Following a DUI Arrest in Virginia
Following a DUI arrest in Virginia, the first step that a person should take is to contact an experienced Virginia DUI attorney. What else they may want to do during those 10 days is going to be particular to the circumstances of their DUI and will be highlighted for them by their counsel.
First Steps to Take
For the first seven days following a DUI arrest, they are not going to be able to drive a vehicle at all and that is because of an administrative license suspension that is imposed on the person for DUI. However, once those seven days have passed, the person is able to get their license back and even if the person does not have a physical license in possession, the person is still going to be authorized to drive.
One thing that everyone who is charged with a first DUI offense should do in the first seven days is get their license back. As part of a DUI first arrest, there is an administrative suspension of their license for seven days and then, in most cases, the physical license is taken from them. Once the seven days elapse, they can get that back.
Other things that a person could consider during that period of time with the assistance of their attorney are having a substance abuse evaluation done. It may also include collecting other evidence about their case including from medical personnel or even at the scene where the stop occurred.
Detention Following a DUI Arrest
After a person is arrested for a DUI in Virginia, they are taken either to a police station or to a detention center if there is one in the county. At that point, the person is processed and the person is going to have a waiting period, after which the person will be asked to take another breath test. They should not say anything unless they have a seasoned DUI attorney present to instruct them on how to proceed.
Refusal of a Field Sobriety Test
An individual always has the right to refuse a blood alcohol test. There is nothing that compels them to do that. That having been said, there are potentially a couple of consequences to refusing.
The first one is if it is deemed by a court to be an unreasonable refusal then the person will be charged with the additional civil offense of refusal. The consequence of being convicted of that is what is referred to as a hard one-year loss of license.
During that one-year suspension period, there is no possibility of getting a restricted driver’s license. This is different from a DUI suspension where a person can, in fact, get a suspended license during that period of time.
In cases where a person has a search warrant obtained from a magistrate to get a blood draw for them and then they refuse to cooperate, they may also find themselves charged with obstruction of justice.
When to Contact an Attorney
Following a DUI arrest in Virginia, individuals should contact an attorney at the first opportunity. The person is not going to have to call an attorney during a stop or while they are being processed in jail. However, as soon as the person gets out, they should make contact with counsel to begin the process of preparing a defense and taking affirmative steps that are going to help the person.
Lawyers for a Bond Hearing
A person can get a lawyer for just a bond hearing. It is sometimes the case in more serious DUI offenses, particularly third or subsequent offenses that are felonies, that a magistrate will deny bond. If that is the case, then an attorney can request that the court holds a bond hearing and argue that the person should be admitted to bail and that it be on the condition of having a reasonable bond set.