Unique Aspects and Trends of DUI Cases in Loudoun County
The most common trend I’ve noticed as a DUI lawyer in Loudoun County is that first offenses are taken very seriously. This means that if the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office feels that they can prove the facts of the case beyond a reasonable doubt, they take strong efforts to do so.
The person’s name, age, history, and status in the community are not necessarily determining factors the Commonwealth considers in deciding whether or not to amend their DUI charge. They are going to evaluate the particular facts of the case and what sort of legal elements are present when deciding how to prosecute.
This happens partly because the Commonwealth Attorney is an elected official and his assistants have an ethical duty to do so and they are both held accountable by the public.
Loudoun County prosecutors have a responsibility to the community to prosecute DUI offenses and keep impaired drivers off the road to keep the rest of the community safe. Therefore, they evaluate these cases on an individual basis. They also very rarely use discretion for non-legal reasons in breaking down these cases.
What Makes Loudoun County DUI Cases Unique?
In addition to the different prosecutors’ personalities, there are distinct judges’ personalities at play in the way they view DUI cases. The things that stand out to me as “unique” are local rules and procedures.
Loudoun County DUI cases are unique simply because of some of the local customs, local rules, and local evidentiary standards that an experienced Loudoun County DUI attorney can look into during the defense of your case.
Certainly law enforcement officials have their own preferences or nuances to DUI enforcement. This is especially evident in comparing the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police, who have very different sets of standards that they use when evaluating potential DUI cases. Having experienced local counsel that has handled a variety of cases before can assist you and evaluate these kinds of cases.
The differences can also be seen in the use of field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are often judged by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “standardized” test guidelines. The Virginia State Police are much more likely to use the standardized tests.
The local sheriff’s deputies are not necessarily trained on the standardized tests. Knowing what the nuances are for different law enforcement officials, their particular likes and dislikes, and other factors that would affect their potential field sobriety tests is very important.