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DUI Arrest Process in Prince William County

After an arrest for DUI, the person is transported to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center where they will be placed in a waiting area for a period of twenty to thirty minutes prior to the BAC testing performed. If you are stopped and it comes to this point, it is always a good idea to consult with a Prince William DUI lawyer as you are likely going to face some type of charge.

Can You Refuse the BAC Test in Prince William?

You can refuse to take a BAC test in Prince William County; however there are serious consequences for doing so. Under Virginia’s implied consent laws, when a person drives a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth of Virginia, regardless of whether they are a Virginia driver’s licensee or not, Virginia law deems them to have impliedly consented to take a BAC test if there is a finding of probable cause for DUI.

If a person then refuses to take the BAC test, Virginia administratively suspends that individual’s driver’s license for a period of one year if they are found guilty of the refusal at trial. And whereas in a DUI case and in most other cases where there is a license suspension an individual can get a restricted driver’s license that allows them to go to work or to school or many other things, when a person is administratively suspended for a refusal conviction, there is no possibility of receiving a restricted driver’s license. In other words, they are simply entirely without the ability to drive for a period of one year.

Constitutional Issues Concerning The DUI Arrest Process

There are several constitutional issues that come up in DUI cases. Perhaps the most important one is a person’s Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and to not incriminate themselves. This means that they have the right not to answer any of the questions that police ask beyond identifying themselves and providing the proper ID. It also means that individuals do not have to cooperate with or perform any of the field sobriety tests.

An individual’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search or seizure of their person or property also means that the police cannot perform a search or make and arrest without probable cause. Some DUI cases stem searches of individuals or their vehicle which result in evidence of DUI or other crimes.  While individuals should never physically resist a search, they should make it clear that they do not consent to the search.

Finally, the 6th amendment guarantees the right to an attorney at every phase of the court case.

When to Contact an Attorney in Prince William County

Individuals should contact an attorney for a DUI case at their first opportunity once the arrest process is complete. Typically, this is going to occur once a magistrate has made a bail determination and the individual has been released.

In many cases, the individuals will reach out to an attorney immediately or they will reach out to friends and family members and ask them to contact counsel at the first possibility. However, because there are a number of things that can be done early to assist an individual with their case including giving them advice about not creating any new evidence or making any statements, it is helpful for a person to talk to an attorney at their first possible chance.

Getting an Attorney For a Bond Hearing

You can get a Prince William County lawyer for a bond hearing only if you wish to do so. If a magistrate judge denies an individual bond, they then have the right to ask the General District Court judge to set a bond. If the general district court judge refuses to set a bond, they have the right to appeal that decision to the Circuit Court judge and have new hearing on that issue.

An individual has a right to hire a lawyer for any of these bond hearings or all of these bond hearings and it does not obligate them to hire the attorney for the entire underlying case. However, in most cases lawyers are going to offer representation in such a way that a bond hearing will be included in the price of an underlying representation, but certainly they can be separated and purchased individually.

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