Fredericksburg DUI Prosecution
Being arrested for a DUI can be an overwhelming experience and in the aftermath of the arrest, it is normal to be curious about what next steps to take. You may find yourself wondering about the Fredericksburg DUI prosecution process and what kind of defense strategies will be effective. Consult with a competent DUI defense lawyer who can answer these questions and can provide you with a solid defense.
Length of a Fredericksburg DUI Case
From the date of arrest to the date of trial, most cases are typically resolved in 60 to 120 days. As a comparison, when an individual is arrested and charged with murder, they have the constitutional right to a speedy trial. The court must try the person within five months from the date of the indictment or from the end of a preliminary hearing.
The length of time for a case to come to trial is an issue because otherwise, it can keep an individual in jail for years. The courts must try the individual quickly. The Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial. In Virginia, someone who is being detained must be tried within five months or tried within nine months when the person is not in custody.
The clock starts at different times on the other side of the case. The clock can pause if the person asks for a continuance. It is rare that people use a speedy trial as a defense as to why they cannot be found guilty but it still comes up from time to time.
Aggressiveness of Fredericksburg’s DUI Prosecution
Fredericksburg DUI prosecution is often quite vigorous and aggressive because DUIs are viewed as a public safety issue. When someone drives under the influence, they make a conscious decision and put themselves as well as everyone else on the road in danger. DUI fatalities and DUI injury cases are costly and there is a public perception that these cases are increasing. There is more that can be done to halt the dangerous behavior.
Fredericksburg is home to a downtown area with many bars and restaurants as well as a local college, the University of Mary Washington. The perception in Fredericksburg is that there are people who could be committing this offense on a daily basis, so law enforcement treats DUIs aggressively.
What a Prosecutor Must Prove
When working on a Fredericksburg DUI prosecution, the prosecutor must prove every element of the DUI case beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the burden of proof for a Fredericksburg DUI case as with any other criminal cases. In a civil case, the burden of proof is lower; the burden of proof may be clear and convincing evidence or a preponderance of the evidence.
Trends in How DUIs Are Prosecuted
There are trends in DUI cases throughout the Commonwealth. Some of the more prevalent trends in DUI cases in Fredericksburg are the lack of negotiation. Fredericksburg prosecutors seldom, if ever, reduce a DUI charge when someone is originally charged with a DUI. They strongly and vigorously prosecute DUI cases and seek the accident-related court costs.
Virginia has a statute that allows emergency entities like fire and rescue or local EMTs to ask for court costs when they respond to a DUI-related accident case. The rationale is that if not for someone acting irresponsibly and criminally, the emergency agencies would not have to use these valuable resources like going out on a call.
Few counties pursue accident-related court costs but the City of Fredericksburg uses it all the time. In addition to other fines or costs, when someone is involved in a DUI accident in Fredericksburg, they likely have to pay the emergency responders.
Evidence Presented in Fredericksburg DUI Cases
A variety of evidence is offered in Fredericksburg DUI cases depending on the factual circumstances. That might include how the officer encountered the driver, but the general evidence presented in DUI cases in Fredericksburg is pretty consistent throughout all cases. Testimonial evidence of the officer is presented and may also include statements made by the accused. There may also be some scientific or documentary evidence in the form of a certificate of analysis or the breath sheet that says the person was given a breath test with the results of the breath test.
There can be other scientific evidence like calling an expert witness or finding a toxicologist to testify about some type of information. This is more likely in a blood case than a breath case.
There may also be witnesses to the alleged crime. The use of any kind of witness testimony is far more likely in accident cases where the officer did not witness the accident or the driving behavior. A typical DUI case is where the officer observes the driver having trouble maintaining their course on the road and makes a traffic stop and it is less likely for there to be other witnesses in this example.
Value of a DUI Lawyer
In instances of a Fredericksburg DUI Prosecution, a determined lawyer can help you if you wish to pursue a more expedient trial. Contacting a local attorney also ensures that you are in the care of an attorney who is already familiar with Fredericksburg’s DUI policy, how aggressive the prosecution will be, and how to best present your case. If you want to speak with an attorney who can advocate for you, get in contact with a local DUI defense lawyer right away.