DUI Defense Virginia Punishment Intoxicant Fairfax Lawyer
Ethan v Commonwealth
Defendant sought review of a decision in the Circuit Court in Virginia, which convicted defendant for driving under the influence (DUI) of intoxicants and relied on two prior convictions for enhancement of his punishment. Defendant asserted in his defense that the two prior convictions should not be relied upon.
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The Virginia Court made the following holding:
- The right of an accused to have effective assistance of counsel is guaranteed by the due process clause of the Federal Constitution and the Virginia Bill of Rights. No person may be imprisoned for any offense unless he was represented by counsel at his trial. Actual imprisonment is the line defining constitutional right to appointment of counsel. Thus, appointed counsel is not required in misdemeanor cases if imprisonment is not imposed.
- Although an uncounseled misdemeanor conviction is constitutionally valid if the defendant is not imprisoned, such a conviction may not be used to convert a subsequent misdemeanor into a felony with an enhanced prison term.
The SRIS Law Group Fairfax DUI Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your DUI case. Contact a Fairfax DUI Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your DUI case.
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Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.