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Virginia DUI Attorney
Our website provides access to our experienced Virginia DUI lawyers and helps you make informed decisions in handling the initial phases of your arrest and selecting the right attorney for your defense.
Driving under the influence is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The standards required to issue a DUI charge are similar to those in other states. According to § 18.2-266 in the Virginia Code, you can be charged with driving under the influence if you are found operating a motorized vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 or higher. You can also be charged with a DUI with a lower BAC if you are found to be under the influence of narcotics or even prescription drugs. Here is more information on drug-related DUIs in Fairfax, Virginia.
Advantages of an Experienced Fairfax DUI Lawyer
A skilled Fairfax DUI Attorney can construct a legal defense in order to help you potentially get the charges reduced or even dropped. Your attorney can offer alternatives to jail such as alcohol education classes and community service. Your attorney can also assert defenses on your behalf, such as challenging the functionality of the breathalyzer machine and the protocol for the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). Moreover, your attorney will be familiar will the procedures that law enforcement personel are required to adhere to when arresting, charging, and detaining individuals in a DUI case.
Our team of lawyers know that DUI cases are oftentimes complicated. Some factors that may complicate your case include whether this is your second or third DUI charge, how much alcohol you consumed, whether you were underage, and even if you were accused of being under the influence of drugs and not alcohol. With all of the uncertainty that can surround your case, you can count on one of our lawyers to provide you with quality representation and to do their best to get your charges dismissed or mitigated. Your DUI charge does not have to follow you and be a source of embarrassment forever – an experienced Fairfax DUI attorney can work to help you as much as possible.
DUI cases are difficult on a very personal level. Not only can they be shameful and embarrassing, but a conviction can affect your ability to secure employment, housing, a loan for education, and may even affect your visitation with your children. The lawyers with our firm understand what is at stake and that is why our attorneys are so committed to helping you. There is no need for a DUI offense to get in the way of everything else in your life. Our attorneys have experience in handling criminal charges in Fairfax, and DUIs are no exception to this. So, if you have been charged, contact one of our Fairfax DUI lawyers today. Here is information on:
- Fairfax Commercial Driver's License Lawyer
- Fairfax Courthouses
- How DUIs are Handled in Fairfax County, VA
- What to Expect in a Fairfax DUI Case
For a general review of driving under the influence charges in Virginia, however, please refer to the following resource pages:
How a Virginia DUI Lawyer Can Help
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you may be overwhelmed by the charges you are facing. It is important to find a Virginia DUI lawyer who understands your fear and has the experience necessary to help you fight your charge.
If you are arrested for drunk driving, be helpful and cooperative, but maintain your right to remain silent, until you have spoken to a qualified Virginia DUI attorney who can begin crafting your defense.
The attorneys with our firm have defended hundreds of clients against the charges they face. A lawyer can provide the support, resources, and knowledge necessary for your defense. Our Virginia DUI lawyers help you fight your DUI charges by:
- Carefully evaluating your case
- Gathering evidence to support your defense
- Working with experts to testify on your behalf
- Negotiating with prosecutors to receive a lesser charge
- Analyzing the circumstances of your arrest to identify potential improper procedure
Evaluating your case and gathering evidence is an important but often overlooked part of an attorney’s job. It is during this phase that they might be able to uncover some important facts that are unique to your case. These include but are not limited to:
- The alcohol consumed up to the time of arrest
- What reason the officer had for initially performing the traffic stop
- Any statements that were recorded during the arrest by the officer
- The results of any field sobriety tests that have been performed by the officer during the arrest
- The results of any portable breath tests taken at the time of the initial stop
- The results of the official breath test results taken at the station
- The manner in which the breath test was administered, and whether or not the office complied with the proper procedure
A Virginia DUI lawyer will look critically at each one of these events to make sure that you were treated within your rights, and that no mistakes were made by the arresting officer that could damage the Commonwealth’s case. When you visit with our attorneys for a free consultation, make sure to bring all evidence of the case with you. It is important that they understand every aspect of the case so they can better build a defense strategy tailored to your case.
Penalties For DUI in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia takes DUI arrests very seriously. As a result, the penalties that accompany a DUI conviction, even a first time offense, can dramatically affect your life moving forward. Drunk driving laws in Virginia are complicated because there are so many different distinctions between charges. They increase both with the amount of prior drunk driving convictions on your record, and with the offender’s BAC is at the time of arrest. Subsequent violations, as well as more egregious violations of the BAC standards, will make fighting your DUI charge even more difficult.
A first time conviction carries with it a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If your BAC is between .15 and .21 at the time of your arrest, the Commonwealth adds a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days upon conviction. For a BAC of .21 or above, the additional mandatory minimum jail sentence is 10 days. Your privilege to drive will also be revoked for 12 months. For first-time offenders, a restricted driver’s license may be granted, but is usually accompanied by a mandated installation of a ignition interlock device on one's vehicle.
A second conviction within 10 years brings a 10-day minimum jail sentence. If convicted, your license will be suspended for three years. If your BAC is at .15 or above, the mandatory minimum sentence is increased by 5 or 10 days. For a second conviction within five years of the first, the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 days.
If you are charged with a third DUI offense within 10 years, it is prosecuted as a felony and carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days. A third DUI offense within five years carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months. The maximum sentence for this charge is five years. You will lose your license indefinitely and will be facing a minimum fine of $1,000. You may even face forfeiture of your vehicle. For a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within 10 years, you face a mandatory minimum of one year in jail.
CDL DUI Penalties
Under § 46.2-341.18 of the Code of Virginia, commercial drivers face the harshest potential penalties from a DUI/DWI conviction. For example, commercial drivers that are convicted of a DUI twice in any ten year period can be forbidden from operating a commercial vehicle on state highways for life.
Long-Term Consequences of DUI Convictions in Virginia
A DUI conviction will also carry some non-judicial penalties, meaning that it could complicate your life for years after the incident. Your insurance rates could escalate, and having a DUI conviction on your record could make it harder to secure employment or find a place to live. When you are facing a criminal charge with penalties this steep, it is important that you find representation from a Fairfax DUI attorney who can fight to protect your rights and pursue a positive result in your case.