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DUI Arrests in Fredericksburg

Typically, if an individual is arrested for a DUI in Fredericksburg, they will be taken to the local jail for booking and processing in front of a magistrate. After the individual is booked, they will typically be held in holding until they reach a level of sobriety. After that, they will be placed in front of a magistrate and the bond decision will be made.

Sometimes, the magistrate takes individuals prior to them reaching 0.00 on the jail preliminary breath test. Other times the magistrate wait until the person has sobered up so that they can properly communicate with the magistrate. It depends on DUI arrest case-by-case basis. If you are facing a DUI arrest in Fredericksburg, you need to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help begin your case.

Refusing a BAC Test

Virginia’s implied consent law means that by virtue of driving on a highway of the Commonwealth, the driver is agreeing to submit to a breath test or blood test if they are arrested for suspicion of DUI. That is the implied consent law in a nutshell.

When the individual is arrested for a DUI in Fredericksburg and taken to the station, they are read the implied consent statement and has the ability to take or refuse the breath test. If the individual is physically unable to perform a breath test after their DUI arrest, there is an injury or the breath test is unavailable as defined by statute, the individual may be offered a blood test. In Virginia, they do not have the ability to elect breath test versus blood test.

Arrests

In the vast majority of DUI arrests in Fredericksburg, the person is arrested, taken to the station, and placed before the breath machine. If the person refuses to take the breath test after being arrested and properly informed of their rights, they will likely be charged with refusal. Refusal is the unreasonable refusal to submit to a blood or breath test under Virginia Code Section 18.2-268.3. If this is the individual’s first DUI arrest, they will be charged with the first offense refusal, which is a civil violation. However, the civil violation of a Fredericksburg DUI arrest has a harsh penalty. The penalty is a 12 months loss of all driving privileges. This is in addition to any punishment that may come to someone convicted of DUI or any other driving offense.

If the individual has been previously charged with DUI or was previously convicted of DUI or refusal, the person will be charged with a second or subsequent refusal offense. The second refusal offense is elevated to a class 1 misdemeanor and also has a hard loss of license and punishment. For a second or subsequent DUI offense, that hard loss is elevated from 12 months to 36 months or three years of hard loss. The DUI punishment and refusal punishment go hand-in-hand and they are both significant punishments of a DUI arrest in Fredericksburg.

Medical Attention After a DUI Arrest

A person may receive medical attention if they have been arrested for a DUI if, in the law enforcement officer’s opinion, they are suffering from an immediate medical need. This may be because a person was in an accident, suffering anxiety or stress, or has other medical concerns, such as diabetic complications, high blood pressure, or alcohol or drug overdose. Officers will do their best to determine whether or not a person needs medical attention based on their training and experience in those areas. If an officer, based on their training and experience, believes that medical treatment is necessary, they may immediately contact the proper authorities, whether it is 911 or EMS, to get the person medical treatment. The officer may also take the person to a local adult detention center or regional jail for medical attention.

Why is it Important for a Lawyer to Know Whether the Defendant Received Medical Attention?

If a person has a medical emergency that has been improperly interpreted as a DUI, and they do not receive medical attention, they should make a note of that and let the attorney know as soon as the person contacts them. It would also be important to follow up with the appropriate medical attention as soon as possible so that the individual can properly document it. An example of this may be someone suffering from a medical condition that is wrongly interpreted as DUI symptoms being taken to the local adult detention center, and released.

A person should follow up with their primary care provider or emergency provider as soon as possible and document the medical conditions they are suffering from. Then the person can then be evaluated to see if they are truly suffering from those conditions. Conditions include diabetes, extreme anxiety, a prescription medication overdose, a drug interaction or complication, or something else that shows that the officer’s assessment of the accused as intentionally intoxicated, was incorrect.

If a person received medical attention over the course of a DUI arrest, the person would want to disclose it to an experienced Fredericksburg DUI attorney right away. That would come up in the context of some of the observations and it may serve to contradict or properly contextualize some of the officer’s observations.

Bond Hearings

If someone is charged with a first-offense DUI, it is common that they will be granted an initial bond by the magistrate. However, there are a variety of circumstances in which the initial bond may be denied or a magistrate may set a very high or unreasonable bond after a Fredericksburg DUI arrest.

If the individual is denied bond by the magistrate or if they feel the bond is too high or the conditions are unreasonable, they may retain an attorney to challenge those bond conditions after the initial DUI arrest or set an initial bond. The bond determination statute, Virginia Code Section 19.2-120, governs what is considered by the court in making a proper bond determination for a DUI arrest.

Contacting a DUI Lawyer

Under Virginia law, an individual who has been arrested for a DUI in Fredericksburg does not have the right to contact an attorney prior to making the decision about whether or not to take a breath or blood test. However, that individual should contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible after they are released from custody after being arrested for a DUI.

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