Charged with Your First Offense DUI in WV? – What to Do Next
West Virginia DUI law poses two immediate legal issues for a person arrested for a first offense drunk driving or drugged driving. First, your driver license will be administratively revoked by the WV DMV if you don’t file the required DMV appeal within 30 days of the date of arrest.
When your DUI attorney does file the timely appeal, a future hearing date will be scheduled, but this is typically after the criminal case is concluded.
Second, you face criminal charges that can carry jail time, fines, probation and driving school (DUI classes of at least 18 hours in length). This page, which is all about West Virginia first offense DUI penalties, explains key filing deadlines and options – for both the administrative and criminal legal proceedings in a West Virginia DUI — for a person facing DUI first offense charges.
Thirty days for filing an appeal is applicable to the administrative license revocation part of any arrest for a West Virginia DUI, whether a 1st DUI or a 2nd DUI in WV. Concerns over loss of driving privileges for a DUI offense in WV is our #1 question at Wagner Law Group, which is even more common that arrestees worrying about potential jail time.
Fines for a first DUI offense are under $500, and jail time is only mandatory for high BAC levels of 0.15 grams percent or more. The big problem can be driver’s license issues, especially with a DUI refusal case, which can take away any chance of the DUI being expunged.
We Cover the West Virginia DMV Appeal of Implied Consent
WV DUI attorney Harley Wagner can file this appeal for you. The license revocation period varies, depending on whether this is a first DUI offense or subsequent offense for driving under the influence. A DUI refusal not only can create a total loss of all driving privileges, but can disqualify you from being permitted to take advantage of expungement.
In addition, other factors may control your WV driving privileges. A car accident with bodily injury, being underage (your age at the time of the new DUI arrest being under 21), prior DUI convictions and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC level) in the current case can affect how long a WV license revocation period will last. Some drivers must wait at least 45 days, before license reinstatement of any type is possible.
Plus, DUI laws in WV will require completion of the safety and treatment program (consisting of at least DUI school and alcohol education), for drivers seeking early reinstatement of driving privileges. Paying a license reinstatement fee will not restore driving privileges, if all other conditions and requirements of West Virginia DUI law have not been met.
Some of these factors may also determine any jail sentence (of a DUI conviction), and whether an ignition interlock device (the test and lock program in West Virginia) must be fitted on your vehicle.
WV DUI, Aggravated DUI and Felony DUI Explained
You more than likely were charged with a misdemeanor drunk driving or drugged driving charge. As a general rule, a misdemeanor is the lesser of the two possible levels of criminal charges (felony DUI is the most punitive), but for DUI in West Virginia, there are two types of misdemeanors in West VA: aggravated and non-aggravated.
In addition, a driver with a high breath alcohol level must be aware of the harsher DUI penalties that can be imposed for an “aggravated DUI WV.” This special “high BAC level” DUI WV offender is sanctioned under DUI laws by the West Virginia Legislature in a way to impact his or her ability to drive, and by adding mandatory jail time as discussed more fully below.
File your Administrative License Appeal with WV DMV
Any top-rated West Virginia DUI lawyer will tell any person charged with a 1st DUI in WV to take care of the administrative license appeal to West Virginia DMV immediately, so that you don’t miss the filing deadline of 30 days after arrest. Missing the thirty-day WV DMV filing deadline can have dire consequences on your ability to drive, under West Virginia DUI laws relating to a possible loss of ALL driving privileges.
The best legal advice is to hire a WV DUI specialist to handle all aspects of GUIDING the path of your DUI West Virginia case moving through the various stages of the DMV hearing and criminal prosecution. Learn about protecting your driving privileges and how Mr. Wagner will seek to get your DUI reduced to reckless driving or some lesser criminal offense.
West Virginia Drunk Driving Charges and First Offense DUI Penalties
The crime of driving under the influence is treated very harshly by the WV Legislature, who put in place all WV DUI laws. Over 80% of all WV DUI arrests are made for a DUI first offense. This is fortunate, because for that other 20%, the harshest penalties are aimed at repeat offense drunk drivers, as well as any offender with a high blood alcohol content (BAC). This is when hiring a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney becomes critically important.
In addition, the harshest penalties are aimed at drivers who refuse to take the requested implied consent test after being arrested for a DUI WV, and drunken drivers who have a very high alcohol level. Luckily, most people pulled over for suspected DUI in WV are first offenders.
This page explains the more favorable treatment, under West Virginia DUI laws, for a DUI first offense, as well as the new 2016 WV DUI law that takes away a valuable plea alternative for a person with a DUI refusal of the State breath alcohol test.
What Are the West Virginia First Offense DUI Penalties?
DUI Penalties in WV Include Jail Time or Prison Time for Certain Types of DUI
Most people arrested for a WV DUI are keenly interested in the penalty for DUI if you get convicted. In the United States, no national standard “DUI penalty” exists. The West Virginia Legislature is tasked with enacting DUI penalties for criminal offenses occurring within the borders of West Virginia. So, while the drunk driving laws in England, Germany, Norway, or Brazil are nationwide laws, whenever you are driving in another state, the laws can be drastically different than in your home state.
Hence, the oft-repeated advice about “never take a breath alcohol test” to reveal your alcohol level, or asking to talk to a DUI lawyer before submitting to an implied consent test can be misleading, harmful, and can put you in a jail cell and/or expose you to a harsher WV driver’s license revocation period. No DUI specialist would advise to follow this blanket rule, due to Draconian DUI consequences for doing that, for many DUI arrestees.
To get accurate West Virginia DUI laws information, you must look at DUI penalties in our State, and then learn what type of DUI consequences you face, based upon your prior criminal history for drunk driving. Also, your DUI attorney in WV needs to know how you responded to the question about whether you consented to chemical testing (breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test) after your WV DUI arrest.
If you took the DUI breath test, we need to know the alleged numeric result obtained from the West Virginia DUI implied consent test.
Making Your First Choice from all West Virginia DUI Lawyers
Get help now! Call Harley Wagner now for FREE legal advice at the Wagner Law Group and he will walk you through the process and explain the filing fee. Either Mr. Wagner or his staff is available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays. West Virginia first offense DUI penalties can include jail time, a revoked WV driver’s license, court fines, DUI classes, and probation supervision.
Harley O. Wagner, a DUI specialist with top attorney ratings among criminal attorneys Martinsburg WV, is the criminal attorney to consult. His practice is STATEWIDE, and virtually no other WV attorneys cover all of West Virginia, for DUI defense. Obtain a totally FREE lawyer consultation with Harley at the Wagner Law Firm. Let Mr. Wagner guide your path through fighting your pending drunk driving case. To take the stress and sleepless nights off you by calling Harley now. DIAL 304-901-7400.
The professional DUI WV case assessment by The Wagner Law Office is FREE and you can shift this burden off your shoulders and onto the shoulders of highly-acclaimed drunk driving attorney Harley O. Wagner, with lawyer ratings from several national organizations.