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Hopewell DUI Lawyer

Driving under the influence is a serious criminal charge in Hopewell and the state of Virginia. A conviction can lead to an extended jail sentence or loss of driver’s license. In some cases, a DUI conviction can even result in loss of employment. A good Hopewell DUI attorney therefore can work to protect the license, employment, and liberty of any individual who has been charged with a DUI. If you have been charged with a DUI in Hopewell, VA, contact an experienced criminal lawyer for a free consultation and to learn more about your options.

Penalties

A  first time DUI charge is a Class One misdemeanor. This means that the charged individual can be sentenced with to up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Upon conviction, the individual will have to attend VASAP, a 20-hour program that focuses on substance abuse and alcohol treatment. The convicted individual will be monitored by the probation office for the duration of the course. He or she will also have to have an interlock system—a breathalyzer that requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before being able to operate the vehicle—placed in his or her vehicle Finally, even a first time DUI conviction will result in a one year license suspension.

Additionally, there is not a diversion program or probation only option for DUI first offenders in Hopewell. Normally, prosecutors offer the minimum penalty to first offenders, which may not include a jail sentence but will include a suspended sentence, ignition interlock, a suspended license, and VASAP. As a result, it is imperative that those accused contact a Hopewell DUI lawyer as soon as possible so they can begin mitigating the damage as much as possible and build a defense.

DUI Checkpoints

DUI checkpoints are not common in Hopewell, however they are occasionally implemented in certain areas of the city. Checkpoints are normally set up on one-way streets, highway on-ramps, and highway off-ramps. Such locations are selected because they are roads of heavy traffic on which individuals are likely to travel at night. Additionally, such areas do not allow individuals to turn around in order to avoid any checkpoints in place.

Role of an Attorney

Being labeled as a drunk driver carries a negative stigma in the community. Additionally, a DUI conviction can result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license, the reinstatement of which must follow a suspension period and requires the payment of a separate fine.

An experienced DUI attorney in Hopewell can begin by investigating a client’s case to confirm that police complied with all applicable laws and procedures both pre and post arrest. Second, a DUI attorney can challenge any constitutional issues with a DUI-related stop and aggressively pursue any such issues in an effort to generate the best results for a client in court. Finally, if the case is not one that is likely to be dismissed or succeed at trial in court, a Hopewell DUI lawyer can negotiate with the state to get his or her client the best possible outcome. This includes working to protect a client’s license, job, and position in the community.