What Prosecutors Must Prove in Arlington DUI Cases
Being charged with a DUI in Arlington is not something to be taken lightly. Arlington, and Virginia as a whole, prosecute them very strictly. Regardless of whether the charge turns into a conviction, having a DUI arrest on your record will have a profound impact. It will determine both your current and future ability to obtain and retain employment, as many companies have restrictions on hiring people with a criminal record or a DUI offense. If convicted, it could potentially impact your housing situation as well. Therefore, anyone charged with a DUI should immediately contact an experienced Arlington DUI attorney for representation. A DUI attorney understands the courts, the way the prosecution will approach the case, and the laws surrounding these charges better than other attorneys will, which means that they will be able to construct the best defense possible for your unique case.
How Prosecutors Treat DUI Cases
DUI cases are something that the Commonwealth takes extremely seriously. The prosecutors definitely take them seriously, the judges take them seriously, and police take them seriously. The Commonwealth typically will want jail time if there is an accident involved. They prosecute Arlington DUI cases vigorously, and are not flexible even with people who have never been in trouble with the law because they see DUIs as a danger to the community and believe that people need to be punished for their actions.
Proving DUI Charges
Prosecutors must prove that, one, you were operating the motor vehicle, and two, you were impaired by alcohol. Essentially, there are two different ways of proving DUI cases.
The first is typically when police do not have a certificate of analysis showing that someone with certain blood alcohol content in their blood. In this case, the Commonwealth must prove that you were under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it affected your ability to drive. Prosecutors will use evidence such as your mannerisms, your speech, your disposition, your cognitive ability or any combination of those things at the time of the incident.
The second type of DUI charge in Arlington is when the prosecutor can prove his case by showing that you had certain blood alcohol content, based on a machine that you blew within several hours of the arrest. If you had a blood alcohol content of .08 or above on the result of your breath test, that result alone can be sufficient to convict you of DUI if prosecutors can prove that you are operating the motor vehicle.
Evidence Presented in DUI Cases
If there is a certificate of alcohol indicating that your blood alcohol level was above the legal limit, that is the Commonwealth’s strongest evidence. Typically, the officer will also testify in any DUI case as to their observations of your impairment based on your performance in the field sobriety test, their observations of you while in your car or outside of your car, and any comments you may have made about the consumption of alcohol.
If there is any other evidence that will help prosecutors prove their case, they will introduce that evidence into trial to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This could be any witness who saw you drinking before you got into the vehicle or any receipts that you had been drinking, whatever that may have been.