Mecklenburg DUI Lawyer
While most Mecklenberg drivers know that driving under the influence (DUI) is against the law, many drivers do not fully understand the potential legal penalties they could face for a DUI charge. Mecklenburg drug law allows harsh penalties even for a first offense.
A DUI conviction cannot only result in jail time and high fines but limited employment opportunities as well. If someone is charged with a DUI they should contact a seasoned criminal lawyer immediately. A Mecklenburg DUI Lawyer is prepared to defend and fight to help you avoid conviction.
Many Mecklenburg employers use employee background checks to screen new hires. Employers who find a DUI conviction in a background check may reconsider a job offer. Regardless of an accused driver’s job situation, a criminal record can limit other future opportunities as well.
Virginia state law defines intoxication as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. This means that any driver in Mecklenburg with a BAC of at least 0.08% is considered legally intoxicated and in violation of the law.
State law defines driving under the influence, or DUI, as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Drivers facing a Mecklenburg DUI charges also face serious penalties if convicted. Impaired motorists who drive under the influence of drugs could face similar charges to the DUI charge.
The legal intoxication standard for Mecklenburg DUI’s is lowered for certain classes of drivers. For example, as a Mecklenburg DUI lawyer can explain, commercial drivers could face a DUI charge with a BAC of 0.04%; half that of the normal legal standard. Drivers under the age of 21 could face a DUI charge with a BAC of just 0.02%.
Penalties in Mecklenburg
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Mecklenburg could include jail sentences, fines, a driver’s license suspension, and/or other penalties. For each subsequent offense, the possible fines and jail sentences will continue to increase. Those charged with a subsequent DUI within ten years of their prior DUI offense can also face enhanced penalties, regardless of the number of prior offenses.
- First offense: a $250 fine and license revocation for 1 year
- Second offense: a $500 fine, license revocation for 3 years, and a jail sentence up to 1 year
- Third offense: a $1,000 fine, indefinite license revocation, and a prison sentence between one and five years
To avoid these penalties or mitigate them as much as possible it is important to consult with a Mecklenburg DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Refusing Breath Tests
When Mecklenburg police officers stop a driver they suspect is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they often utilize a breath test to determine the driver BAC level. State law mandates that drivers submit to a breath test, even though the test results can be used against the driver during prosecution. Refusing a DUI breath test is a Class 2 misdemeanor under Virginia Code Section 18.2-268.3, and can compound a DUI charge.
Penalties for conviction of refusing a breath test in Mecklenburg include:
- License suspension for 1 year
- A $500 fine
Regardless of whether a driver was actually impaired, it is important to fight a breath test refusal charge. If someone is facing this charge, Mecklenburg DUI lawyers can review the case with them and help create a defense towards a desirable outcome.