Loudoun County DUI Appeals
While a DUI conviction may seem like the end of the world, there are certain situations in which you have the right to appeal your conviction. An appeal, if successful, may allow you to have another chance in court.
Although Loudoun County DUI appeals are not always a viable option, you owe it to yourself and your family to discover whether an appeal is appropriate based on the circumstances in your case. Get in touch with a qualified DUI lawyer to learn more about your options.
Elements of DUI Appeals
In order to convict individuals of DUI, the Commonwealth of Virginia need only prove that:
- They were operating or driving a motor vehicle, and
- They were doing so while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
- They had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater
These are relatively simple elements for the Commonwealth to prove in DUI cases. However, there are still may be many potentially appealable issues for an experienced Loudoun County DUI appeals attorney to address.
Challenging the Legal Validity of Traffic Stops and Arrests
One area that often may be challenged in DUI appeals in Loudoun County is the constitutionality of law enforcement traffic stops and arrests. Police officers may not just stop a vehicle for no apparent reason. Rather, there must be a reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law has occurred to justify traffic stops.
In some cases, drivers may have violated a traffic law or exhibited certain behaviors that might signify intoxication. In other cases, however, police officers may stop vehicles when they do not have an obvious reason to do so, which can lead to evidence relating to the DUI charge being thrown out of court.
Similarly, an officer must have probable cause that drivers have committed a crime to arrest them. While field sobriety test results and preliminary breath tests taken at the scene of traffic stops may be probable cause for an arrest, they also can be incorrectly administered in some cases.
If police officers perform these tests in a way that does not meet minimum standards, drivers may be able to challenge the validity of their arrests on appeal.
Implied Consent and Appealing DUI Convictions
Virginia Code § 18.2-268.2 sets forth Virginia’s implied consent law. Under this law, drivers on Virginia highways who are operating motor vehicles impliedly consent to have their breath, blood, or both tested to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in their blood within three hours of being arrested for DUI.
This means that in most cases, drivers have no choice but to acquiesce to the requested alcohol and/or drug testing following a DUI arrest.
In some cases, however, there are may be a dispute as to whether implied consent was valid, perhaps due to disputes over whether drivers were actually operating motor vehicles within the meaning of the law. There might also be disputes over whether drivers were driving on a Commonwealth highway within the meaning of the law.
These are situations in which implied consent arguably may be invalid, which could cause the results of the breath or blood tests to be inadmissible in court.
Determine Whether You Have a Potential DUI Appeal in Loudoun County
While it might initially seem like there is nothing that you can do after a DUI conviction, this is not always the case. These are only a few examples as to how DUI cases may involve one or more issues that might be sufficient for an appeal.
With the advice of an experienced Loudoun County DUI appeals attorney, you can weigh your potential options for filing an appeal of a DUI conviction and get the help that you will need should you decide to pursue that appeal.