This week is St. Patrick’s Day. While a fun time for many, the festivities can also lead to trouble. Undoubtedly, some of us here in Northern Virginia will need a DUI Defense Lawyer. Our Client Focused Criminal Defense Team is prepared to help you if you find yourself in this situation. We know it is stressful, scary, and uncertain, but it is out goal to help you through this process and get the best result possible.
Virginia DUI Defense Basics
- In most circumstances, DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This means that the penalties can range up to one year in jail, and/or a $2,500 fine. If your BAC is elevated, more than .15, then certain mandatory minimum sentence come into effect, as well. Conviction for DUI also carries a one year suspension of your driver’s license. If this happens, you are able to petition the Court for a restricted license during that time frame. Your DUI defense attorney can help review the specifics of your case to advise you on the types of consequences you are likely to face if convicted.
- When you are stopped for DUI, there are a few things that happen in almost all cases. First, the officer will ask you to do Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). These tests are always optional, and include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (the pen in front of your eyes), the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. These tests can be very subjective, and the officer will be looking for reasons to arrest you. If you did perform these tests, your DUI defense lawyer can review how they were performed to make sure they were done right.
- You may also be offered a breathalyzer on the side of the road, this Preliminary Breath Test is also optional (and less reliable than the stationary machine used after arrest). In fact, the results of this test cannot be used to prove your guilt – only to prove that the officer had probable cause to arrest you. However, if you are arrested for DUI, then you are required by law to submit to a breath or blood test. Refusal to do so is a separate charge. A first offense is a civil infraction, not a misdemeanor, but it will result in a loss of your driver’s license for one year.
- Your DUI Defense attorney can help you fight for the best outcome. This can include fighting the charge for a dismissal, or working to obtain a favorable plea. Such a plea may including a reduction to Reckless Driving. Fighting the charge requires your DUI Defense Attorney to review all of the evidence, including any available video, looking for defenses that may arise out of any part of the process from the second the officer turned on his lights through your arrest and breath or blood test (if applicable). DUI is a technical offense to prove, and you need a DUI Defense attorney who will look for every defense available to you.
Hire a Northern Virginia DUI Attorney
Our Client-Focused Criminal Defense Team is prepared to take the time to learn about your case, learn all the evidence, and learn about you – your concerns and priorities.
We are prepared to take your case to trial and make the Commonwealth prove their case against you, or to work diligently to resolve your case before trial – mitigating the most serious consequences you may face.
Contact Us today to learn how we can help you.