Steps to Take Following a Hampton Roads DUI Arrest

During the first seven days following a DUI arrest, individuals should avoid driving while their license is suspended. In Virginia, for a first offense, a license is administratively suspended for a period of seven days. Individuals should use that time instead to seek help from a knowledgeable DUI attorney to work with on building a defense.

It takes time for the Commonwealth to get its own prosecution case together, and it will take time for a defense attorney to put together as well. Speak to a diligent defense attorney to learn about the steps to take following a Hampton Roads DUI arrest.

Challenging a Suspension

Individuals are not allowed to drive their care during the seven-day administrative suspension of their license. In such cases, individuals would not be issued a restricted license or have the administrative suspension waived or suspended. One of the first steps to take following a Hampton Roads DUI arrest is challenging a license suspension.

A person may challenge a suspension of their license by petitioning the court, or the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if it is an administrative suspension. If the court ordered the suspension, the person would file a petition with the general district court or the circuit court, asking the judge to modify the terms of suspension. In Hampton Roads, the hearing process for challenging a license suspension involves appearing before a judge or the DMV and presenting evidence as to why their license should not be suspended.

If a person decides not to challenge the suspension of their license, it will go into effect and run for however long the period for which the suspension was ordered.

Obtaining a License in Hampton Roads

A person may obtain a restricted license in Virginia for several reasons. If a person is convicted of a DUI, the offense carries the possibility of a license suspension. During that time or later, individuals may petition the court to give them a restricted license allowing them to drive under certain circumstances. Due to recent changes in the law, individuals are required to have an ignition interlock placed on their car for any driving under the influence charge. Previously that was required only for a second offense or for the first offense with high blood alcohol levels.

Virginia law lists specific instances when a person may drive or when they may be given permission to drive, usually to get to or from work, to or from school, for medical or childcare issues, or for religious services.

What if the License is Suspended?

A person may obtain an official state ID card if their license has been suspended, to use in cases where an ID card is required. The state government’s website lists birth certificates, social security cards, and similar documents that are required to get a card to use as a substitute for a driver’s license.

Formal Review Hearing Process

The formal review hearing process in Hampton Roads is similar to the rest of Virginia in that a judge who makes a final decision at the hearing will set a court date to review the progress of the decision. If the judge does not make the final decision, then they will set a second trial to make that decision. As an example, if they ordered a person to do community service or take substance-abuse classes, the judge may set a hearing date to check on the progress made.

After requesting a formal review hearing, a person should get a lawyer and begin gathering evidence to help persuade the judge that they are doing everything they are required to do to get their driving privileges returned.

If a person loses at one of those hearings, the judge will lay out the consequences, such as a license suspension. Sometimes, depending on the judge’s ruling, they may say a person is free to re-file at a later date. Individuals should seek help from a seasoned attorney to learn about the next steps to take following a Hampton Roads DUI arrest.

How a DUI Attorney Could Help

During those seven days, a DUI attorney can act on behalf of the client first by letting the court know they have been retained. That has the effect of discouraging other attorneys from bothering the client during that time. They also may discuss the case with the prosecutor and the police to determine the scope of the case against the client and whether discovery can be worked out if the case definitely is going to trial.

It is best to speak to a diligent attorney to learn about steps to take following a Hampton Roads DUI arrest. Call today to get started.