If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI in Loudoun County, you need the knowledge and counsel of an experienced Loudoun County DUI Lawyer. Before you go to court, your DUI attorney can walk you through the legal process, answer your questions, and help you understand both the charges and penalties you face as you determine a defense strategy.
In addition, you will receive an aggressive defense in the courtroom with the goal of procuring the most favorable outcome possible based on the circumstances of your case. Call today to discuss your case with a defense lawyer.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is usually a misdemeanor in Virginia. Some cases may be charged as felony offenses if they involve aggravating circumstances such as a death. If a police officer suspects you of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, he will pull you over and investigate whether you have been drinking. The assessment may include field sobriety tests, visual observation, and a preliminary breath test. Due to the subjective nature of these tests, a skilled Loudoun County DUI lawyer may be able to raise doubt as to their accuracy in court.
If the arresting officer has a reasonable belief that you are impaired by alcohol, you will be compelled to submit to a more accurate breath or blood test at the police station. This test will determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). A BAC of .08% or higher means you are legally intoxicated and can be charged with DUI. Refusal to take a chemical test to gauge your level of intoxication is a violation of Virginia’s implied consent law and will result in immediate license suspension of one year for first-time offenders, and up to three years for repeat offenses.
Field sobriety tests in Loudon DUI stops seek to determine whether your physical and mental faculties have been impaired by alcohol. An officer may ask you to look at a bright light, stand on one leg, or walk in a straight line. Failure to perform these actions in accordance with predetermined standards may result in a DUI arrest. However, field sobriety tests are not required, and you may refuse to take them. Even if you take the tests and fail them, they are not always reliable indicators of your mental and physical capabilities at the time of the arrest. Results can be skewed based on your age, weight, and physical ability.
Your Loudoun County DUI lawyer may be able to identify flaws in the prosecution’s case, based on the procedure used to administer the tests, any mitigating factors that hindered your ability to perform the required actions, or the judgment of the arresting officer.
If your DUI arrest results in a conviction, you could face significant fines, time in jail, and the loss of your driver’s license. A DUI conviction constitutes a permanent criminal record and may negatively impact future driving privileges, job opportunities, educational pursuits, and insurance costs. DUI penalties vary based on the number of convictions you have received and the number of years between offenses:
Your sentence may also require that you pay restitution to other parties, attend an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), or install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car. Additional penalties may be incurred for additional aggravating factors, such as transporting a minor while intoxicated or being involved in an accident that causes injury or death. Contact a Loudoun County criminal lawyer today to discuss your case.
The standard of proof for a Loudoun County DUI case is all the elements established under Virginia Code Section 18.2 – 266 and to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Typically in order to prosecute a Loudoun County DUI case the commonwealth attorney also known as the prosecutor will offer various types of evidences.
The evidence typically provided in a DUI prosecution include driving behavior, observations of the driver’s physical appearance, observations of the driver’s response to the officer’s questions, Field Sobriety Tests, preliminary breath tests if applicable and the results of the Certificate of Analysis. The Certificate of Analysis is the most important piece of information in a DUI prosecution depending on whether the breath or the blood test in the Certificate of Analysis may require additional testimony in order to be admitted into evidence.
If you are held without bond or held with an unreasonably high bond you can request that a bond motion be filed. Bond motions pursuant to Virginia Code Section 19.2 – 120 must be filed in the Loudoun County General District Court at least 24 hours before they are scheduled to be heard, making it important you consult with a Loudoun County DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Bond motions in a DUI case could be very important in order to allow the court to set a reasonable bond for your case. If the magistrate declines to set a bond, which may occur in second, third or subsequent offenses, a bond motion will allow the court to consider the facts and circumstances of your case as well as the factors pursuant to Section 19.2 – 120 to determine whether or not a reasonable bond is appropriate.
If you have been charged with DUI in Loudoun County, an attorney can help you understand the nature of the charges against you and evaluate your defense options. A Loudoun County DUI Lawyer may seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed, or he may be able to plea bargain for a reduced sentence. Whatever the circumstances, your lawyer will listen to your explanation of events, answer your questions, evaluate witness testimony, and help you craft a robust defense strategy.
Whether this is your first offense, or whether you already have prior convictions on your record, it is important that you contact a lawyer to guide you through the legal process. Call our office today to speak with an attorney about your case and determine what steps you should take next.
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