If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence in Richmond or elsewhere in Virginia, the following are some steps you can take to give yourself the best chance at trial. For more specific information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Richmond DUI lawyer today.
After receiving a DUI, one of the most important things an individual do is to first and foremost, speak with an attorney. Once this is done, the next step will likely be to enter into an alcohol counseling program or substance abuse counseling program.
An alcohol or substance abuse education course is a program that meets once a week or several times a week to identify if there’s an alcohol or substance abuse issue. You then take steps to try to deal with that, to address it, and treat it. The purpose behind these programs is to show the court and the prosecutors that if there is an issue, you’re trying to address it and deal with it.
What an alcohol education class offers an individual is damage control. The way prosecutors and judges routinely look at these offenses is that this isn’t the first time you have actually been DUI or DUID, but it’s the first time you’ve been caught.
What the defense is trying to do is provide the prosecutors and judges with information about who you are as a person. In other words, is there an alcohol or substance abuse issue and what steps are you using to treat it? By taking an alcohol education course you are being proactive and showing the court how seriously you are taking your charges.
There are a number of different education courses in the city of Richmond. There are the standard AA type courses, but there are also courses that are a lot more detailed. There are the VASAP courses, which are state-sponsored. There are also private counselors who operate in Richmond area that are known by the Courts to be very reputable. If you unsure of what class may be able to help you a Richmond DUI lawyer should be able to help.
If you are convicted of a DUI in the state of Virginia, you’re required to obtain SR-22 insurance. This is high risk insurance that you have to obtain and retain for a minimum of three years. In most cases, your insurance is going to rise dramatically as the result of the DUI.
An attorney will usually advise an individual to wait until the case has been finalized before they advise their insurance company of the DUI charge, mainly because you want to see if we can get the charge reduced and/or even possibly dismissed.
If you are charged with a DUI as the result of an accident, you may wish to speak with an attorney first. You do not want to make or provide any sort of incriminating statements that can be used against you. Any statements that you give to your own insurance company or to the other insurance company could, theoretically, be used against you and subpoenaed by the state.
What we usually recommend is that you speak with an attorney first prior to giving any details to the insurance company.
The most important things after being charged with a DUI is to be proactive to your case. If your attorney cannot find a very strong legal issue or even a minor issue, it may not be enough to get your case reduced or get the sentence or the punishment reduced. Sometimes your active enrollment or successful completion of substance abuse counseling can make a significant difference in the outcome.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.