DWI and DUI: How They Differ and How They are the Same in Virginia

February 21, 2022


DWI and DUI are basically the same things under the state of Virginia legal system. A DUI, in general, is driving while under the influence, whereas a DWI, in general, is driving while intoxicated.

The statute under Virginia’s law concerning DWI/ DUI is titled “Driving motor vehicle, engine, etc. while intoxicated, etc.”, and this statute interchangeably uses both terms, DUI and DWI. The substantive law text basically reads that you shall not drive while in either one of these conditions.

And unlike the federal system, the nomenclature is not an issue in the state of Virginia. Thus, they share some interchangeable elements and bear the same punishment. 

Penalties for DUI/ DWI 

Under Virginia Code 18.2-266, a DWI/ DUI is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. Under this classification, a person can violate the law by being intoxicated/under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.

When it comes to the level of penalties a person may face, there are different factors that determine the level of penalties. One huge factor that determines a person’s penalties is whether the conviction is a first, second, or third offense. Also, Virginia law looks at how recent the previous convictions were, as well as the level of intoxication (specifically when it comes to alcohol use).

For first and second convictions, DUI/ DWIs are misdemeanor violations. For a first-offense DUI/DWI in Virginia, the person may have a conviction of up to 12 months jail time, and up to a 12-month license suspension. This person may also have a fine of up to $2,500. A third DUI conviction, however, may lead the defendant to a sentence of 90 days up to 5 years, and he/she will be charged with a felony. 

How an Attorney Can Help

When it comes to such DWI and DUI convictions and fines, it is critical to consult with a respected attorney, like a reputable criminal defense lawyer Fairfax VA. With such a lawyer, you can be rest assured that your case will be thoroughly looked over with a fine-tooth comb. This Fairfax traffic lawyer will fight tenaciously for you when it comes to looking over the evidence, facts, and more. 

This attorney will also determine how to obtain the best possible outcome in their client’s DUI/DWI case. He/she will thoroughly listen to the client and review the evidence and facts surrounding the arrest.

He/she will also implement the best, personalized defense strategy possible. This extraordinary attorney is more than able to do this when he/she thoroughly looks over everything closely and thoroughly listens to the client. Also, by reviewing the evidence and facts surrounding the arrest, this attorney can reduce the impact of the conviction. This attorney may even win the client’s case where he/she may not have a DUI conviction, depending on the case.  

For More Information

For more information about DUI and DWI laws in Virginia from a top-notch traffic lawyer Fairfax VA, contact Rudolphi Law today! For years now, Andrew Rudolphi has been providing top-notch legal services concerning DUI and DWI offenses. And as a result, this Fairfax Dui lawyer has earned tons of recognition from agencies and tons of clients. 

This criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA is a member of the Virginia State Bar, and he is a trial lawyer. He has gained recognition and awards for being one of the top 100 trial lawyers through The National Trial Lawyers. He has also been recognized as an Avvo 10.0 Top Attorney and with an Avvo Client’s Choice Award among other accolades.

When it comes to finding one of the best Fairfax County DUI Lawyers, you won’t go wrong with Atty. Rudolphi. So, contact this law office today!