How Long Does a Virginia DUI Stay On Your Record?

If you’re arrested and convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that conviction can follow you for years, potentially robbing you of valuable opportunities in your life. We hope you hire someone else to drive you home if you are drunk or high. However, if it is too late, you might still have legal options available to help defend your interests. The first step is hiring lawyers specializing in DUI cases in Virginia to represent your case.

But how long does a DUI stay on your driving record or criminal record in Virginia? In most states, a DUI remains on your driving record for an entire decade. In some states, however, a DUI never leaves your driving record. States that don’t remove DUIs from driving records include Alaska, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Virginia, meanwhile, keeps the DUI on your driving record for 11 years. After 11 years, you might not face the same issues with hiked car insurance rates.

However, the DUI remains on your criminal record forever, regardless of which state the offense occurred in. That means the DUI will appear on all future background checks, along with information about other arrests, prison sentences, probation violations, and outstanding warrants.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Virginia?

In most states, a DWI and a DUI are different things. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a DUI and DWI are interchangeable terms for the same thing. State law refers to both as “Driving While Intoxicated” in the dangerous driving statute.

When Does a DUI First Appear On Your Record?

Your DUI charge will appear on your record when the prosecution formally files charges against you. The charge shall remain on your criminal record even if you obtain a not-guilty verdict. Your ultimate verdict, guilty or not, will also appear on your record when the verdict is handed down.

Can Having a DUI On Your Record Hurt Your Future?

Yes, a DUI can have a lasting negative impact on your future opportunities. New employers and landlords can review your background check and see the DUI there. A DUI on your permanent criminal record can limit your options in the search for new employment, housing applications, education, security clearances, child adoption, and potentially immigration. DUI charges can also cause your car insurance premiums to increase dramatically.

Are There Extra Penalties for Subsequent DUI Charges in Virginia?

A DUI first-time offense is typically charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail time and fines up to $2,500. Your second DUI offense comes with up to a year in jail, a minimum fine of $500, and a driver’s license suspension for one year.

A third DUI offense within ten years is charged as a Class 6 felony. The minimum penalties include $1,000 in fines and at least 90 days in jail. Four or more DUIs in ten years can be punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Other potential penalties include house arrest, victim restitution, ignition lock devices, and community service.

Is it Possible to Have Your DUI or DWI Convictions Expunged or Sealed?

Your DUI will appear on your driving record for 11 years. It will remain on your criminal record forever, though. But are there ways to have it removed?

It is possible to have DUI charges expunged from your record in unique circumstances. Usually, this requires your DUI lawyers to prove a case of wrongful conviction based on grounds of faulty test results, improperly conducted roadside tests, and illegal traffic stops.

The most surefire way to avoid all these troubles is simply not to drive drunk in the first place. It’s not worth it. Call a friend or an Uber.

Contact Us to Schedule a Safe and Secure Case Evaluation

If you’re facing DUI charges, you must contact legal representation immediately. The Law Office of Seth C. Weston has extensive experience representing clients in complex DUI cases, and we would be proud to provide our legal services to you during this challenging time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our law offices at (540)-384-4585.