consequences of a DUI on your life. Your lawyer can help you avoid conviction, in some cases, or mitigate the legal fallout of a conviction. If you want to retain your license or secure a limited license after a first or subsequent DUI conviction, the help of an attorney could prove invaluable.