Virginia’s drunk driving – DUI – laws have gotten much stricter in recent years. If you have been arrested for DUI, the consequences can be serious. If your breath/blood alcohol level (“BAC”) is measured at .15% or higher, there is a mandatory jail sentence. If you have been convicted once before in the past 5 years, there is a mandatory jail sentence. A third offense is a felony with a mandatory jail sentence. And then there are the consequences for your driver’s license. For a first conviction, you will have your license suspended, though you may be able to get it back as a restricted license — to and from work, to and from school, and for various specific reasons such as getting family members to doctors’ appointments, etc. For a second conviction within the past 10 years, your license will be suspended for 3 years, and you will not be allowed to get a restricted license until either 4 months (if your prior offense was more than 5 years ago) or 12 months (if the prior offense was less than 5 years ago) have passed. In addition, a second offense, or a high BAC, will require that your car be outfitted with an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months.
In a DUI prosecution, there may be questions about whether the breath machine is giving a true reading, or whether a test an hour after you were driving can show accurately what your blood alcohol level was when you were driving. We have worked with toxicologists to defend these cases, and have gotten some good results for our clients. There are many technical and scientific issues that may be present in your case.
We always recommend having a lawyer if you are facing jail time, but…
if you are a first offender with a blood alcohol level of under .15, and there is no real question about your guilt, we may be able to tell you exactly what to expect, and that we may not be able to do much to help. (It’s not that we don’t want to represent you — just that we don’t want people to think that we are saying we can accomplish something that we really can’t.) If that is the situation, we’ll tell you, and you can decide whether you want to hire us.
We have been handling DUI’s and other serious traffic offenses for years, and we can help you through this tough time. Call us at 434-293-8185.