Virginia residents convicted of DUI may be eligible to participate in a rehabilitation or other behavior-modification program. At Spencer Law PLLC, we understand how seriously a DUI charge affects your personal and professional life, including your ability to drive and earn a living. Our aim is to help you fight all charges filed against you and reduce the severity of the punishment that comes with a conviction.

Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and a judge might consider your lifestyle and prior driving record when determining a sentence. While a first-time DUI conviction may result in one year of jail time, a second or repeat offense could result in much longer imprisonment. If the judge orders you to participate in a specialized program during your jail sentence, however, it may provide an opportunity for an early release.

In one such case reported by The Virginia-Pilot, a 36-year-old ice cream truck driver received a DUI and other convictions after crashing into a SUV. The owner of the SUV testified that the impaired individual drove the ice cream truck into a ditch and then struck his SUV when she came back onto the road.

Instead of stopping her truck, she drove away, which resulted in an additional hit-and-run charge. Her charges collectively led to a six-year prison sentence, but the sentencing judge promised to consider reducing her jail term if the prison accepted her into its behavior-modification program.

Attending the program and completing it may result in her receiving both behavioral treatment and a lesser sentence. If she is successful and gains an early release from prison, however, she may still pay a fine and find herself left with a suspended driver’s license under Virginia’s DUI laws.

Our page on traffic offenses provides more information about what you might expect when you receive a DUI charge.