Virginia Beach DUI Lawyer
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in the automatic suspension of your license to drive. You can also be charged with a crime, lose your license, go to jail, and be left with a permanent criminal record, especially if you are convicted of an underage DUI. DUI charges are serious and need to be taken very seriously. A Virginia Beach DUI lawyer can help you respond to your charges and understand your legal options after you have been accused of driving under the influence. Call today to discuss your case with a DUI attorney in Virginia.
Hiring a Virginia Beach DUI Lawyer
An arrest for a DUI does not always result in you being convicted, even if you took a test and your blood alcohol concentration exceeded the legal limit. A Virginia Beach DUI lawyer can help you to:
- Argue that evidence was not legally obtained. The Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement officers to have probable cause both to pull you over and to test your blood. If there was no justification for testing you, the search is illegal and the evidence cannot be used.
- Argue that there was a problem with the evidence. Lab samples can be mixed up or contaminated. Law enforcement officers may not have proper training on testing or may not follow evidence-handling rules. You can sometimes keep evidence from being used in court if there was a problem with its collection. For example, there was an issue with a breathalyzer machine’s calibration. You can also raise doubts with the jury about whether the evidence really proves guilt.
- Argue defenses including a rising BAC defense, which alleges your blood alcohol concentration was higher at the time of your BAC test than it was when you were behind the wheel.
- Provide information about what you should do after a DUI charge to show the court that your DUI was an anomaly and that you are working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Prosecutors have to prove that you’re guilty or you should not be convicted. Your attorney can help you defend yourself, raise doubts, or negotiate a plea bargain to reduce penalties. Contact a Virginia Beach DUI lawyer for assistance as soon as possible for advice on how to handle your case. Call today to discuss some important mistakes people should avoid making when they have been pulled over under suspicion of DUI.
Additionally, when police officers flag someone down for a traffic stop, there is the possibility they could violate constitutional rights while trying to find probable cause to place someone under arrest for a crime. A lawyer with experience can help you deal with these issues in court and bring them to the attention of court officials. If you don’t know what to expect during a DUI traffic stop, call and speak with a lawyer so that you will be prepared should you ever find yourself in that situation.
Penalties for Virginia Beach DUI
Part of being charged with a DUI is proving impairment, which can involve a blood alcohol content test. You can be charged with DUI if you are under the legal limit of .08 as long as there is reason to believe that alcohol, drugs, or any combination of alcohol or drugs made it unsafe for you to drive. The penalties that you will face vary depending upon whether you have ever been convicted of impaired driving in the past. For example:
- For a first offense: You face the revocation of your driver’s license for a year and a mandatory minimum $250.00 fine. If your BAC is between .15 and .20 percent, you face a five day minimum jail term. If it is above .20 percent, you face a 10-day minimum jail term.
- For a second offense: You face a mandatory minimum fine of $500, up to a year of incarceration, and the revocation of your license for three years. If your second offense was within 10 years of your first offense, you face a minimum of 10 days in jail. If the second offense was within five years of the first, you face a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail.
- For a third offense: You face a $1,000 fine, the indefinite revocation of your driver’s license, and Class 6 felony charges. If the third offense was within five years of the prior convictions, the minimum jail term is six-months making it imperative that you contact a Virginia Beach felony DUI attorney as soon as possible.
- For a fourth offense: There is a mandatory minimum one-year jail term.
- For commercial driver license holders: Possibility of losing your job.
These penalties occur after conviction. You also face an automatic administrative suspension of your license as soon as a BAC test reveals that you are over-the-limit. Your license will be suspended automatically for seven days for a first offense and 60 days for a repeat offense. In some areas, including Virginia Beach, it is now mandatory to have an ignition interlock device installed in order to obtain a restricted license. Additionally, you can also be charged with a DUI if you are operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Even a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol level of 0.15-0.20 carries a five day minimum mandatory jail sentence, and a blood alcohol level greater than 0.20 carries a 10 day minimum mandatory jail term. See VA Code Section 18.2-270(B)3. This does not prevent the court from giving more time in jail. With DUI penalties like these, you cannot afford to sit idly by and do nothing. In order to protect all of your rights and freedoms,you should ensure that you have every tool possible to fight your DUI charge. Contact a Virginia Beach DUI lawyer today.