The Strong Defense You Deserve Against Criminal Charges


by | Jul 27, 2020 | DUI

Like in all other states, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a serious crime in Virginia. Motorists facing DUI charges are concerned about how long the conviction would stay on their criminal record in Virginia.

Fact: Each year, nearly 20,000 people are convicted of DUI in Virginia.

It is true that having a DUI/DWI conviction on your criminal record can affect many aspects of your life and could even cost you many employment opportunities in Virginia. So, how long does a DUI stay on your criminal record?

DUI/DWI Conviction and Penalties in Virginia

In Virginia, the criminal penalties for a driving while impaired (DWI) conviction include:

  • Fines (minimum $250 or $500, depending on whether it is your first or second offense);
  • Driver’s license revocation (from one to three years); and
  • Jail sentence (up to 12 months).

However, DUI/DWI convictions that stay on your criminal record are also associated with other consequences that could potentially affect your life, including your ability to find a job. Also, a  conviction can affect your auto insurance rates in Virginia.

You might be able to avoid these negative consequences if you can avoid a DUI conviction or have it expunged from your criminal record. To do this, you need to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Richmond or other parts of Virginia.

Previously, we discussed five common defenses to DUI/DWI charges in Virginia.

How Long Does a DUI Conviction Stay on Your Criminal Record?

In Virginia, motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol are guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. A criminal record is a record of your entire criminal history that includes all arrests and convictions, including your DUIs.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Virginia, your DUI arrest would show up on your arrest record. If you are charged or convicted of a DUI, this information will also appear on your criminal record.

In Virginia, your criminal record is a public record that may be searchable by the public. Also, your criminal record can be accessed by private and government entities when conducting background checks, obtaining a security clearance, and in other situations.

Unfortunately, if you were convicted of a DUI/DWI, the conviction will remain on your criminal record forever in Virginia. Unlike in many other states, there is no “washout period” for DWI convictions in Virginia. The term “washout period” refers to a period of time when a conviction is removed from your criminal record. Read more about the timeline of a DWI case in Virginia.

How Long Will a DUI Conviction Remain on Your DMV Driving Record?

In addition to going on your criminal record, a DUI conviction will also be recorded on your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driving record. Having a conviction on your DMV driving record can negatively affect your:

  • Driving privileges;
  • Insurance coverage requirements; and
  • Driving restrictions, among other things.

Also, having a DUI conviction will add six extra points to your driver’s license. Luckily, a DUI/DWI conviction will be removed from your DMV driving record within 11 years.

Can You Expunge a DUI Conviction from Your Record in Virginia?

Typically, Virginians cannot expunge their conviction from their criminal record. You could have a DUI conviction expunged from your record only if the charges were dismissed, the Commonwealth withdrew the charges, or you were found not guilty.

In most cases, the only way to get rid of a DUI conviction on your criminal record is to avoid a conviction in the first place. You should consult with a DUI defense attorney in Richmond or other parts of Virginia to discuss your best defense strategy. Contact our dedicated criminal defense lawyer at Del Rio Law, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation. Call at (804) 299-8612 today.