Richmond DUI Appeals
A conviction for a DUI can be devastating. The punishments for a DUI conviction in Virginia can be harsh, as some of the potential penalties laid out in the Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270. You may not know what do to and be worried that your life is ruined. That is simply not the case and there may be options available to you, even after a conviction has been decided.
There are certain circumstances in which the court of appeals will grant a petition for an appeal from a DUI conviction. However, it can be difficult to know how to navigate the court rules of procedure with enough finesse to convince a court to even listen to a defendant’s appeal.
Richmond DUI appeals process is highly complex and it may be necessary to hire a lawyer who understands the laws and procedures a petitioner must follow in order for the appellate court to grant an appeal petition.
If you wish to appeal a conviction from a DUI conviction, consider speaking with a Richmond attorney who may be able to help you figure out if you have grounds for an appeal and can fight for your rights and interests in court. Contact an established DUI attorney right away.
Elements of an Appeal
Typically, the appellate court will only grant a petition for an appeal if there was some problem with the lower court’s decision. Your attorney will need to figure out if there is a basis for arguing that the lower court made a mistake and that the conviction must be overturned. Some grounds could include:
- Was the defendant actually operating a vehicle at the time of the arrest and alleged driving under the influence act
- Was the defendant actually under the influence or did the defendant have 0.08 percent blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest
- Was the defendant’s drunkenness involuntary
If some defense exists that was not able to be presented at the original trial, the court may find that the defendant was not actually guilty and the court may order that the government release the defendant from any potential punishments associated with the conviction.
Common Reasons for Richmond DUI Appeals
Some other issues that your lawyer may attempt to use as grounds for an appeal include some problem with the police investigation, a mistake made by the prosecutor, or if the judge got the law wrong.
A common problem with police investigations is with the decision to stop a suspect in order to check that person’s blood alcohol content. The police must have reasonable suspicion for any traffic stop, which means there must be something that led the police officer to believe the driver had broken a traffic law. Any evidence gained from an unlawful stop should be excluded from evidence against a defendant.
The prosecutor may improperly submit previous convictions of DUIs in order to increase penalties related to a subsequent DUI conviction. It can be especially difficult to know if the government should use subsequent convictions for enhanced sentencing when those convictions come from different states with different DUI laws.
In those cases, it may be improper for the court to say there was a previous conviction because the laws are different in each state. In such a circumstance, the judge may have misunderstood the law and inappropriately sentenced the defendant.
Speak with a Richmond DUI Appeals Attorney
If you are worried that the government unfairly convicted you of a DUI, an attorney may be able to help you. See if your case can be appealed and if you can get your conviction reversed or your sentence reduced. Call a Richmond DUI appeals lawyer to review your case and advise you today.