Chantilly DUI Lawyer
A driving under the influence (DUI) charge could affect many aspects of your life. From potentially having your license suspended, fines, and even jail time, a DUI charge should not be taken lightly. As soon as possible after an arrest or a charge is issued, it is important that you get in touch with a Chantilly DUI lawyer. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could help you protect your rights and fight the charges you are facing.
What are Drunk Driving Charges?
A drunk driving charge, also known as a DUI, punishes people for operating a motor vehicle while under the impairment of drugs or alcohol. Virginia Code §18.2-266 states that having a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, or possessing a blood concentration of narcotics such as cocaine, PCP, or meth, while driving violates the statute and constitutes driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
In order to determine whether a DUI has occurred, officers at the scene typically carry out a breath test to determine whether the driver was drunk while driving. All drivers on the roads around Chantilly have given implied consent to a breath alcohol test. Refusing to submit to a blood test could result in losing their license.
If someone is accused of driving under the influence via the blood test, the police normally take the accused to the police station and book them. Ordinarily, the accused is held until they post bail or released on their own recognizance while awaiting their court date. At the appearance date, the court may or may not bring charges, and they would then accept a plea of guilty or not guilty. A dedicated and experienced Chantilly DUI attorney could guide defendants through this process and help them make informed decisions that are in their best interest.
Penalties for Chantilly DUI Charges
Virginia Code §18.2-270 lays out the criminal penalties for DUI. Under the statute, first-time offenders could face up to one year in jail time and $250 to $2,500 in fines. Second-time offenders could be charged with ten days to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines, with a mandatory minimum sentence of at least ten days. Third-time offenders have a mandatory minimum jail sentence of at least six months and could spend upwards of five years in jail and be forced to pay up to $2,500 in fines and go through felony probation.
License suspensions are also used as punishment for DUI charges. In Virginia, first-time offenders may have their license suspended for one year, second-time offenders three years, and third-time offenders could have their license suspended for an indefinite amount of time.
In some cases, a DUI lawyer in Chantilly could help negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution, where the accused would admit guilt in exchange for lowering their DUI charge to a reckless driving charge. As part of the bargain, the accused could still face up to six months in jail and pay $1,000 fine, as well as the completion of an alcohol safety program. In other cases, it may be possible to have the charges dismissed by invalidating the prosecution’s evidence.
How a Chantilly DUI Attorney Could Help
Being charged with a DUI is a scary experience. With the potential penalties on your mind, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, and developing a strong defense might be challenging. However, a determined Chantilly DUI lawyer could help you throughout the process and fight for your rights. Get started on your case by scheduling a consultation and calling now.