Virginia Beach DUI Lawyer

Laws against drinking and driving have gotten increasingly harsh in Virginia in the last few decades, and enforcement of these laws is a priority in Virginia Beach. Increased public awareness and various programs and organizations that are dedicated to eliminating drunk driving accidents and fatalities have ratcheted up much of the pressure on law enforcement. While this has resulted in the number of DUI related deaths going down, it has also resulted in cases in which overly harsh penalties have been levied. If you have been charged with DUI in Virginia Beach, you will need to retain a well-qualified defense attorney who has experience not only with DUI offenses but also the Virginia Beach region. An experienced, local Virginia Beach DUI lawyer increases your chances of avoiding becoming a statistic in the trend toward harsher DUI penalties. He or she can discuss with you some options in potentially mitigating negative ramifications following a DUI charge.

DUI Laws in Virginia Beach

Virginia has established that anyone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more may be found guilty of DUI. However, being merely under the influence of drugs or medications can also lead to DUI charges, regardless of reported BAC level. Actual “driving” is not required for a motorist to cited, and found guilty, of certain DUI-related offenses. Virginia law defines “operation” very broadly and simply sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle can result in DUI charges. A Virginia Beach DUI lawyer can go the aspects of your case and how the law may apply. They will provide advice on how to interact with the police to make sure you don’t self-incriminate yourself.

The severity of the penalty depends on a number of factors, including:

  • BAC at the time of arrest – there are increased penalties for a BAC of over 0.15 percent and over .20 percent
  • Presence of a minor under the age of 17 in the car,
  • If there was any property damage, injury, or loss of life related to the drinking and driving,
  • The number of prior offenses, if any.

Virginia Beach DUI Lawyers Can Help Defend You

Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, sentences can range from fines and a few days in jail to prison time. Some examples of the types of punishment meted out in Virginia include:

DUI Attorney in Virginia Beach VASome of penalties are more common than others, and in certain circumstances there are statutory penalties required by law. For example, under recent changes to the law, even first time offenders are now required to have an interlock device installed in their car, at their own expense, if they request a restricted operator’s license. These costs may be substantial for some, with installation expenses and monthly rental fees. This would be on top of any other fines set forth by the court. Additionally, if this is not your first DUI offense then you may be facing a felony and should consult with a Virginia Beach felony DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Advantages of Having a DUI Defense Attorney

Because of these long-term consequences, you should confer with a well-qualified DUI attorney in Virginia Beach before appearing in court, and certainly before entering a plea in your case. While the potential punishment may not seem particularly high when you are facing your first conviction, it is essential that you understand all the potential ramifications before electing to plead guilty to the charge. Additionally, speaking with a lawyer before you begin your case will allow your Virginia Beach DUI lawyer to provide you information about what the stop process is like.

Virginia Beach DUI Statistics

In Virginia Beach in 2013, there were just over 2,300 DUI arrests out of the 35,000 traffic related arrests that occurred that year. While not all of those arrests ended with a conviction, the rates reveal that DUIs are an all too common occurrence. The arrests range from simple DUI violations, to more complex violations of being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol in combination with a fatal accident or hit-and-run. Some motorists were stopped randomly, and others were cited through DUI checkpoints or as the result of an accident or collision.