What Is A Virginia DUI?
Have you recently been arrested for DUI/DWI?
If so, you should consult with a knowledgable Virginia DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI charge in Virginia can be particularly harsh and could cost you both your liberty and livelihood.
One of the places that a Virginia criminal attorney will do first in representing a DUI client is to consult the long line of cases involving Va. Code § 18.2-266, especially those relevant to your specific case, and apply it to your fact pattern.
This code section is one of many that govern the majority of DUI cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
At a minimum, a DUI in Virginia can result in:
- Loss of Virginia driver's license for up to one (1) year and administrative penalties from other state's DMVs
- Mandatory minimum fine of $250
- Required attendance in Virginia's Alcohol Safety Action Program ("VASAP")
- Suspended Jail Sentence
- Court costs
- A criminal conviction that will stay on your record
However, the "minimums" isn't exactly the main thing to fret over. Instead, much concern is rightly due to what couldhappen in a DUI prosecution. Given that a DUI in Virginia is a Class One Misdemeanor Va. Code § 18.2-11 governs their disposition.
Many DUIs involve the use of checkpoints. While the Supreme Court has held checkpoints can be constitutional, they frequently require many pre-conditions to be met because the stops occur without probable cause or suspicion of drunk driving.
A Class One Misdemeanor can result in:
- Up to one (1) year in jail
- Up to a $2,500 fine
Practically, most DUI cases have a real possibility of incarceration for some period and an impact on your professional and personal life.
In cases where there is a second DUI with a five (5) or ten (10) year time frame, mandatory minimum periods of incarceration are the Commonwealth's "starting point."
After actively listening to each peculiar factual issue in a client's case, criminal attorney Beau Correll assesses prospective cases for any applicable defenses. We go over the range of potential outcomes as well as their chances of success or failure with clients both initially and nearing the trial date.
After hiring our firm, Mr. Correll, a former state prosecutor, vigoriously conducts an independent examination to strengthen his client's cases. Pre-trial activities may include the client attending remediative classes, Mr. Correll issuing Freedom of Information act requests, interviewing witnesses, conducting legal research, or retaining experts, with advance consent from the client.
During both the initial consultation when the facts are not fully developed and through the course of representation, our Winchester, VA law firm will explore both Constitutional and statutory defenses.
- Whether the stop was legal and based upon either "reasonable articulable suspicion" or "probable cause"
- Training and irregularity-based defenses to any field-sobriety tests or preliminary breath test.
- Scope of consent, if applicable.
- Technical, scientific grounds to exclude evidence gathered by law enforcement
Depending upon the circumstances, some of these defenses can be raised under Va. Code § 19.2-266 both in Virginia Circuit Court and General District Court. In cases in which the client chooses to go to trial, Mr. Correll will frequently raise tactical objections and motions to suppress the evidence in General District Court, as allowed under these rules. This frequently can work to the strategic advantage of clients as the Commonwealth, who handles many defendants, may not anticipate well-researched constitutional objections
Our Winchester law firm endeavours to go into any and all cases with the intent to prevail at trial. Depending on the facts, and with authority of the client, we may engage the Commonwealth in a resolution short of a trial in which both parties reached the most optimal outcome.
It was nice giving this information to you and I do hope it was helpful. Keep in mind that you need to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible - it means they have more time to prepare.
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