Roanoke DUI Defense Attorney Representing Drivers Accused in Virginia
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in the state of Virginia. It’s also aggressively prosecuted.
In fact, the legal limit is 0.08% in Virginia, but drivers that appear to be intoxicated can still face DUI charges even if their BAC is below this limit. If you have been charged with DUI, it’s in your best interest to contact a criminal lawyer at the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC right away.
Our criminal law attorneys fight to clear your name, protect your freedom, and offer years of experience. Here are some of the most common questions our drunk driving lawyers have received in the past:
Is DUI A Felony or Misdemeanor in Virginia?
DUI can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. In most cases, DUI is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. However, repeat offenders can face class 6 felony DUI charges for their third conviction. A class 6 felony is the lowest level of felony charges in Virginia, but it still carries severe penalties.
What Are the Penalties For A DUI Conviction?
The penalties for a DUI conviction will vary depending on several factors, including whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. A first offense DUI can lead to fines of up to $250 in addition to the revocation of driving privileges for up to one year. If your BAC was above 0.15 at the time of your arrest, you can also face jail time even if it’s your first offense.
The fines and license revocation period increase for second-time DUI offenders. The judge can also sentence second-time offenders to up to one year behind bars. In addition, second-time offenders can face mandatory jail time if their first offense occurred within the last 10 years.
The penalties are even more serious for third-time offenders, who will face class 6 felony charges. Driving privileges may be indefinitely revoked for these offenders, and they may be ordered to pay up to $1,000 in fines as well.
There are also mandatory jail sentences for offenders with three convictions within a ten-year time period. If the three convictions occurred within a five-year window, the defendant can face a mandatory six-month jail sentence. Furthermore, these repeat offenders may be ordered to forfeit any vehicle that they solely own.
If you are convicted of DUI for the fourth time, you will spend time behind bars for your crime. The law states that fourth-time offenders must spend one year in jail as punishment for DUI. This is in addition to fines, license revocation, and other penalties that come along with a DUI conviction.
Should I Get A Lawyer For A DUI?
It’s important to know when to hire an attorney following a DUI arrest. It’s best to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest so he or she can begin protecting your rights and working towards a resolution.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can represent yourself since it’s your first offense. It’s strongly recommended that you hire an attorney regardless of whether this is your first or fourth DUI charge.
What Does A Top DUI Lawyer Do?
An attorney will stand by your side through every step in the criminal court process to protect your rights. First, your attorney will need to review the details of your arrest to look for potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Then, your attorney will determine the best way to handle your case. Sometimes, this means negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution that includes reduced charges or lighter penalties.
In other cases, an attorney may recommend taking the case to trial and letting a jury decide your fate. During the trial, an attorney will poke holes in the prosecution’s case to show the jury that you are not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your attorney’s main priority is reaching the best possible outcome in your case. If you want to reach the best possible outcome, going to court for DUI without a lawyer is not wise.
How to Choose the Best Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
Many people who are charged with DUI are not sure how to find the right attorney to handle their case. All criminal defense attorneys are not created equally, so it’s important to do your research before hiring a DUI lawyer. Start by asking friends and family members for recommendations.
You also have the option of reaching out to the local bar association for assistance with your search. After compiling a list of names, conduct online research on each attorney. Make sure to read their reviews to see what other clients have to say about their experiences with each attorney.
Narrow down your list to no more than five names. Then, schedule consultations with each attorney before making a decision. Prepare for the consultation, so you don’t forget what questions to ask or what information you need to know.
You will need to find out about the attorney’s experience handling DUI cases, defense strategies, and fees. After meeting with each attorney, you should have the information you need to make the right decision.
How Much Do DUI Lawyers In Virginia Cost?
Clients are often eager to find out exactly how much it will cost to hire an attorney to defend them against DUI charges. Unfortunately, the cost of legal representation can vary greatly on a case-by-case basis.
A number of factors affect the total cost of legal services, including the complexity of the case and whether or not it goes to trial. It’s recommended that you ask your attorney about his or her legal fees in the early stages of your case, so you know what to expect as your case progresses.
Contact Our Award-Winning Roanoke DUI Defense Law Firm Today
Have you been charged with DUI? If so, contact the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC as soon as possible. Let Attorney Seth C. Weston review your case and discuss your legal options during a free initial case evaluation. To schedule a free consultation, call 540-342-5608 or fill out the brief form on our website.