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Norfolk DUI Lawyer

A Norfolk DUI lawyer can represent you if you are accused of driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs (or both). A DUI can lead to the automatic administrative suspension of your license to drive, as well as to criminal penalties.

It is important for you to understand your rights, defend yourself vigorously against the charges, and work hard to avoid being found guilty or to reduce penalties for conviction. Let a criminal defense lawyer in Norfolk help you decide on the right course for responding to charges and guide you as you follow that path to resolving your case.

Norfolk DUI Laws

Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 prohibits operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any impairing substance. This can include alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter narcotics, or any combination or drugs and alcoholic beverages.

Virginia’s implied consent law (Code Section 18.2-268) requires all drivers operating a vehicle on the roads of Norfolk or throughout the state to undergo a chemical test to identify the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system. Police must have probable cause to conduct a test, but you cannot refuse it if you have been arrested for driving impaired.

You can, however, refuse to undergo field sobriety testing or a handheld field breath test, although these refusals may create probable cause.

Code Section 46.2-391.2 provides for the administrative suspension of your driver’s license if you refuse a chemical test after arrest or if your test reveals a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. For someone under 21, an administrative suspension occurs with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more.

This administrative suspension occurs even before you are found guilty of driving under the influence, and it lasts for seven days and up to sixty days if you are convicted for repeat offenses.

In addition to the administrative penalties, a prosecutor can pursue criminal charges against you. A Norfolk DUI lawyer can help to defend you against those charges and can debunk common myths and misconceptions during the process. The prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, so your attorney can try to raise questions about the evidence the prosecutor is presenting.

Someone who is underage and subsequently charged with a DUI will also want to speak with a lawyer as soon as they can and discuss how to minimize any potential damage from the charge. Penalties for someone under the age of 18 will also require the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

Penalties for Drinking and Driving in Norfolk

DUI penalties vary depending upon how high your BAC is and whether you’ve been convicted of DUI in the past. The penalties for DUI offenses are fined in Code Section 18.2-270

  • A first DUI offense with a BAC below 0.15 is a Class 1 misdemeanor resulting in a $250 fine and 1-year license suspension.
  • A first offense with a BAC between 0.15-0.20 is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but you’re going to go to jail for at least 5 days based on mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.
  • A first offense with a BAC of more than 0.20 results in a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 days.
  • A second offense within five years means a mandatory minimum of 20 days incarcerated and a $500 fine with a BAC below 0.15. A BAC of 0.15-0.20 means an additional 10 days of imprisonment and a BAC above 0.20 means an additional 20-day minimum jail term. You’ll also face a three-year license suspension.
  • A second offense within 10 years means a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail with a BAC below 0.15.
  • A third offense within five years is a Class 6 felony with a minimum penalty of six months in jail and an indefinite revocation of your driver’s license.
  • A third DUI offense within 10 years means a minimum of 90 days behind bars.

Your insurance costs are also going to be significantly higher after a conviction for DUI.

Additionally, DUIs impact CDL holder much more severely, because CDL holders are held to a higher standard in the eyes of law enforcement.

How Can a Norfolk DUI Attorney Help You?

Given that the City of Norfolk prosecutes persons charged with a driving under the influence to the fullest extent of the law, finding a competent Norfolk DUI lawyer to help build your case is essential in helping you fight back. Jobs are lost because of DUI convictions, and driver’s licenses can take years to erase the consequences of a single Norfolk DUI offense. Find a Norfolk DUI attorney who has cultivated strong relationships with credible and reliable expert witnesses to help fight your case.

Do not shortchange yourself in your DUI case by failing to consider all the possibilities for defending your rights. To learn more about legal options and the ways in which a Norfolk DUI attorney can help, contact a DUI lawyer in the Norfolk area today.

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