Building a Hampton Roads Second Offense DUI Defense 

If you have been charged with a second offense DUI, it is vital that you get in touch with an experienced legal advocate and start building your case. Building a Hampton Roads second offense DUI defense is difficult to do alone which is why you should consult a seasoned second offense DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for you.

Invalidating the Defendant’s First DUI Charge

When building a Hampton Roads second offense DUI defense, an attorney wants to make sure that the Commonwealth can prove that the defendant was convicted of a first-offense DUI and ensure that they have the records, and ensure that they have all the necessary paperwork needed for that conviction to be admissible. If the conviction occurs in another state, they want to see if that conviction can be used in Virginia to elevate the defendant’s charge to a second offense.

Elements the Prosecution Must Prove

The prosecution has to prove that they had reason to pull the defendant over. They have to prove that they had probable cause to suspect that the defendant was intoxicated and asked the defendant to perform field sobriety tests. On those field sobriety tests, they have to have probable cause to believe that the defendant was driving under the influence. If there is a breath test, they have to show that they did everything correctly for that test to be admissible.

When building a Hampton Roads second offense DUI defense, the attorney will approach it as a standard DUI case in which the Commonwealth must prove many things. The attorney wants to walk through the evidence and go through it with the defendant. They will see if the Commonwealth can meet those burdens. In some instances, there may not be any field sobriety tests to use. In this case, that is a positive because that is one thing that the judge cannot rely on. It may be a situation where there is no breath test, and in this case, the judge has to base it on the officer’s observations.

Evidence in Second Offense DUI Cases

In DUI charges, the judge looks for evidence that will indicate the defendant’s intoxication, and they start from the beginning of the interaction between the suspect and the police officer. The judge looks at why the officer pulled the person over. In some instances, speeding or driving through a stop sign, for instance, does not indicate intoxication. However, weaving in and out of lanes or falling asleep on the road suggests intoxication more so than other driving behaviors.

The officer will testify their observations during their interactions with the suspect. The officer can testify about whether there was a smell of alcohol, whether this person was slurring their speech if they appeared to have bloodshot eyes, or their appearance indicated anything. These can suggest alcohol use and intoxication. The officer will testify to any field sobriety tests that they performed and the judge will listen to how they performed these tests. If the officer performs either a breath test or a blood test, that will be presented to the court as well.

Differences Between Defending First and Second Offense Charges

With a second-offense DUI, attorneys know the judge is less likely to be lenient because this is not the person’s first time in front of the judge so they are not going to give them the benefit of the doubt like they might with a first-offense DUI. An attorney understands this and takes it into account when building a Hampton Roads second offense DUI defense. The only real difference in what the Commonwealth must establish is that they must prove that the individual had a prior DUI either in Virginia or in a state that has a substantially similar DUI statute as Virginia. Otherwise, they treat it like a first-offense DUI. If an individual wants to know more about building a DUI case, they should consult a capable second-offense DUI attorney that could fight for them.