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West Virginia DUI FAQ

Accurate Answers to Your Pressing DUI Questions

If you or someone in your family has been arrested and charged with DUI, you are probably feeling nervous and unsure what to do next. With your future at stake, you need support and advocacy from a West Virginia DUI attorney you can trust.

Let The Wagner Law Firm step in and help you. Attorney Harley Wagner has over 22 years of DUI defense experience and extensive knowledge of the state’s DUI laws. He has answers to all of your questions. Read the FAQ below and don’t hesitate to reach out if you still have further questions.

Call (304) 461-6000 for more assistance and a free consultation.

I’ve been arrested for a DUI in West Virginia. What will happen to me now?

Your license is at stake right away. In fact, within 48 hours of your arrest, the police officer is statutorily required to file notice of your arrest with the West Virginia DMV to begin license suspension action against you. Your right to drive is at stake! Contact The Wagner Law Firm no matter what time of day or night – even weekends. Harley Wagner is here to explain what you must do to keep your driver’s license as your case progresses.

All is not lost. Remember, you have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 30 days of receipt of notice of license suspension to preserve your right to challenge the suspension of your license while continuing to lawfully drive. If you fail to make this request, you will lose the right to drive on the date of suspension sent to you by the DMV. The Wagner Law Firm can help you file this request.

In addition to the administrative hearing with the DMV, there will also be a second case – your criminal case. If convicted, there are some extremely serious punishments. That’s why getting an experienced West Virginia DUI lawyer like Harley Wagner on your side is the best idea for you right now.

My license has been suspended. How do I get it back?

After your suspension or revocation ends, you are eligible to have your license reinstated. It is possible that you could have a lifetime suspension if you are a repeat offender or have not taken the necessary steps to get your license lawfully reinstated. Don’t let this happen to you. It is important that you still be able to drive so you can get to court, work, and school.

What is the purpose of an administrative hearing with the DMV?

This is your chance to show that your driver’s license suspension is not justified. If you do nothing and don’t request a hearing, the DMV can suspend your license and you won’t be able to drive anywhere for any purpose. This is called a “hard suspension.” West Virginia does not issue temporary permits. If you lose your license but decide to drive anyway, you risk getting arrested again while your DUI case is pending. That is a very hard situation to overcome.

Harley Wagner knows West Virginia laws. It is important to consult with him right away after a DUI arrest.

I took the chemical test, so how long will my driving privileges be suspended?

In West Virginia, there are two types of DUI first-offense charges. If your BAC is .15 or lower, that is called non-aggravated. If it is higher than .15, the charge will be aggravated DUI. With a non-aggravated DUI, you can choose 90 days of no driving or 15 days with no driving plus 120 days with an ignition interlock device.

With an aggravated DUI, there is a mandatory 45 days of no driving and nine months with the ignition interlock device.

Out-of-state licensee cases are treated the exact same as if you held a West Virginia driver’s license. These types of cases involve someone who was visiting West Virginia on business or pleasure, and then got pulled over and arrested for drunk or drugged driving.

If you reside in a different state but do not own a vehicle, you can request a flat six months no driving in West Virginia with no mandatory interlock device. Harley Wagner has years of experience defending out-of-state clients, and he can save you a lot of hassle and travel time back to WV.

If you have been convicted of one other DUI within the past 10 years, your license will be suspended (no driving) for one year. Then you will be required to have a blow tube for two years. A third DUI within 10 years means no driving for a year and three years with the blow tube device in your vehicle as required by the West Virginia DMV.

I need to get to and from work. Can I get a restricted license?

Unlike many other states, if your license is suspended due to a DUI, you cannot be put back on the road immediately with a restricted license to drive to and from work. The only possible way to reduce the length of your suspension is to participate in the alcohol test and lock program. Talk to Harley Wagner about this program – which requires the installation of an ignition interlock device – and how you can apply for it right away.

I refused to take a chemical test. What does that mean for me?

After being arrested for a DUI, West Virginia implied consent law requires you to take a secondary chemical test to determine your BAC level. These tests include a breath test, blood test, or urine test. If you refused any one of these tests, the DMV can suspend your license for 45 days, implement a year with a blow tube installed in your vehicle, or one year no driving at all. This is called a DUI refusal. If you have multiple DUI convictions, your license could be suspended indefinitely.

Can I consult with a DUI attorney before deciding to take a chemical test?

In West Virginia, you do not have the right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to a chemical test. The police officer is not legally required to let you call an attorney during or after your arrest for impaired driving. Once at the jail, you will be able to call your lawyer. If you call Harley Wagner, he can help you get released from jail faster.

How is the DMV suspension or revocation for the arrest different from the suspension or revocation following my drunk driving conviction in criminal court?

The DMV suspension or revocation is an administrative action taken against your driving privilege only. The suspension or revocation following a conviction for a West Virginia DWI in court is a mandatory action for which jail, a court fine, or other criminal penalty can be imposed.

Why Trust Harley Wagner?

  • Over 20 Years of Experience
  • More Than 2,500 DUI Cases Handled
  • Performed 800 Hours of DUI Defense Training
  • Award Winning Representation
  • Faculty Member at DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Author of West Virginia's Preeminent DUI Book: West Virginia DUI Defense: The Law and Practice
Looking Forward to Helping You

Call 304-461-6000 To Get Started

Meet Harley Wagner

Award Winning DUI Attorney
  • Harley  Wagner Photo
    Harley Wagner
    West Virginia DUI Attorney Harley is the owner of The Wagner Law Firm, West Virginia’s only exclusive DUI defense law firm. Harley is a graduate of his beloved alma mater, West Virginia University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in journalism in 1990. He attended law school in Lansing, Michigan where he graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in 1995. Criminal law and being a criminal defense attorney was Harley’s singular focus during and after law school. In furtherance of ...
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