Facing DUI charges can be incredibly stressful, difficult, and overwhelming. Particularly if you, like many other individuals, are unfamiliar with the criminal court system, you may be unsure of what to expect, concerned about the potential consequences, and have no idea what to do. Going to hearings in the Loudoun County DUI Courts can be a scary experience on your own.
Contacting a seasoned DUI defense lawyer may help you get through this experience with the legal advice and guidance that you need.
Having an aggressive advocate on your side throughout any DUI court proceedings may help alleviate some of your worries and concerns. They may be able to investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, explore what options are available to you, and determine the strongest defenses and strategies that may apply in your case.
Virginia Code § 18.2-266 makes it illegal for individuals to drive motor vehicles, boats, or watercraft with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or a combination of the two, that impairs their ability to drive safely. The statute also sets forth the applicable blood concentrations of various drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine, that constitute a driving under the influence (DUI) offense. Additionally, under Code § 18.2-266.1, individuals who are under the age of 21 and drive after consuming any amount of alcohol commit the criminal offense of underage driving after consuming alcohol, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Virginia Code § 18.2-270 sets forth the penalties for DUI in Louden County. The penalties that drivers face for DUI charges increase according to the number of previous convictions they have, the level of their BAC at the time of the incident, and whether they refuse chemical testing to measure their BAC or previously have done so. When these factors increase, so do the mandatory minimum sentences of incarceration, the duration of driver’s license revocations, and the mandatory fines. This can lead to an unfavorable outcome in the Loudoun County DUI courts.
For example, a first DUI offense carries no mandatory minimum sentence and a $250 fine, but a first DUI offense with a BAC over 0.15 percent imposes a five-day mandatory minimum sentence in addition to the fine. Likewise, a second DUI results in a $500 fine and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 days.
Under Virginia Code § 46.2-391.2, individuals whose chemical tests show a BAC of 0.08 percent or more or underage individuals whose chemical tests show a BAC of 0.02 percent or more are subject to an automatic administrative driver’s license suspension. The same is the case for individuals who refuse to take a breath and blood test.
A first offense for any of these offenses results in a seven-day suspension, a second offense results in a suspension for 60 days or until the date of trial, whichever occurs first, and a third offense results in a suspension until the date of trial.
These administrative license suspensions run consecutively to any license suspensions or revocation ordered by a court in the context of a conviction for underage DUI or refusal to take a breath test. In a first offense, the court-ordered mandatory suspension of individuals’ licenses is for one year, so that suspension would be consecutive to the administrative license suspension detailed above.
You should not allow a mere error in judgment to haunt you for years to come. Proceedings in Loudoun County DUI Courts can be complicated and involve many factors that can influence the outcome of your case. Exercise your right to legal representation by an experienced DUI defense lawyer to put yourself in the strongest position possible to fight the charges against you.
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