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Alexandria First Offense DUI Lawyer

There were 344 drunk driving incidents recorded by the Alexandria Police Department over the course of 2014, according to RAIDS Online. Drunk driving is taken seriously by prosecutors and you can expect to face serious consequences if convicted, even for a first offense. An Alexandria DUI lawyer can represent you and help you explore options for reducing penalties or avoiding conviction for your first offense.

Drunk Driving in Alexandria, VA

The offense of drunk driving is defined in Virginia Code Section 18.2-266. Under this law, you can be arrested for impaired driving if:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent.
  • You have consumed enough alcohol to cause impairment, regardless of your actual BAC.
  • You have consumed a combination of alcohol and drugs that impaired your driving.
  • You test above the permissible limits for cocaine, methamphetamine, or other controlled substances.

A law enforcement officer can conduct a breath or blood test to determine if you exceed the legal limit for either drugs or alcohol. An officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are driving drunk or have observed a traffic infraction  to stop your vehicle and probable cause to test you for drugs or alcohol. If you have questions regarding your traffic stop contact an Alexandria first DUI lawyer to review the specifics of your case.

First Offense Drunk Driving

When you have been arrested for impaired driving, your past record of criminal convictions has a substantial impact on the charges you face.  Code Section 18.2-270 defines penalties for driving while intoxicated. This statute imposes progressively harsher sentences for repeat DUI offenders.

Under Code Section 18.2-270, a first offense DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Penalties include a mandatory minimum fine of $250 as well as a one year license suspension.

For those with a BAC exceeding .20 percent, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days incarceration. A BAC between .15 and .20 can also result in a mandatory minimum five day jail term.

The maximum jail term for a Class 1 misdemeanor is up to a year incarceration according to Code Section 18.2-11.

Legal Options for a First Offense DUI

An Alexandria first offense DUI lawyer can help you to explore options after a first drunk driving arrest.   Your case may be resolved:

  • By plea bargaining: Prosecutors may be willing to reduce your sentence or recommended lessened penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.
  • By dismissal of charges. If a prosecutor has insufficient evidence to move the case forward, the prosecutor may dismiss the charges or your attorney can move to have the court dismiss the case. In some cases, you may be able to petition the court to prevent the prosecutor from using evidence against you if it was collected in violation of your rights. If the judge suppresses evidence, the prosecutor may have no case.
  • By a “not guilty” plea: Your case will go to trial. Your Alexandria DUI lawyer can help you introduce testimony and question witnesses to try to introduce reasonable doubt. Because a prosecutor must prove your guilt, you should avoid conviction if the judge or jury is not confident you drove while impaired. You can also raise defenses such as a rising BAC defense.

The right options depend upon your circumstances.  Because even a first DUI is serious, it is important to have an experienced legal advocate advising you as to how you can respond to charges.

Contact an Alexandria First DUI Attorney Today

Do not hesitate to get the legal help you need after your arrest. Contact an Alexandria DUI lawyer today to obtain the legal advice you need.

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