DUI Attorney in Virginia
Driving under the Influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Virginia is a severe traffic offense. If you are charged with any of these offenses, you are bound to be dealt with sternly in court. A DUI conviction can lead to a penalty fine of $250 to $2500 and a license suspension of 1 year. Avoiding a conviction requires the assistance of a skilled law firm like the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. Retaining our Virginia DUI attorney will try to defend you from all angles, trying to avoid a conviction.
What is DUI?
According to the Code of Virginia 18.2-266, DUI is defined as operating a vehicle while your blood alcohol level is 0.08 per cent or more. The intoxication could have occurred due to banned drugs or alcohol. According to the zero-tolerance law, if the individuals caught driving while intoxicated were below the age of 21, the restricted level of blood alcohol will be considered 0.02. A minimum fine of $500 would be imposed. But if the alcohol level was found to be more than 0.08 per cent, then the minor will be penalized with the same punishments as an adult. You must retain a DWI Attorney Virginia if you want to avoid the harsh penalties.
Penalties associated with DUI and DWI are different depending on your BAC levels. The three BAC levels considered in Virginia are:
- Below 0.15 per cent
- Between the range of 0.15 to 0.20
- Above 0.20 per cent
Multiple convictions can get your offense categorized as a class 6 felony and that could result in 10 years of incarceration along with a $2500 penalty fine. Whatever may be the intensity of the charge, talk to our Virginia DUI attorney at The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. Our DWI Attorney Virginia will try to get rid of the charges as soon as possible.
What Would Happen If I refuse a BAC Test?
If the traffic stop was performed correctly, then the law enforcement officer has the right to get a BAC test done on you. By the term right, we mean that when you obtain a driver’s license in Virginia, you automatically give consent to a BAC test; this is termed the implied consent laws. If you want to understand the consent laws clearly, contact our Virginia DUI attorney. Besides clarifying the provisions on implied consent laws and your rights, our Virginia DUI attorney will help you understand each procedure involved in a DUI charge.
You can choose to avoid a BAC test but before doing that you need to understand the consequences.
If you refuse to give consent to a BAC test for the first time, you could be subjected to a mandatory 1-year driver’s license suspension.
A second time refusal could get you booked under a Class 2 misdemeanor and a 3rd time refusal could lead to getting you booked under a Class 1 misdemeanor. Both Class 1 and Class 2 misdemeanor could result in a 3-year suspension of driving license. Before making any kind of statement before the officer, consult with our Virginia DUI attorney.
What Would Lead to a Traffic Stop and Arrest?
If you were found involved in rash driving or operating a vehicle in a manner that might harm pedestrians, then the law enforcement officer in charge has the right to conduct a traffic stop. Even a small reason like broken headlights can get you pulled over. You might have been stopped for a different reason; but if the officer finds you intoxicated, they would ask you to cooperate for a BAC test or a breathalyzer test. A field sobriety test could also be conducted wherein you might be asked to perform one of the following tests:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) – This involves the officer placing a stimulus slightly above the eye level and you would be asked to follow the stimulus with your eyes and while doing so, you must not move your head.
The Walk and Turn test (WAT) – The Officer will ask you to walk and turn in order to assess if your gait was steady, unwavering, and properly positioned. While turning, they will assess whether you made a smooth turn or you faltered.
The One-Leg Stand test (OLS) – The police officer will check whether you keep swaying while on one leg or were using your arms to maintain balance. Hopping and putting your foot down prior to the completion of the test could convince the officer that you are intoxicated.
Our Virginia DUI attorney very well understands the difficulty level of these field tests. Even a sober person may find it strenuous to pass these tests. Call our Virginia DUI attorney for assistance the moment you sense you are in a legal problem.
If you happen to be involved in a road accident, it could complicate things further. The police officer will immediately perform all the tests and conduct an arrest within 3 hours if they are convinced that you are drunk. Connect with our Virginia DUI attorney right away and try to remain silent until we arrive or advise you to speak.
How Will a Virginia DUI attorney Defend a DUI Charge?
Our Virginia DUI attorney will first cross-examine the charge sheet and will also conduct a private investigation into the matter. Besides identifying the exact cause of the arrest, our Virginia DUI attorney will also document the series of incidents that led to the traffic stop and arrest.
Based on the past DUI cases that our Virginia DUI attorney has dealt with, we have put together a few common defense strategies:
- Suspect Was not Allowed to Contact Virginia DUI attorney
The suspect must be allowed to contact a Virginia DUI attorney if he/she states their wish to do so. They have the right to remain silent unless allowed talking to their personal Virginia DUI attorney. Oftentimes, dismissal of charges is the only option left to the State when they fail to establish why the defendant was not allowed to contact his/her Virginia DUI attorney.
- Inaccuracy of Breath Alcohol test
Sometimes a breathalyzer test reading could read high because of a high body temperature. The kit itself comes with an inherent 10% margin of error. So, our Virginia DUI attorney will first consult with forensic toxicology experts to identify issues with the test results. If our Virginia DUI attorney is able to identify valid evidence, then we will use it to defend you against the charges.
- Illegal Traffic Stop
You should not be stopped unless the officer has a very strong reason to do so. Another important point is that our Virginia DUI attorney will check if the investigation was conducted in the right manner. If the officer failed to follow the suggested protocol by performing the stop and investigation, then our Virginia DUI attorney will use it as a defense point.
- Inaccuracy of Field Sobriety Test Results
Field sobriety tests come with a 60% to 70% inaccuracy rate. Even a normal person would find it difficult to pass these tests; let alone an elderly, overweight or person with physical impairment passing these tests.
Our Virginia DUI attorney will effectively use this as a defense strategy and will state that the tests weren’t conducted in a standardized manner. If the tests were performed after an illegal stop, then would give our Virginia DUI attorney another important defense point to present in court.
- No Evidence of the Suspect Operating The Vehicle
If you were found just sitting inside the vehicle for shelter but weren’t driving it, then you needn’t have to worry about being charged with DUI. But if you are still charged with DUI, then our Virginia DUI attorney will try justifying the fact that you were using it just as a shelter until you got sober and weren’t planning to drive the vehicle until you were fit to operate.
Choosing to represent self during a DUI charge can have serious ramifications. Hire our Virginia DUI attorney at The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. to avoid being tricked into a conviction. Our Virginia DUI attorneys have dealt with several DUI cases and hence, we can offer precise strategies to get you out of these charges without much public embarrassment. A public traffic conviction record can have a serious life-altering impact; so, call our Virginia DUI Lawyer today without a second thought.