A Misdemeanor Lawyer in Fairfax, VA Compares a Misdemeanor DUI to a Felony DUI

Misdemeanor Lawyer in Arlington VA

Unfortunately, a fun night out with your friends can turn into a bad night which includes the police, as a misdemeanor lawyer in Fairfax, VA knows very well. Perhaps you had drinks with your friends or coworkers after a long day and you had one too-many beers. Then you decided to drive home. During your drive home, you are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence. After your arrest, you had to spend a few hours in a police station and then were given a citation and a notice stating you will have to appear in court for an arraignment. You may be asking yourself, how much trouble am I actually in? Will the Court consider my DUI as a misdemeanor or a felony? This is an excellent question for our misdemeanor lawyer in Fairfax VA from May Law, LLP. Because there are many variables that can influence the answer, it’s best to have your case and circumstances reviewed by a knowledgeable lawyer.

To simplify the process, when you receive a first offense DUI in any state, it is considered a misdemeanor. However, there are extenuating circumstances that can arise which can increase your charge to a felony. State laws often change so it is important to understand the current DUI laws in Virginia.
Misdemeanor DUI
When you are convicted of a misdemeanor, it is a less severe crime than a felony and it does not include a possibility of spending time in prison. In most instances, misdemeanors are punished with a fine, probation, or some jail time. If you are are convicted of a first-time DUI offense with no aggravating circumstances, it is typically ruled a misdemeanor DUI. An aggravating circumstance would include if someone was hurt or killed in the accident, having a minor child in the car, or having previous DUI convictions. In most cases, if someone is arrested and charged for a DUI, they will be faced with a misdemeanor DUI charge. A misdemeanor lawyer in Fairfax VA from May Law, LLP may be able to successfully argue that your charge should not be elevated to a felony.
Penalties for a Misdemeanor DUI
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI for the first time, in most states you will be sentenced to a short jail term or community service. Your sentence could also include a large fine, probation, your license being suspended, and alcohol education classes. In some states, there is a requirement for a minimum jail sentence if convicted of a misdemeanor DUI. After a review of your case, your misdemeanor lawyer in Fairfax VA from May Law, LLP can confirm if you will likely be charged with only a misdemeanor.
Felony DUI Charges
You can be charged with a felony DUI for various reasons, and if you are at risk for this, your misdemeanor lawyer in Fairfax VA from May Law, LLP will tell you. Some of the most common examples include:
  • DUI while driving with a minor in the car.
  • DUI that caused injury or death.
  • DUI while driving on a license that was suspended for a DUI.
  • Having more than three DUIs within 10 years.
Penalties for a Felony DUI
A felony DUI charge will likely require you to attend a preliminary hearing or the convening of a grand jury. A felony DUI conviction will result in a minimum of one year in prison and additional consequences of having a felony on one’s record. These consequences include not being able to vote, not being able to serve on a jury, and potentially losing your right to own a gun.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a skilled misdemeanor lawyer in Fairfax VA from May Law, LLP who can protect your rights.