What to Expect From a DUI Case in Loudoun County Court
As with many other places in Virginia, charges of driving under the influence in Loudoun County are taken very seriously and therefore carry serious consequences for convictions such as fines, jail time, and license suspensions. With this in mind, if you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI here’s what you can expect in Loudoun County court.
To learn more specifically what to expect regarding your case or to seek legal representation, call today and schedule a consultation with a Loudoun County DUI lawyer.
Are Loudoun County DUI Cases Prosecuted Vigorously?
The Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys that prosecute Loudoun County DUI cases do so very vigorously. There’s a lot of pressure on them to get DUI convictions when DUI arrests are made. The public at-large views DUI-related cases as safety matters. Any DUI driver who is perceived to have gotten off without substantial punishment is something the public is nervous about. The head Commonwealth Attorney is an elected official, he is subject to the whims of the electorate. He must enforce the laws as he deems fit; therefore Loudoun County DUI cases are prosecuted very aggressively and very vigorously.
What Does a Prosecutor Need to Prove in a Loudoun County DUI Case?
Very simply, a Loudoun County prosecutor must prove all the elements of the offense in Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 beyond a reasonable doubt. This doesn’t mean beyond any doubt or any exclusion of unusual theories, this means beyond a reasonable doubt. Typically, this involves proving that you were the operator of the vehicle, that you operated the vehicle in a manner consistent with intoxication or impairment, and that, after encountering law enforcement, you were shown to be voluntarily intoxicated or impaired either through a battery of tests and/or scientific evidence such as a breath test or blood test.
What Evidence is Typically Presented in Loudoun County DUI Cases?
There are many types of evidence typically presented in Loudoun County DUI cases. The most common are the officer’s testimony, videos of the driving behavior, and/or the field sobriety test and the breath test information through what is called the Certificate of Analysis. The Certificate of Analysis is the single most important piece of DUI-related evidence that can be presented against you. Your attorney will work very hard to try to exclude the Certificate of Analysis. In addition, if your DUI case involves a blood test there may be expert witnesses called to testify regarding this blood information.
How is Sentencing Handled in Loudoun County DUI Cases?
If you’re found guilty in the General District Court of Loudoun County for a DUI offense, you will typically be sentenced immediately after the conclusion of the guilt phase of the trial. This is not unique to Loudoun County, this happens in nearly all general district courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Where are DUI Cases Heard in Loudoun County?
The court of original jurisdiction for most DUI cases in Loudoun County is the Loudoun County General District Court. The Loudoun County General District Court is located at 18 East Market Street in the town of Leesburg. It’s approximately one block from my office.
Where are Administrative Suspension or License Hearings Heard in Loudoun County?
If your license is suspended and you request an administrative hearing to challenge the probable cause of your suspension, that suspension hearing is also heard at the Loudoun County General District Court located at 18 East Market Street in the town of Leesburg, Virginia.
For an administrative license suspension hearing, you need to file appropriate paperwork or have your counsel do so. The court clerk will give you a date of a docket, then a time is set for a hearing on the matter.