Below are frequently asked questions on driving under the influence charges in Leesburg, Virginia. If you have been charged schedule a consultation with a Leesburg DUI lawyer today.
If the officer has probable cause to place you under arrest, and does so, you’re required pursuant to the Virginia implied consent statute to submit to a blood or breath test. If you refuse to submit to the blood or breath test after having been properly advised of the pursuant to the implied consent statute, you’ll be charged with unreasonable refusal. Unreasonable refusal is a civil violation of the first offense, but is a civil violation with serious consequences.
For a first offense, the civil violation carries a mandatory penalty of 12 months loss of your driving privileges in Virginia. If you are a Virginia driver this is a 12 month hard loss of license meaning you’re not eligible for a restricted license. If you’re an out of state driver, just as with any other suspension Virginia can only suspend your privilege to operate in Virginia, you lose your Virginia privileges for 12 months.
Depending on your license status, it may be in your best interest to always refuse a Virginia breath test. However, there may be certain times where it is not in your best interest. For second, third or subsequent refusal offenses there are additional penalties as subsequent offenses are class 1 misdemeanors.
If you’re arrested for a DUI, your license will likely be administratively suspended for a period of time. This period of time depends on whether or not it’s your first, second, third or subsequent offense. If it is your first offense your license will be administratively suspended for seven days.
You may administratively challenge the suspension by filing a petition, though you carry the burden of proof that your license suspension was incorrect. Commonly administrative license suspension challenges occur when someone is charged with a second, third or subsequent offense. For a second offense this suspension is extended to 30 days or the trial date—whichever is sooner. For a third or subsequent offense, the suspension is until the trial date.
Therefore, for a second or third offense there is more incentive to challenge the administrative license suspension. You should talk to your Leesburg DUI attorney about how to do this and what you must prove to prevail.
The majority of DUI cases occur in the Loudoun County General District Court and after the determination of guilt, there is not a subsequent sentencing proceeding on a different date. If the judge makes a finding of guilt, the judge hears additional evidence and argument regarding sentencing, then decides on a suitable sentence. If the defendant is unhappy with the conviction or the sentence in GDC, they may appeal the case to the Circuit Court.
If you challenge the administrative suspension of your license, your case will be heard at the Loudoun County General District Court. The Loudoun GDC is located at 18, East Market Street in Leesburg, Virginia. It is done through a petition process and the matter is placed on a special docket. Virginia DMV does not hear any petitions regarding license suspension or administrative license.
If you’re convicted of a DUI in the Commonwealth of Virginia, your Virginia driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 12 months. This is not negotiable, it is statutory. If you’re convicted of a second offense, you’re subject to a three-year loss of your Virginia license or privilege to operate in Virginia.
If you are convicted of a third or subsequent conviction, that suspension is indefinite. Virginia license suspensions are handled by the Virginia court and then sent to the Virginia DMV for processing.
Virginia DMV takes a slightly different view on subsequent convictions. For example if you’re convicted of three DUI first offenses, the court would only hit you with three (3) one-year suspensions.
However the Virginia DMV retains the authority to come back and execute a much harsher punishment, including the indefinite suspension subject to petition for reinstatement.
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