If you are facing a charge of DUI in Virginia, you are probably feeling frightened and concerned about what lies ahead for you. Most DUI / DWI offenses in Virginia are committed by people with no prior brush with the law, so the emotions you are experiencing are not uncommon. The laws, however, are very complex and not easy to understand. This is why it is important that you have the right attorney working for you. You need someone to make sure you are treated fairly and who knows the system and the laws. There is also a significant amount of science that must be studied in order to properly defend against DUI and DWI. A skilled DUI attorney with local Virginia experience will provide you with a free consultation on your case with some guidelines for moving forward. It is imperative that you contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible in order to begin preparing for your defense.
Virginia’s per se law states that it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a BAC (breath alcohol content) of .08 or more. This is a criminal offense and you will be arrested, handcuffed and driven to jail where you will be fingerprinted, photographed and booked. You can also be charged for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, to the extent that you are impaired with regard to safety. This charge will often be implemented after the officer has observed your driving. Once you are stopped, the officer has begun to build a case against you. Everything you say and do will be noted. Your red eyes, your tousled hair, your fumbling for your license and alcohol on your breath will be at issue. You probably will be asked to get out of the vehicle to perform some field sobriety tests. You have the right to decline to take the field tests, and if you do so, be polite. However, because Virginia is an “implied consent” state, the presumption is that you have agreed to take a breath or blood alcohol test, and refusal will bring significant penalties, including an extended period of license suspension.
Your arrest will begin a criminal case against you which will dictate penalties such as jail time, fines and court fees, and any recommended alcohol or drug education programs. Your license will also be suspended for seven days, and your attorney will advise you on what actions he will take to get your license returned. During your trial, your DUI attorney will have the opportunity to cross examine and attempt to dismantle the evidence presented against you. Things such as the calibration of the breathalyzer, the officer’s training to administer the test and even your diet can be brought forth in court. To be able to do this effectively takes a skilled lawyer who is familiar with the science and details of the DUI law. You will need a good DUI attorney on your side. Call right away for a free consultation about your case.
If you are arrested outside your home state, be sure to ask your attorney how this law will impact you.
The penalties listed below are called for by statute, are not complete, and can often be removed or reduced significantly with the assistance of a local Virginia DUI attorney.
• Incarceration – up to 1 year
• Fines – $250 up to $1,250, plus associated court costs
• License Suspension – up to 1 year plus reinstatement fee
• Insurance – SR22 high-risk driver insurance required for 3 years; must be issued before license reinstatement
ADDITIONAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
• Bail – set by the court, required before being released
• Towing – towing fee $75 to $100 plus daily storage fees
• Insurance –As a designated “high risk” driver, your insurance company will raise your rates significantly. Expect your insurance rates to double, triple or more.
• Record – DUI conviction will remain on driving record permanently
• Employment – offender may lose time off work and possibly even their job.
• Immigration and travel – restrictions can apply with certain convictions.
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 1 year in prison and $1,000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified DUI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. Your case CAN be won with the right representation.