| Read Time: 4 minutes | DUI

People make bad decisions, but that does not mean their lives should be ruined. If you have gotten behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs, you could potentially get a plea bargain that involves a reckless driving charge rather than the penalties of a DWI conviction. This helps you avoid the repercussions of a DWI conviction and instead receive the lesser consequences of a reckless driving offense. Being charged with a DWI can be a scary experience that affects your professional and personal relationships and has significant legal repercussions. With that being said, you may be wondering what percentage of Dui cases get reduced in Virginia.

If you have been arrested for a DWI, you need a DWI lawyer working for you. For over 25 years, Michael A. Pignone has been defending clients against criminal charges by fighting for their rights and handling the difficulties of the Virginia legal system. With the help of our aggressive law firm, you can fight to have your DWI charges reduced and face a better outcome.

Man Behind The Wheel Of A Red Car With A Beer Bottle In His Hand

Virginia DWI Laws

In Virginia, the offense charged with driving while intoxicated uses the DWI initialism, but many people still refer to this offense as a DUI. The Virginia DWI laws prohibit any motorist from operating a vehicle when:

  • The driver has a blood concentration of .1 milligrams (mg) or more per liter of methamphetamine 
  • The driver has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher
  • The driver has a blood concentration of .01 mg or more per liter of PCP
  • The driver has a blood concentration of .02 mg or more per liter of cocaine

Penalties for Virginia DWI

There are a variety of penalties for a DWI conviction. These penalties can depend on whether or not there were previous DWI offenses on the individual’s record. In most cases, people will receive jail time, fines, or a combination of both.

DWI 1st Offense 

DWI 2nd Offense

  • Jail time from 30 days up to one year
  • Fines from $500 – $2500
  • Suspension of license for three years

DWI 3rd Offense 

  • Jail time from ninety days to five years
  • Fines from $1000 – $2500
  • Suspension of license for an indefinite amount of time
  • The court may also require individuals to have an ignition interlock device (IID)  installed on their vehicles

Does Virginia Reduce DWI Charges?

In Virginia, it can be possible to get DWI charges reduced to a lesser violation. A skilled criminal defense attorney can work to reduce your DWI charges to what is sometimes called a “wet reckless.” A reckless driving offense involving alcohol or drugs is typically called wet reckless.

Rather than having to face the penalties that come with a DWI conviction, your attorney can help you with a plea bargain that involves a reckless driving charge. This means you could avoid the DWI conviction penalties and accept the punishments of a reckless driving offense.

Virginia reckless driving charges could result in:

How Can You Reduce a Virginia DWI Charge to Reckless Driving?

It can be a challenge to get a Virginia DWI charge reduced. Ultimately, only the prosecution holds the authority to allow an individual’s criminal charges to be reduced. Your criminal defense lawyer will need to build and present a convincing case to persuade the prosecutor that a reduction of charges is appropriate for your situation.

Your defense lawyer may attempt to prove that the evidence against you is flawed or is of questionable validity. They may also use the elements of your DWI case to establish that you deserve to be dealt a lesser charge. Every DWI case is unique, but when the prosecution considers lesser charges, they will check if the candidate meets the following criteria:

  • Possess no history of criminal behavior
  • Possess a clean driving record
  • Have a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or below .08%
  • Not have been involved in a serious accident
  • Showed cooperation with law enforcement

Charges for reckless driving do not have the same penalties as a conviction for a DWI. A reckless driving charge also does not carry the same social stigmas as a DWI. An experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyer can discuss the potential for reduction of a DWI charge to a reckless driving offense.

A Glass Of Liquor, Handcuffs And Car Keys On A Table

Legal defenses For Reduced DWI charges

After reviewing your case, your attorney will build a strong defense against the prosecution. Often, the state is confronted with issues regarding evidence in DWI cases. The following are some possible defenses your attorney will use to seek reduced or dropped DWI charges:

  • The defendant had a low blood alcohol level
  • The breathalyzer machine was improperly calibrated
  • An unfair DUI checkpoint
  • The officer made a traffic stop without reasonable justification
  • The police officer did not read the defendant their Miranda rights
  • The police officer unlawfully stopped an individual and kept them without proper justification

These are just a few ways your attorney can poke holes in the prosecution’s case. In such situations, the state will often look at Virginia law and choose to reduce the DWI charge. Charges may also be reduced if someone is arrested for DWI even after they performed well on a field sobriety test.

Contact Michael A. Pignone For Legal Counsel

Good people can make bad decisions because no one is perfect and mistakes happen. An arrest and DWI charge can impact every aspect of your life, and you should not have to face Virginia’s legal system without help. You need the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who has experience fighting the legal system and knows how to protect the rights of their clients.

Our law firm has the expertise to defend your DWI charges in Virginia. Let us help you get your DWI charges reduced so you can move forward with your life and put this incident behind you. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone Using our online form for a free review of your DWI case.

Author Photo

Michael Pignone

Michael Pignone was raised and has lived in Prince William County since 1972. He attended public schools in the county and graduated high school from Osbourn High in Manassas. Following high school, he attended George Mason University where he graduated with honors from the Business School with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He was then accepted into, and graduated with honors from, Suffolk Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Before entering private practice, he clerked for the Prosecutor in the Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

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