In Brunswick, a DUI typically carries a misdemeanor charge. However, if certain factors are present, a DUI can be elevated to a felony charge. The penalties for a felony DUI are often harsher, and the courts are less willing to be lenient with the defendant.
If you face felony DUI charges, retain the services of a capable DUI lawyer right away. A Brunswick felony DUI lawyer will be familiar with the court system and can advocate for you.
The elevation of DUI charges is determined by the number of DUIs the person has received and within a certain period of time, for instance, is a felony. A third DUI will be prosecuted as a Class 6 felony and if it has been the third offense within 10 years and if, from there, there is a fourth DUI, fifth DUI, et cetera, they are going to be felonies with varying amounts of mandatory time associated with the charge.
There are tremendous amounts of differences between misdemeanor and felony DUIs. Misdemeanors in Virginia only expose a client to jail time as opposed to felonies exposing people to time in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Misdemeanors are heard by the General District Court in Brunswick County, and felonies are heard by the circuit courts. Felonies are can be directly indicted or they can be charged on warrants.
Generally, DUIs are charged on warrants and because they are felonies and they are charged on warrants, they have to start in the General District Court for a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not there is probable cause for the case to be heard in circuit courts.
If a person is charged with the felony DUI, the person is looking at multiple court dates and multiple courts, generally.
The first step, always, for the Brunswick felony DUI lawyer is meeting with the client. When looking at a felony DUI, there is always going to be the potential that the client is going to be incarcerated from the time of the stop, because at that point in the bond analysis, there is going to be a strong argument that the client is potentially a danger to the community.
A Brunswick felony DUI lawyer will work to see the client and to get a bond hearing and to get the client out of jail so the attorney can focus on the representation of the client.
Beyond that, they are going to want to interface with the Commonwealth’s attorney’s office to see what the evidence shows on law enforcement and see if there is a video of the stop, see if there is video of any field sobriety test, make sure that the results of any lab work are being sent to the attorney, et cetera.
A felony third DUI is a class six felony and that carries up to five years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. The person will also be looking at fines, license suspension; and set programs for either alcohol and safety monitoring that that are determined by each individual case.
The highest value in relation to getting a Brunswick felony DUI lawyer as opposed to an out of town lawyer is that a local lawyer will be familiar with not only law enforcement procedure in the area, but also court procedure in the area. They have a regular working relationship with both law enforcement and the courts and a working relationship with the Commonwealth’s attorney’s office that prosecutes felony DUI in Brunswick.
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