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Class 1 misdemeanors carry hefty consequences

If you have a job that requires driving ability, you know how important it is to obey traffic laws in Virginia. Whether you drive big rigs or drive a personal vehicle for Uber, tickets and points on your license may mean much more than restricted driving privileges; they could mean the loss of your livelihood.

Depending on the circumstances of your offense, whether you make an illegal turn, are caught speeding or even worse—get arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs—you may face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. Misdemeanors are typically reserved for criminal acts, while traffic offenses are not usually considered criminal. The two converge when alcohol is involved, however, and a Class 1 misdemeanor carries the possibility for both jail time and a hefty fine, according to state government resources.

Crimes such as petty larceny, writing bad checks, stalking and possession of marijuana are typically Class 1 misdemeanors, the most common type of misdemeanor committed in the state. Driving on a suspended license, reckless driving and DUIs also may fall into this category. If convicted of a Class 1 offense, you could serve up to a year in jail and be fined as much as $2,500.

Jail sentences are generally served in a county facility that is overseen by local sheriff’s departments, according to, and courts have the discretion to suspend an offender’s sentence as well. A Class 1 offense also may be expunged from the offender’s record unless the state can show good cause not to allow it.