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Virginia DUI Lawyer
Virginia classifies drunk driving as the operation of any motorized vehicle (automobile, watercraft, or boat) by a person with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08%. If you are charged with driving under the influence, a Virginia DUI attorney can help you fight the charges.
§ 18.2-266 of the Code of Virginia also makes it legal for a person to be charged with driving under the influence even if his or her BAC is as low as 0.00%, in certain circumstances. For example, a person that is impaired while operating a motor vehicle because of the use of a narcotic or even prescription drug can be charged with a DUI.
Evidence Presented in a DUI Case
A Virginia DUI attorney will need to evaluate the circumstances of the case, as DUI charges can be complex and fact-intensive. Below are some of the determinations that will need to be made before a case goes to trial:
- The defendant's alcohol consumption leading up to the time of the arrest.
- The reason an officer originally performed the traffic stop.
- Any statements recorded by the officer from the driver during an arrest.
- Possible field sobriety tests performed by the arresting officer, and the defendant's performance on these tests.
- Results of a portable breath test at the time of the traffic stop.
- Specific reason for the arrest.
- Official breath test results.
- Compliance of the arresting officer with proper breath test administration and breathalyzer certification rules.
If a defendant is under the age of 21 at the time of the arrest, the DUI is treated slightly differently. For example, an underage driver must have a BAC of at least 0.02 percent to be charged with a DUI. This is outlined under § 18.2-266.1 of the Code.
Possible Penalties for DUI/DWI Conviction
A conviction can result in penalties ranging from a fine or license suspension to possible jail time, depending on several factors. Drivers convicted of a DUI when under the age of 21 are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and typically face penalties such as:
- Suspension of driver's license for one year from the date of the conviction.
- Minimum fine of $500 and/or
- Mandatory 50 hours community service.
Drivers who are above 21 years of age face similar penalties, but with increasing severity depending on whether it is the driver's first offense, and the specific BAC percentage recorded at the time of the arrest. Just as second or third offenses are associated with greater penalties than a first offense, higher BAC measurements can carry stiffer penalties as well. Drivers convicted of a DUI face penalties such as:
- DMV License Points
- Vehicle Ignition Lock
- Mandatory Loss of License
- Mandatory Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
Under § 46.2-341.18 of the Code of Virginia, commercial drivers face the harshest potential penalties from a DUI/DWI conviction. For example, commercial drivers that are convicted of a DUI twice in any ten year period can be forbidden from operating a commercial vehicle on state highways for life. Visit our VA DUI lawyer page for more information about the penalties you could face with an arrest, and services we can provide.
Call (703) 278-2800 For More Information
Driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are two of the most commonly charged crimes in the Commonwealth. But even though they are prosecuted frequently, the state does not take these offenses lightly. Because drunk driving puts other drivers at risk, the state takes the charges seriously. If you have been arrested or formally charged with an alcohol-related traffic violation, do not take your defense lightly just because it is a common crime. If you rely on your car as a means of transportation for work, then losing your driving privileges can be a tremendous burden. Retain the services of an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your rights are protected throughout any criminal proceedings, and that the effects of a conviction will be minimized as much as possible.
Similarly, reckless driving charges in Virginia are for a Class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by jail-time, suspended driving privileges, and large fines. To speak to a Virginia reckless driving lawyer, please visit our reckless driving page (available here).
Some people think they can talk their way out of pending charges, but this is rarely effective. Did you know that from the moment you were pulled over, officers may have been gathering evidence for a case against you? Without sound legal knowledge and experience from a Fairfax DUI attorney, it's unlikely you'll know how to defend yourself against the criminal charges.
Prince William County
Prince William DUI attorneys want to attain the best outcome for your case, and will work tirelessly and meticulously to make that happen. Talk to a Prince William County DUI lawyer about how you can be best protected when facing DUI charges.
A Mecklenburg DUI lawyer with our firm understands how much of an imposition DUI charges can be on one's livelihood, but rest assured, such legal professionals possess the skills to provide you with legal defense of the highest caliber. The important thing to remember is that a lawyer can try to protect you in ways you wouldn't otherwise know. Without the assistance of a qualified and experienced legal professional, you may find yourself in a worse situation than you did initially. And don't make the mistake of thinking that you can talk your way out of charges, as police officers experience such a situation on a regular basis, and the tactic rarely works. Moreover, don't think you'll be the one exception that they make. Instead, have an attorney do the talking for you.
Our Alexandria DUI lawyers will work tirelessly to protect our rights while also working towards a positive outcome in your case. Sharing extraneous details with police – such as how many drinks you've had – may be a poor idea. Giving law enforcement any ideas about your drinking behavior can also help them build a case against you. If you have been implicated by an arrest for DUI, do not delay contacting an Alexandria DUI lawyer
It is possible that police officers will have you complete a field sobriety test – or even take a breathalyzer exam. Failing to cooperate can result in an immediate license suspension. If you are taken into custody, call an Arlington DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
And More. . .
We have attorneys throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia that are ready to help you understand the charge you face and what might lie ahead. So if you need DUI representation in Leesburg, Norfolk, Tidewater, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Hampton Roads, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Loudoun or anywhere else in Virginia, please contact us for more information.