Fairfax DUI Lawyer
Contrary to popular belief, a DUI charge can be fought and won. By working with a Fairfax DUI lawyer, you can give yourself the best chance at clearing your name of the drunk driving charges against you.
While many people don’t take drunk driving charges seriously, the truth is that being convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can have disastrous consequences for your future. Other people know this, but don’t think that a DUI can be challenged in court and beaten.
The truth is that if you’ve been charged with a DUI, there’s a very good chance that the right defense could see your charge dismissed. Even if dismissal isn’t an option, it might still be possible to get the charge reduced or the sentence made more lenient.
This is difficult for the average person to do on his or her own, however. If you find yourself in this situation, a Fairfax DUI lawyer from Priale & Racine, PLLC could be the key to protecting your future. We can examine the evidence and help you build the strongest defense possible.
A Drunk Driving Conviction Puts Everything at Risk
DUI charges often get shrugged off because your first one or two offenses are misdemeanors. A misdemeanor conviction will still result in a criminal record, however, and the fine that you’ll receive is no joke. Even more significantly, the next drunk driving offense might be one that can’t be beaten, which makes it all the more important to fight every offense like it’s the most serious level.
You should also be aware that you can be charged with other crimes at the time of your DUI arrest, all of which will compound the penalties you face. For example, if your DUI was related to drugs, you might also be charged with possession, or if you were involved in an accident that resulted in death or injury, these are additional charges you could receive.
Your Fairfax DUI lawyer will help you understand the charges against you and what penalties the prosecution is likely to pursue. Listed below are Virginia’s DUI penalties in their simplest form:
- First offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in a minimum $250 fine, up to one year in jail, a one-year license suspension, and a minimum six-month installation of an ignition interlock device.
- Second offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in a minimum $500 fine, up to one year in jail, a three-year license suspension, and a minimum six month installation of an ignition interlock device.
- Third offense is a Class 6 felony and can result in an indefinite license suspension, a minimum $1,000 fine, and between one and five years in prison or up to twelve months in jail.
- Fourth offense is a Class 6 felony and can result in a minimum one-year jail sentence with the potential for up to five years in prison, up to a $2,500 fine, and an indefinite license suspension.
Additional Legal DUI Punishments
There are a number of additional factors that can compound these punishments. Being convicted of consecutive offenses in a short period of time and having an exceptionally high blood alcohol content (BAC) level can both result in a jail sentence, for example. Having children in the car can also lead to additional jail time and fines alike.
Finally, you might also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This device will force you to blow into it for a breath test before your vehicle will start, which can result in extreme public embarrassment.
The penalties associated with drunk driving are many, varied, and life-changing. You don’t want to endure them if you don’t have to, so let a Fairfax DUI lawyer from our firm help you find a way to beat your charges.
The Lasting Impact of a DUI Conviction
A conviction for DUI can result in even more negative consequences than what the court mandates. In addition to having a criminal record, you’ll also face a number of repercussions that will affect your private and professional lives:
- Higher auto insurance rates
- Social stigma of being a drunk driver
- Difficulty with employment, housing, and loan applications that inquire about criminal history
- Loss of employment, especially if you drive for a living
Some of these consequences are things that don’t fade with time, which is just one more reason that you need to take advantage of every legal option available to avoid a conviction. Your Fairfax DUI lawyer will be your greatest asset when it comes time to examine the evidence and build your defense.
Defending Against a Drunk Driving Charge
No sobriety test is 100 percent foolproof. It’s important to keep this in mind, because the burden of proof rests with the prosecution; they have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were drunk at the time of your traffic stop or accident.
By working with a Fairfax DUI lawyer from our office, you’ll receive the benefit of someone who has experience finding fault with sobriety tests and how they’re employed. Whether it was a breathalyzer, a balance and coordination test, or some other method, we’ll know how to find the flaw in the technique used.
Maintenance records or the environment you were tested in could introduce reasonable doubt to breathalyzer test results, for example. Difficult, uneven terrain might contribute to a failed walking test. Additionally, the officer’s dashboard camera footage might even work to your advantage. If you cooperated with the officer, the jury will see someone who does not appear to be a belligerent drunk, which will work in your favor.
Fairfax DUI FAQ
If you have questions related to your drunk driving arrest and how to challenge your charges, we’ll be happy to provide answers. We’ve addressed a few common concerns in the section below, but if you’d like additional information, please contact our office so that you can speak with a Fairfax DUI lawyer.
Can I refuse to take a breath test in Virginia?
No; Virginia state law makes submitting to a breath test mandatory. If you refuse, you can be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor and lose your license for one year. These penalties can be made harsher if you have prior DUI convictions. Additionally, you can be convicted for a breath test refusal without being convicted for DUI.
How does being under the age of twenty-one affect my DUI charge?
If your BAC was under .08 percent, you could lose your license or permit for one year and have to either pay a $500 fine or perform fifty hours of community service. If your BAC was .08 percent or higher or you were under the influence of drugs, you will face the same penalties as someone twenty-one or older.
What is the BAC limit for commercial drivers?
While .08 percent is the BAC limit for most motorists, commercial drivers are treated differently. As a commercial driver, you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is .04 percent or higher.
Work with a Fairfax DWI Lawyer
A DUI is a serious charge that you don’t want to take chances with. Let Priale & Racine, PLLC help you build the defense that could see your drunk driving charge reduced or dismissed entirely. No matter how minor it might seem, you don’t want a criminal record causing you problems years down the road.
Instead, you could potentially avoid the worst—if not all—of the penalties faced against you by retaining the services of an experienced Fairfax DUI lawyer. Discover your best course of action by scheduling a free and confidential consultation today. To get started, simply complete the online contact form found at the bottom of this page or give us a call at 703-272-3922.