Former Governor Bob McDonnell’s son enters Alford plea for DUI

Posted at 10:40 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 22:40:12-04

Former Governor Bob McDonnell’s son has entered an Alford plea for his charges of driving under intoxication and the refusal of a blood/breath test on November 20, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

An Alford plea means Robert McDonnell he does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him. The judge suspended his six month jail sentence.  Instead, his driver’s license was suspended for a year and he was ordered to pay a $250 fine. McDonnell must be on good behavior for two years.

His refusal to take a blood or breathalyzer test charge was deferred for one year. This means if McDonnell complies with his conditions and does not commit any new traffic/DUI offenses, the Court has the authority to dismiss the refusal at that time. The return date for that is April 6, 2017.

A representative for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney says this is a typical disposition for a first offense DUI with no prior record.

Virginia Beach Police charged Robert McDonnell with DUI after an early-morning traffic stop in Sandbridge.

Police confirmed to NewsChannel 3 an officer stopped Robert Ryan McDonnell, 23, around 3:30 a.m. on December 18, 2015.

Police say Robert McDonnell was stopped in the 2500 block of Sandpiper Road, not far from where the former first family has a vacation home. He was charged with drunk driving and refusing to submit to a breath test.

Court documents say despite failing a Field Sobriety Test, he was cooperative. However, he refused to take a blood or breathalyzer test.

His arrest wasn’t the first case of legal troubles for the former first family.

Robert’s father, Bob McDonnell, was sentenced to two years in prison after he and his wife Maureen were convicted of numerous criminal charges in a six-week corruption trial.  The Supreme Court granted an emergency motion that allows him to stay out of jail while he seeks to appeal his conviction on federal corruption charges.

Maureen McDonnell was convicted of eight of the 13 counts she was facing, which included one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right, two counts of honest-services wire fraud and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. She was sentenced in February to one year and one day in prison. She filed an appeal in March.

Robert Ryan McDonnell’s twin brother, Sean, was arrested in Charlottesville and charged with public intoxication. He was found guilty in August 2013.

Robert McDonnell was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond after he was charged.