Alexandria VA DUI Lawyer

In Alexandria, VA, the Law Code Section 18.2-266 deals with DUI offenses where it makes it unlawful to drive or operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Law enforcement will use different methods to prove if the person in question was unlawfully operating a vehicle drunk driving while mentally impaired by a substance. Under Virginia law, police officers have the authority to stop and detain a suspected driver if they have a reasonable and articulable cause that shows a driver breaking the law.

If law enforcement officers believe a crime has been committed, a person can be arrested under probable cause. Field tests and observations are mainly done to determine the probable cause. After this, a court hearing date will be set for any suspected drivers.

The court is where the suspect and DUI lawyer Alexandria VA can either decide to hear the judgment based on the evidence collected and presented or plead their case. If you face this problem, you can get assistance from Alexandria criminal defense attorneys.

A few considerations affect a DUI case, such as the suspect’s drugs, the driver’s age, and if the DUI crime was made worse with other crimes. However, all considerations in criminal cases must apply when criminal charges are determined in a DUI case.

For example, if an alleged driver was found on the roadside while intoxicated driving heading home, it is easy for a DUI charge to stand on its own (if it has not been made worse with other crimes).

On the other hand, an alleged driver may face severe consequences if they were found to be driving while under the influence after an accident, regardless of whether there were injuries/death or not.

A minimum penalty may apply to drug offenses in the first example, while the second example will carry the maximum sentence.

Declining DUI Test In Alexandria

According to Alexandria VA laws, you can decline to take a breathalyzer test the moment you are apprehended. However, according to state law, this action comes with ‘implied consent.’

Therefore, the alleged driver will face additional offenses when they decline to take the test at a police station, resulting in criminal charges made from an unreasonable decline.

Under the laws of Alexandria, VA, a suspect may not face jail time if it is their first offense. Nonetheless, the accused person in question will receive a 1-year driver’s license suspension.

On the other hand, a person in question will get a 3-year license suspension if arrested on a second offense within a year.

Furthermore, the same person may receive a minimum of 10 days jail term for a DUI offense. A third-time offender will receive a sentence similar to a second-time offender. However, a third-time offender is at risk of facing a minimum of 90 days jail sentence.

Driving Under The Influence Penalties

Reading and understanding the law is wise, especially drunk driving in Alexandria, Virginia. Knowledge of the law heavily applies when driving while under the influence of a substance. According to the state law Code Section 18.2-266, for a BAC of .15 to .20, a first-time offender faces a 5-day jail sentence. However, the jail time sentencing will worsen if an underage (below 18 years) passenger is in the vehicle with you.

You will get a 10-day jail sentence if your reading is found to be higher than .20 BAC. The driving license may also be suspended for a year, fined at least $250, and required to enroll in Virginia’s Alcohol Safety Action Program. You may also have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

Second-time offenders face a jail term between 20 days to a year. They may also receive a mandatory fine of more than $500. In addition to the mandatory fine, if there was a passenger under the legal age (18 years), an additional jail term of 5 days will be added, and face a 3-year driver’s license suspension. Under this situation, the mandatory fine may increase up to $1000.

How Does the Ignition Interlock Device Work?

Law enforcement can install the ignition interlock device after the second offense. Generally, these devices are used for second offenders, primarily if they have restricted licenses.

These devices are similar to breathalyzers and are connected to a vehicle’s dashboard. When combined, you cannot start a car without testing your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). For fraud prevention, the system must record all the driver’s actions. They are designed to ensure you cannot beat them.

Virginia’s Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)

A second-time offender’s chances of being obligated to complete an ASAP (Virginia’s Alcohol Safety Action) program are high. In some DUI cases, it may apply to first-time offenders.

The program aims to teach a DUI offender the dangers of abusing substances and driving under the influence. If you fail to complete the program, you will have violated your probation terms and, as such, may end up facing additional fines, jail terms, and license suspension.

Getting a DUI lawyer Alexandria VA to help you with your legal representation in your DUI case may be the wisest thing you could ever do. The DUI attorney will help fight for and protect your rights, ensuring you get a fair trial and verdict.

Call us today to get a FREE CONSULTATION at David Deane Law Firm.

The Definition Of Motor Vehicle According The Virginia Law

You must let your Virginia DUI attorney know the type of vehicle being driven. Lawyers must note that not just standard cars like sedans and trucks are considered under Virginia’s 18.2-266 law on reckless driving.

The law states that anything with an engine is a motor vehicle, which means dirt bikes, ATVs, and even mopeds are all considered motorized vehicles, and the rule applies the same to reckless driving on all of them. Therefore, there is no way to circumvent the laws governing how state roadways should be used when driving smaller vehicles.

Virginia Section DUI Law

According to Virginia Section Code DUI Law, 18.2-266, Any person or driver found to have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) equal to or higher than 0.08 is considered driving while intoxicated. Therefore, a person’s blood-alcohol level will determine the moment an officer will do a breathalyzer test for them to obtain probable cause.

A person accused of DUI can exercise their right to decline a breathalyzer test. However, the law enforcement officer can still arrest if their suspicion is made clear through other field tests. Which are these other field tests that an officer uses? Well, they include:

• Walking step by step in a straight line
• Reciting the alphabet
• The level of obedience to instructions
• The way a person will respond to questions
• Flashlight beam gazing

Law enforcement officers can conduct as many tests as they see fit to determine if they are under the influence. Whenever a person does not pass the tests, the officer has the right to arrest them for probable cause.

Under the law of Virginia Section Code 18.2-266 (ii), it is illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle, no matter the amount of alcohol they have consumed. In addition, the extension to Section Code 18.2-266 (iii) mentions that driving under the influence of drugs is illegal, regardless of the kind (legal, such as subscriptions, or narcotics, such as cocaine).

The extension also shows that taking a combination of drugs to achieve a similar drunk-like state is unlawful, even if a single drug is not enough to create a response. Therefore, you may face a DUI charge if you commit those offenses in Alexandria, Virginia. Consequently, lawyers say it is wise to seek the legal services of a criminal defense attorney to get a fair court case and ruling. Furthermore, they say Alexandria DUI lawyers are better positioned to offer the legal assistance you need for your case.

Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Lawyer Alexandria VA

To gain a comprehensive and precise understanding of Virginia’s DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws and to stay up-to-date with recent legal rulings that may impact your case, it is imperative to seek the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable Virginia DUI attorney. This legal professional specializes in navigating the intricate nuances of DUI laws and can provide you with invaluable guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

Here are some key reasons why consulting with a seasoned Virginia DUI attorney is crucial:

1. In-depth Knowledge of DUI Laws

Virginia’s laws can be complex and subject to frequent changes. A skilled attorney stays informed about the latest legal developments, ensuring that your defense is based on the most current and relevant legal principles. This knowledge can be pivotal in crafting a robust defense strategy.

2. Personalized Legal Guidance

No two DUI cases are identical; each involves unique circumstances and evidence. A proficient DUI attorney will meticulously assess the details of your case, considering factors like your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), field sobriety test results, and any other relevant evidence. They can then tailor a defense strategy to address your specific situation.

3. Mitigation of Consequences

DUI convictions in Virginia can lead to severe penalties, such as fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even incarceration. An experienced attorney can work to minimize these consequences, potentially securing a more favorable outcome, such as reduced charges or penalties.

4. Negotiation Skills

DUI cases often involve negotiations with prosecutors to reach a plea agreement or reduced charges. A skilled attorney can leverage their negotiation expertise to pursue the best possible resolution for your case, whether that involves reduced charges, a plea bargain, or alternative sentencing options.

5. Courtroom Representation

If your case goes to trial, a seasoned DUI attorney will serve as your advocate in court. They will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf to secure an acquittal or a favorable verdict.

6. Legal Procedure Adherence

Virginia’s legal system has specific procedures and protocols that must be followed during a DUI case. Failing to adhere to these procedures could jeopardize your defense. A DUI attorney is well-versed in these legal requirements and ensures your case complies with the law.

7. Emotional Support

Facing a DUI charge can be an emotionally taxing experience. A skilled attorney provides legal guidance and emotional support, helping you navigate the stress and uncertainty associated with a DUI case.

This marks the time limit for filing charges related to misdemeanor offenses. The Commonwealth is required to bring charges for misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and other traffic violations within a one-year window from the date of the incident; otherwise, it is barred from pursuing prosecution.

This marks the time limit for filing charges related to misdemeanor offenses. The Commonwealth is required to bring charges for misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and other traffic violations within a one-year window from the date of the incident; otherwise, it is barred from pursuing prosecution.

Getting charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Virginia can be a daunting experience, but it’s essential to know that there are avenues for defense. DUI cases can be dismissed if certain criteria are met, and it’s crucial to understand your rights and the legal strategies that can help you achieve a favorable outcome.

1. Proving an Illegal Search and Seizure:
One of the common defenses to get a DUI dismissed in Virginia is to establish that law enforcement conducted an illegal search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights during a traffic stop, your defense attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence, preventing the prosecutor from using it in court. This powerful defense strategy can lead to the dismissal of your DUI case.

2. Challenging the Validity of the Traffic Stop:
In Virginia, law enforcement can initiate a traffic stop if they have reasonable suspicion of a crime. However, if you can prove that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place and that the DUI arrest was based on an unrelated reason, you may be able to get your DUI case dismissed. For instance, if you were pulled over for a broken taillight and subsequently arrested for DUI without a valid reason, it can be grounds for dismissal.

3. Questioning the Accuracy of Blood or Breath Test Results:
Blood and breath tests are commonly used to determine a driver’s level of intoxication. However, these tests must be administered correctly and maintained properly. If there are issues with the handling, calibration, or maintenance of the testing equipment, it can lead to inaccurate results. Your defense attorney can challenge the accuracy of these test results, especially if there is evidence of mishandling or contamination of samples. Even small discrepancies in blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can be pivotal in a DUI case, potentially leading to dismissal.

4. Contesting the Validity of Field Sobriety Tests:
Field sobriety tests (SFSTs) are subjective assessments used by law enforcement to evaluate a driver’s level of impairment. These tests can be challenged because they rely on the arresting officer’s judgment, which may not always be accurate. If you can demonstrate that a medical condition or other factors contributed to the poor performance on these tests, it may help get your DUI case dismissed.

5. Medical Conditions and Signs of Impairment:
Certain medical conditions can mimic the signs of intoxication, such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and poor balance. If you have a medical condition that can explain these symptoms, providing medical evidence to support your case is crucial. Your defense attorney can argue that your behavior and appearance were due to a medical condition, not intoxication, potentially leading to a dismissal.

In Virginia, for a typical first-time DUI offense where the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.14 or lower, it is highly unlikely that the individual will receive a jail sentence. Nevertheless, in cases where it’s a first offense but the BAC exceeds 0.15, mandatory minimum jail time becomes a distinct possibility.

The typical mandatory minimum sentences that come into play in Virginia pertain to individuals convicted of a first-offense DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falling between .15 and .20. In such instances, a mandatory minimum jail term of at least five days is required as part of their sentencing.

In Virginia, a DWI conviction is etched onto the driver’s criminal record indefinitely. Furthermore, it lingers on the driver’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record for a duration of 11 years starting from the date of conviction. As long as the DWI remains affixed to the driver’s DMV record, it remains accessible to anyone requesting this information.