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DUI Attorney in Wheeling,West Virginia
At Mountaineer Criminal Law Group, our skilled DUI attorneys are here to assist you with any DUI charges you may be facing in Wheeling, West Virginia. When it comes to operating a vehicle while impaired, commonly referred to as DUI, there are various acronyms used in the legal realm. The most accurate term, however, is Operating a Vehicle Impaired or DUI.
If you find yourself in West Virginia, you might also come across the following terms for DUI:
- Driving under the influence or DUI
- Driving with Unlawful BAC Level or DUBAL
- Driving while impaired or DWI
Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired or OMVI
Additionally, if a driver involved in an accident is under the legal drinking age of 21, the offense would be called Operating a Vehicle After Underage Consumption or OVUAC.
Regardless of the name given to the offense, the consequences of DUI or OVUAC can be severe. They often include fines, jail time, license suspension, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. If you are facing an DUI charge in the Wheeling area, our dedicated Wheeling WV criminal lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case and build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. We are committed to providing top-notch legal representation and are widely recognized as one of the leading groups for Wheeling criminal lawyers.
Penalties for DWI in West Virginia
- Prior offenses
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- Whether the driver refused the test
Under West Virginia Revised Code § 4511.19, individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) may face various penalties if they do not seek assistance from a Wheeling WV DUI lawyer.
- First DUI in six years, BAC 0.8 or higher but lower than 0.17:
First degree misdemeanor with minimum three days of imprisonment. Mandatory participation in the Driver Intervention Program (DIP) for up to six months. Up to six months in jail. License suspension for up to three years. Fines of $1,075.
- First DUI in six years, BAC higher than 0.17 and refusal for a test:
First degree misdemeanor with minimum six days of imprisonment and participation in the DIP for three days. Up to six months imprisonment. License suspension for up to three years. Fines of $1,075. Compulsory use of a yellow restricted license plate.
Installation of an ignition interlock device to avoid further legal proceedings.
- First Operating Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs (OVUAC) in one year:
Fourth degree misdemeanor resulting in imprisonment for up to thirty days. Fine of up to $250. License suspension for two years.
- Second OVUAC in one year:
Third degree misdemeanor resulting in imprisonment for up to sixty days. Fine of up to $500. License suspension for five years.
- Second DUI in six years, refusal for breath test, BAC 0.17 or higher:
First-degree misdemeanor with minimum imprisonment of twenty days or ten days imprisonment and thirty-six days in alcohol monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM). Up to six months of imprisonment. License suspension for up to five years. Mandatory use of yellow restricted license plates. Installation of an ignition interlock device (compulsory for alcohol-related offenses, optional for drug-related offenses). Prohibition from driving for ninety days. Fines up to $1,625.
- Third DUI in six years, BAC 0.08 or higher, but less than 0.17:
Unclassified misdemeanor with minimum imprisonment of thirty days or fifteen days in jail and fifty-five days of house arrest with HAEM and/or CAM. Up to one year of imprisonment. License suspension for up to ten years. Mandatory use of yellow restricted license plates. Installation of an ignition interlock device (compulsory for alcohol-related offenses, optional for drug-related offenses). Fines up to $2,750. Forfeiture of your vehicle.
- Third DUI in six years, breath test refusal or BAC 0.17 or higher:
Unclassified misdemeanor with minimum imprisonment of sixty days or thirty days imprisonment and one hundred and ten days of house arrest with HAEM and/or CAM. Up to one year of jail time. License suspension for up to ten years. Mandatory use of yellow restricted license plates. Installation of an ignition interlock device. Forfeiture of your vehicle. Fines up to $2,750.
- A Fourth or Fifth DUI in six years or a Sixth DWI in 20 years, with a BAC of 0.08 or higher but less than 0.17, is considered a Fourth-degree felony. The potential consequences include a minimum of 60 days to one year of local incarceration or 60 days in jail with the option of an additional 6 to 30 months, along with fines of up to $10,500. Lifetime license suspension, compulsory yellow restricted license plates, installation of an ignition interlock device, and possible vehicle forfeiture may also be prescribed.
- If it’s a Fourth or Fifth DUI in six years or a 6th DUI in twenty years, refusal to take a breath test or a BAC of 0.17 or higher would also be considered a Fourth-degree felony. In this case, the consequences can include a minimum of 120 days up to one year of local imprisonment or 60 days in prison with the option of an additional 6 to 30 months. There may also be lifetime license suspension, compulsory yellow restricted license plates, fines of up to $10,500, and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device.
- A Second Felony DUI, with a BAC of 0.08 or higher but less than 0.17, is considered a Third-degree felony. The potential consequences include a minimum of 60 days in prison up to five years, probable lifetime license suspension, compulsory yellow restricted license plates, fines of up to $10,500, and the requirement to use an ignition interlock device to avoid legal proceedings or vehicle forfeiture.
- For a Second Felony DUI, refusing a breath test or having a BAC of 0.17 or higher would also be considered a Third-degree felony. The potential consequences include a minimum of 60 days in prison up to five years, probable lifetime license suspension, compulsory yellow restricted license plates, and fines of up to $10,500. The installation of an ignition interlock device is required in alcohol-related cases and optional in drug-related cases, and there may also be a possibility of vehicle forfeiture.
How We Can Help in DefenseAgainst Your DUI Charges
When you enlist the services of a Wheeling WV criminal lawyer, you receive a knowledgeable ally who can help you minimize or even dismiss your charges. We will meticulously assess your case to identify potential defenses, including:
- Unlawful vehicle stops without reasonable cause or probable suspicion.
- Failure to read Miranda Warnings before custodial interrogations.
- Improperly administered field or chemical sobriety tests.
- Mishandled sobriety check post planning and execution.
- Inaccurate breath test results.
- Errors in blood tests.
- Lack of justifiable cause for arrest.
- Factors unrelated to alcohol that may contribute to signs of intoxication.
- Mistakes made by the police officer during legal proceedings.
DUI Offenses We Handle in Wheeling
Wheeling WV DUI lawyer Sean Logue brings extensive experience in handling various DUI cases, offering professional legal representation for the following offenses:
- DUI First Offense: Whether it’s your initial DUI charge or the first one within ten years, you’ll face a first DUI charge. The legal limit for adults in West Virginia is 0.08 percent.
- DUI Second Offense: A second DUI charge within ten years entails harsher penalties, including an extended driver’s license suspension, higher fines, and a longer jail sentence. While it is a misdemeanor charge, you have the opportunity to contest it and potentially get the charges dropped or reduced.
- DUI Third Offense: If you find yourself facing a third DUI charge within a ten-year period, the penalties become even more severe compared to a second offense. Potential consequences may involve drug or alcohol rehabilitation, house arrest, mandating “party plates” (yellow DUI plates) on your vehicle, and incarceration.
- Physical Control of a Vehicle: Under Revised Code Section 4511.194, West Virginia law stipulates that a person under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination thereof cannot be in physical control of a vehicle. For example, even holding the car keys while impaired and sitting in the front seat can lead to this charge. Considered a misdemeanor, the penalties associated with it are not as severe as those for a first DUI charge.
- OVUAC (Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption, aka Underage DUI): In West Virginia, individuals under the age of 21 are not permitted to consume alcohol. Therefore, a minor with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.02 percent or above can face charges. Although this offense is a misdemeanor, it can adversely affect your future, including your educational and career choices.
- Felony DUI: While most DUI charges are misdemeanors, having a third DUI within ten years or a fifth one within twenty years is classified as a felony offense. The classification depends on your BAC level at the time of arrest and prior charges, potentially resulting in either a third- or fourth-degree felony.
- DUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs): If you have drugs detected in your system during a police stop, it can lead to a DUID charge. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as substances like LSD, marijuana, crack, heroin, opioid painkillers, and other drugs.
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault: According to Section 2903.08 of the West Virginia Revised Code, causing an accident while intoxicated resulting in injury leads to a charge of Aggravated Vehicular Assault. This felony offense carries a mandatory prison sentence.
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide: Also under Section 2903.06 of the West Virginia Revised Code, when someone dies due to drinking and driving, it is considered vehicular manslaughter or Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. This felony charge carries a mandatory prison sentence.
- DUI Out-of-State: Visitors or out-of-state workers in West Virginia may face DUI charges, posing unique challenges due to residing in another state. However, Mountaineer Criminal Law Group provides exceptional representation in court to alleviate their concerns.
- Intoxicated Boating: Operating a boat under the influence is a chargeable offense in West Virginia, carrying the same penalties as DUI charges on land.
Facing an DUI charge can be daunting. At Logue Law, Sean Logue and his colleagues specialize in DUI defense, guiding you through the process with expertise. Contact us today at (304) 381-3656 for a free initial consultation. Our team is available 24/7 and ready to assist you.
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