New Kent DUI Lawyer
An individual that is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating any motor vehicle, on a public road or highway, can be charged with DUI. This is considered a serious criminal charge and a conviction can lead to an extensive jail sentence, loss of your driver’s license, large fines, and the loss of employment in certain circumstances. An experienced New Kent DUI lawyer will work to protect your license, your freedom, and your employment.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug or alcohol. A DUI charge is scary because there is zero tolerance for them in most counties, especially in New Kent. A DUI conviction is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, a suspension of someone’s driver’s license, and the conviction will be on their record forever. Furthermore, a DUI conviction carries a negative stigma insinuating that the driver is a risk and irresponsible, this worsens with a second offense.
There is no minimum BAC to be charged with a DUI. The state legal limit is 0.08 or higher to be considered under the influence. However, not reaching that level does not preclude a person from being arrested and charged with a DUI.
Someone does not have to blow 0.08 in the breathalyzer to be charged with a DUI, which most people do not know. 0.08 is the legal limit, so it can establish probable cause to be arrested for a DUI and for the Commonwealth to establish a presumption that that person was intoxicated. If their BAC is over 0.06, it can be insinuated that they were under the influence. If they have any alcohol in their body, it can be used, in a combination with other tests, to show that they were under the influence of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
If the police suspect someone of DUI, they pull them over and they usually follow police procedures. When the case is turned over to the Commonwealth’s prosecutors, they do everything possible to ensure that that person is convicted, if they believe that they were driving or operating the motor vehicle while impaired. Accordingly, DUI cases are generally handled within the state’s established guidelines to ensure that they can be prosecuted with fervor.
A first DUI is a class one misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. The driver is also required to attend the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program known as VASAP, which is a program that focuses on substance abuse, or alcohol treatment. They will be monitored while they are there. The individual will also have an interlock system placed in their vehicle and their license will be suspended for a year. An interlock system is a breathalyzer that requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before and during the operation of the vehicle.
There is not a diversion program or probation only option for DUI first offenders in New Kent. Normally, prosecutors offer the minimum penalty to first offenders because the state has a zero tolerance policy for DUIs. Because the penalties for even first offenses are so harsh, if someone has been charged with driving under the influence in the area, they should get in touch with an aggressive New Kent DUI lawyer as soon as they can.
Stops and Checkpoints
While DUI checkpoints are not common in New Kent, they will be in certain areas of the county. Checkpoints are normally set up on one-way streets, highway on-ramps, and highway off-ramps. The locations are selected because they are the roads with heavy traffic, and where most people travel at night.
New Kent is not a county where there are a lot of DUI checkpoints. DUIs are often found on the major highways or Isles, such as Route-30 or Route-33. The officers performing field sobriety tests and other roadside tests in New Kent are highly trained to know what to look for in a field sobriety test to issue a ticket for preliminary test. At that point, someone needs an attorney that understands field sobriety tests and the process and is able to challenge parts or all of it in court
Benefits of an Attorney
A local New Kent DUI lawyer knows the area, understands the law, and is able to either negotiate or argue their client’s case favorably. First, a DUI lawyer will investigate the case to confirm that the police complied with the law when the driver was stopped and arrested. Second, the DUI attorney will challenge any constitutional issues with the stop, if any exist, and advocate aggressively in an effort to get the best result for the individual in court. Third, if the driver’s case is not one that will likely be dismissed or it is apparent that they are unlikely to be successful in a trial, the attorney will negotiate to get them the best possible outcome, including working to protect their license, their job, and their reputation in the community.