How Long Does a DWI/DUI Stay on My Driving Record in Virginia?
A DWI/DUI conviction can remain on your record with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for eleven years. DMV driving records include all traffic violations, including suspensions, collisions, deferred prosecution revocations, and disqualifications.
A conviction for a traffic-related crime also imposes a specific number of demerit points on a person’s driver’s license. You will receive six demerit points on your license if convicted of DUI or DWI. Those points will remain for two years after the conviction date.
You must understand the various penalties you can face if you’re a registered Virginia driver who drives while intoxicated or under the influence. Besides negative marks on your driving record, criminal sentencing is possible.
Here we explain the effects of DWI/DUI on a DMV record, driver’s license, and criminal record.
Impact of DWI/DUI on Driving Record
If convicted of a traffic-related offense in Virginia, the DMV will impose demerit points on your driver’s license. You might lose your driving privileges if you receive too many points.
With a DUI conviction, the DMV assesses six demerit points. They automatically get removed after two years. However, the criminal offense remains on your driving record for eleven years.
A judge can review your record at a future criminal trial to determine the appropriate sentence. License suspension can last longer if you are convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense.
Criminal Consequences of a DWI/DUI Conviction
The Commonwealth of Virginia defines driving while intoxicated as operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%. It is a class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $250. However, a second or subsequent offense can lead to enhanced sentencing, including higher fines and possible imprisonment.
A criminal record includes everything about a person’s criminal history, such as convictions, arrests, and other court dispositions.
A DWI conviction is permanent. That means it stays on your criminal record forever, even after it is removed from your DMV record. The prosecutor can use someone’s criminal records as evidence in legal proceedings to show previous convictions for the same or similar crimes. That might lead to stiffer penalties during sentencing.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a ten-year look-back period. That means you can’t face a more serious criminal charge based on your previous DUI offense if you make it ten or more years without a DWI charge. However, harsher penalties are likely if you get charged with another DWI within ten years.
How a DWI Conviction Affects Auto Insurance
The consequences of a DWI conviction don’t stop at criminal and DMV driving records. It can also affect your auto insurance coverage. The insurance company might cancel your policy, refuse to renew coverage, or increase your premiums.
You can apply for coverage from a high-risk driver insurer if your current insurance carrier raises your rates. However, these policies often have higher premiums.
You must file a Financial Responsibility Certificate, known as FR-44, with the DMV if you’re convicted of DWI. The insurer issues it to inform the DMV that you, as a high-risk driver, maintain the required auto insurance coverage.
Defend Yourself with a Trusted DWI Defense Attorney
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense that can impact multiple aspects of your life. Although the conviction will fall off your driving record after eleven years, it can create challenges. You should not handle your criminal case without Shannon & Associates, P.C.
We can protect your rights and create a legal strategy to defend you against the charge you face. We will do everything in our power to try to get the charge dropped or reduced and minimize the fallout of a conviction.
Call a dedicated Hampton Roads DUI defense lawyer from Shannon & Associates, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 for a confidential consultation if you were arrested or charged with DUI in Virginia.