Experienced Virginia DUI Defense Lawyers Give You Options
Providing the support you need when facing serious drunk driving charges
Everyone makes mistakes, and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming too much alcohol is one that many people across Virginia make. The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) can sometimes be excessive. The defense attorneys at The Law Office of Jeremiah A. Denton III in Virginia Beach can help.
How law enforcement officers judge intoxication
A police officer must have “probable cause” for pulling over a driver on suspicion of DUI or DWI. Witnessing a driver violating a traffic law, swerving or driving erratically qualifies as probable cause. The police officer may request that you step out of your vehicle and perform a field sobriety test to check for signs of intoxication, such as poor balance or difficulty concentrating or focusing.
You may be asked to take a breath test using a device that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your result is over .08 percent, you are considered legally intoxicated in Virginia and may be arrested for DUI. However, it’s important to note that these devices are not always accurate and that some police officers are not properly trained on how to calibrate them. You have the option to decline a breath test in favor of another chemical test, including one that tests your blood or urine. These tests must be conducted at a police station.
Throughout this process, it’s important to make no statement to the police other than providing your name and address.
Penalties for DUI in Virginia
The penalties for a DUI conviction are harsh. Below are the types of offenses and their punishments:
- First offense. A first-time conviction may result in a minimum of five days in jail, at least $250 in fines and a one-year driver license suspension.
- Second offense. If the second offense occurs within 10 years of the first, you may face 20 days to one year in jail, a minimum fine of $500 and a three-year license suspension.
- Third offense. If it’s your third offense, you’ll likely face at least six months in jail, a minimum $1,000 fine and an indefinite license suspension.
Our lawyers can examine the details of your arrest and determine if the officer acted appropriately.
What you need to know about implied consent law
In Virginia, all drivers operate their vehicles under “implied consent,” which means they automatically agree to submit to a breath test or other chemical test if a police officer believes you are driving under the influence of alcohol. You have the legal right to decline any of these tests, but doing so can result in consequences such as a suspended license. Furthermore, if you refuse to take a chemical test and are later convicted of DUI or DWI, your penalties may be more severe than if you had simply taken the test in the first place.
Work with a knowledgeable Virginia Beach DUI defense attorney
If you’ve been arrested for suspicion of DUI or DWI in Virginia, call on the skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Jeremiah A. Denton III. Call us today at 757-215-4818 or contact us online to get started.