If you are accused of driving under the influence in Prince William County the following are three of the most important things you should know according to a Prince William DUI lawyer. To learn more about DUI charges and begin developing a defense, call and schedule a free consultation today.
Being convicted of reckless driving in Virginia has a long lasting impact on an individual including potential jail time, lengthy loss of license penalties, and having to complete the VASAP program as well as ignition interlock being placed on their vehicle. Additionally, it causes serious problems with DMV, apart from the penalties the court imposes, and with insurance carriers in many cases.
The second thing that people should know about a DUI is that they don’t have to answer any questions in the course of a traffic stop other than to identify themselves and produce their ID. They don’t have to tell the police where they’re coming from, where they’re going, how much they had to drink, or whether there’s any contraband in their vehicle. They are entitled to stand on their right to remain silent. This also includes that they have the right not to perform any field sobriety test at the side of the road which are for the express purpose of creating incriminating evidence.
The last thing that an individual should understand is that the sooner they involved the lawyer in the process the better chance they give themselves to secure the best possible legal outcome in their case. There are proactive steps that experienced legal counsel can take from the beginning, as well as at every step of the process, which can make the crucial difference in your case.
For misdemeanor cases, sentencing happens immediately after trial. If a person is found guilty, the defense as well as the prosecution will have an opportunity to present evidence and make arguments towards what they believe a proper sentence is.
Under Virginia law, there are a number of penalties which are mandatory, meaning that upon conviction the judge must impose them. There are also some penalties which the judge has discretion about whether to impose or to what degree to impose, but this happens immediately after trial.
In the case of a felony DUI, in most cases the matter will be continued for a sentencing hearing and a pre-sentencing report will be prepared by the probation office as well as a set of sentencing guidelines. On a subsequent date, the court will review the sentencing guidelines, the pre-sentencing report and will hear arguments and evidence from both the prosecution and the defense as to the appropriate punishment.
In the event where a person is tried by the jury, a sentencing hearing is conducted immediately after the verdict is reached and again the individual’s defense as well as the prosecution puts on evidence for sentencing and then the jury imposes the sentence right there and then.
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