Financial risks of a Virginia DUI conviction- Fairfax lawyer
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Financial risks from a Virginia DWI conviction are substantial, says Fairfax DUI lawyer
Financial burdens from a Virginia DUI conviction always include attorney’s fees, a court fine, court costs, VASAP, and the ignition interlock (initially) for restricted driving. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, I know that other financial risks from a Virginia DUI conviction can include increased FR 44 motor vehicle insurance premiums, taxi/Uber expenses from being without unrestricted driving, financial losses from losing employment or a security clearance, and punitive damages in any parallel car collision prosecution against an at-fault DUI defendant,
Financial and liberty risks from DUI prosecutions merit fully defending against Virginia DWI charges
One should not treat nonchalantly even a DUI charge that is unlikely to bring active jail time if convicted. The foregoing fallout from a Virginia DUI conviction is enough reason to fully defend against such a criminal accusation.
Dealing with private alcohol programs and their fees
Entering the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) is mandatory for those convicted of DUI in Virginia. On top of that, VASAP typically will refer those charged or convicted of a subsequent DUI offense or for certain elevated blood alcohol readings, for an evaluation by a private alcohol/substance program to determine whether additional alcohol treatment is needed. That private evaluation involves additional financial burden, as does any private alcohol treatment beyond what VASAP provides. When VASAP directs a DUI defendant to get a private evaluation, it is ideal for the defendant to check with his or her lawyer about which VASAP-approved private evaluators to seek, rather than simply having VASAP choose the private evaluator.
The availability of a payment plan for paying court fines and costs
The maximum possible fine for a Virginia DUI conviction is $2,500, in addition to imposed court costs. If a Virginia DUI defendant knows that s/he will have financial trouble paying the total fines and costs, the defendant’s lawyer can address seeking the lowest possible fine during settlement negotiations and at any sentencing where an agreed fine has not been recommended by the parties. The defendant can also ask the sentencing judge for extra time to pay fines and costs; the judge will either grant that request, deny it, or defer it to the court clerk. The court clerk can require that a percentage of court fines and costs be paid before receiving a restricted driving license, and can explain payment plan options.
The cost of VASAP and seeking a payment plan
VASAP typically costs $400 when the defendant is not an out-of-state resident who will obtain alcohol counseling from a program other than VASAP. The defendant may ask VASAP for a payment plan for handling the financial obligation to VASAP rather than paying up front. If VASAP denies that request, the defendant may ask his or her lawyer to assist with that request, if the defendant has a lawyer, or the defendant may politely seek reconsideration of such a denial.
Most importantly, DUI and all criminal cases need to be fully defended.
Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has successfully defended hundreds of people accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and has scores of times worked with a forensic toxicologist in challenging such charges. To discuss your DUI, felony, or misdemeanor case with Jon Katz, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential appointment.