6 Things to Understand About DUI Cases
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 32 people die in DUI car crashes daily. The prevalence of fatalities in these accidents are why law enforcement takes DUI charges so seriously. So if you have been charged with a DUI, it can be an overwhelming experience.
Understanding the basics of a DUI case is necessary to know what steps you need to take next. This article will provide some key points you should remember as you navigate your DUI case.
1. You Need a Professional DUI Lawyer
The most important thing to do when you are charged with a DUI is get legal representation from an experienced DUI lawyer. A professional attorney will provide sound advice throughout the process and protect your rights.
They can also explain the consequences of a DUI conviction and help fight for reduced charges or dismissal of the case. Get a lawyer with a solid track record and experience handling DUI cases in Virginia.
2. Virginia Convictions Can Be Total DUI or Per Se DUI
In Virginia, a DUI conviction can be classified as a total DUI or a DUI per se. A total DUI is when you are obviously impaired due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol.
On the other hand, a per se DUI is when you are found guilty of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit, which is 0.08%, regardless of whether your impairment is obvious.
3. Penalties and Fines Depend on the Severity of Your Case
The severity of your DUI case will determine the penalties and fines you will face. Some common penalties include jail time, license suspension, fines, and community service. The severity of the penalty will depend on the number of prior DUI convictions you have had. It may also depend on whether you committed other crimes while driving under the influence.
In some cases, the court may waive jail time if you agree to an alternative sentence, such as rehab or community service.
4. The Prosecution Will Have the Burden of Proof
In a DUI case, the prosecution has the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. They have to prove that you were under the influence and that your impairment affected your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The prosecution must present evidence of your impairment or intoxication to prove their case.
5. You May Lose Your License for a While
In Virginia, if you are convicted of a DUI, your driver's license will be suspended for some time. The length of the suspension depends on how many prior DUI offenses you have had. It may also depend on whether any other crimes were committed while driving under the influence. First-time offenders typically lose their licenses for 12 months.
6. The DUI May Stay on Your Record Forever
A DUI is a criminal offense in Virginia, and if you are found guilty, the DUI will remain on your record forever. You will have little to no chance of expunging it, and it will show up on background checks for years to come.
Therefore, if you are facing a DUI charge, getting legal representation from an experienced attorney who can help you fight your case and minimize the chance of it going on your record is important.
Facing a DUI charge in Virginia is a serious matter, and taking steps to protect your rights is important. That's why you should contact us at Tri-Cities Law Group and get legal representation from an experienced DUI lawyer. We can represent and defend you in court, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the process.