Mecklenburg County DUI Lawyer
Considering the extraordinary seriousness with which Virginia law as well as society in general treats the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is not surprising that those charged with such offenses often experience significant fear and worry.
The effects of a DUI/DWI conviction can last a lifetime, and include things such as onerous financial penalties, terms of incarceration, loss of driving privileges, and obstacles to professional licensing, as well as the weighty social stigma that often will attach.
Because the states are so very high once charges of this type are lodged, it is incumbent upon every accused individual to secure the advice, guidance, and skill of a Mecklenburg County DUI Lawyer. Finding an attorney who understands the intricacies and technical nature of this area of the law can be the best way to maximize the chances of a positive result.
Key Facts About DUI Charges in Virginia
Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-266, DUI/DWI charges result when an individual driver operates a motor vehicle, train, or engine while he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent by weight by volume, as revealed by a test administered pursuant to statute.
It should be noted that there are also times when a motorist may be charged with DUI, even if their BAC registers lower than the limit imposed by law.
This can happen when the driver is shown to be impaired by some type of drug, the driver is not of legal age to consume alcohol and has a reading of 0.02 percent or more, or the driver in question has a BAC of 0.04 or higher and is operating a commercial vehicle.
Serious Penalties for Virginia DUI Convictions
There can be no doubt about the severity of consequences for those convicted of DUI in Virginia, and that is particularly true for individuals with prior convictions of the same nature.
Virginia Code Section 18.2-270 spells out the various penalties faced by DUI offenders, including those for subsequent convictions within a designated period of years. Key facts for those facing charges of driving under the influence include:
- First-time offenders with a BAC lower than 0.15 percent are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, bringing the possibility of at least one year in jail, a mandatory minimum $250 fine and up to one year of license revocation; BAC greater than 0.15 carries additional sanctions in addition to the penalties above.
- Second-time offenders convicted of an offense occurring within five years of the initial one face at least $500 in fines, at least one month to one year in jail, administrative suspension of their license and subsequent increase to three years. Second offenses occurring between five and ten years of first offense bring additional mandatory minimum sanctions, as do cases involving higher BACs.
- A three-time DUI offender will be guilty of a Class 6 felony, and therefore faces complete, indefinite license revocation and increased mandatory minimum fines and jail terms.
Lines of Defense for Those Charged with DUI
Those who have been convicted of DUI offenses in the past will attest to the fact that the implications can be permanent and extremely profound. Many find it difficult to secure new employment or retain current positions, particularly if driving is a significant part of the job. The ability to earn a living can be destroyed by the inability to get to work each day.
The mere existence of a criminal record can be a tremendous impediment to making strides of any sort, professionally or personally, and the social stigma that follows convictions is often virtually impossible to shake.
Because of the aforementioned concerns, a Virginia DUI attorney will fight hard to assert each client’s rights to fair treatment under the law. Working for dismissal, reduction of charges or mitigation of sanctions through plea negotiations, a Mecklenburg DUI lawyer will investigate all possible angles of attack on the prosecution’s case, from the initial traffic stop to the validity of blood alcohol testing methods.
No stone will be left unturned in the effort to ameliorate the potentially life-altering damage a conviction can produce.
Selecting a Mecklenburg County DUI Lawyer
Anyone facing a DUI charge in Virginia needs to recognize the true gravity of the situation. Knowing that this is a time of real uncertainty and perhaps even panic, a Mecklenburg DUI attorney stands ready to provide the thorough, compassionate service every client deserves.
To explore your legal defense options following a DUI charge, we invite you to contact a lawyer with our firm.