It might seem like everyone does it. We all enjoy spending time with our friends, having a laugh, and hanging out. Unfortunately, seeing blue lights can ruin a fun evening. No matter the circumstances, a police encounter should not be ignored and a lawyer may be able to help.
If the police have issued citations or pulled you or a loved one over, consider seeking out the services of a lawyer.
In 2017, the police arrested 21,019 people in Greensville County for driving while under the influence (2017 Report by the Virginia State Police). A DUI charge can affect a person’s ability to drive, their freedom and their financial status. There are many negative consequences related to a DUI conviction.
If the police have arrested you or a loved one for driving under the influence, it may be vital to reach out to a Greensville County DUI lawyer who may be able to advise you of your rights and what defenses may be available to you.
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol which impairs the driver’s ability to drive (Code of Virginia Section 18.2-266). If the driver is under the age of 21, the police can arrest the driver if the driver’s blood alcohol content is 0.02 or more (COV Section 18.2-266.1). It is also unlawful to refuse to take a lawfully requested breath test (COV Section 18.2-268.3).
The court must fine the driver at least $250 for a first offense and can revoke the driver’s license for one year. The first offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor (COV Section 18.2-270). The government will automatically suspend the license of anyone the police arrest for a first offense or anyone who refuses to take a breath test for seven days (Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles).
When there is a second offense, the court must fine the driver at least $500 and can revoke the driver’s license for up to three years and can sentence the driver to up to one year in jail. If the second offense was within 10 years of the first, the court must send the driver to jail for at least 10 days. If the second offense was within 5 years of the first, the court must send the driver to jail for at least 20 days (Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles).
If the driver was under the age of 21 and had a blood alcohol content of 0.02%, but less than 0.08, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The court can punish the young driver with a one-year’s suspension of their license, a minimum fine of $500 or 50 hours of community service (COV Section 18.2-266.1).
If the police have arrested or accused you or a loved one of driving while under the influence, you may find the services of an attorney helpful during this time. A DUI conviction stays on a person’s public record. The driver may lose the ability to drive and will be required to pay a fine.
In order to best protect yourself, a lawyer may be able to explain the law to you, how the legal procedure operates and what defenses may be available to you, based on your unique circumstances. Consider reaching out to a Greensville County DUI lawyer today.
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