After a Richmond DUI Arrest
Following a DUI arrest in Richmond, the first step the law enforcement officers will take is to process the individual at the police station. What happens to a person from there will often depend on their blood alcohol level. If the blood alcohol level is anywhere between a .08 to .14 they will typically keep the charged at the station following the arrest. The individual will then get a bond to be released that night once they have sobered up.
If the person arrested has a high blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, and/or if it’s a second or subsequent offense, it is very likely that they will spend the initial evening at the station jail and then be transferred over to the Richmond City Jail to wait for an arraignment or a bond hearing with a judge. If you are denied bond by a magistrate due to your alcohol level, you will go before a judge for an arraignment via a video conference from the jail.
If you have been arrested for a Richmond DUI, contact a Richmond DUI lawyer today for help in building a defense.
Location of the Hearing
Depending on the location of the arrest and where the DUI offense occurred, a person can have their case heard in one of two buildings. If the arrest took place south of the river, it would be heard in the Richmond Manchester Court’s building off Hull Street. If stop took place in the main part of the city, or north of the river, the case will be heard in the John Marshall Courts Building, in one of the two DUI courtrooms.
If a continuance is the first calling of the case, they are likely to be granted. The defendant would have to appear and the make the request in person or have a letter from their attorney requesting the new date. If the case has been continued previously there would need to be an agreement with the Commonwealth Attorney to continue the case. A judge is likely to reject the request, however, an attorney can assist in having a case continued.
Arrest records are available to the public in Richmond. They can typically be accessed via the court’s website. An individual can get information on a case as well as those records at the police station. The actual arrest records in Richmond are kept at the Richmond City Police Station. Any court records will be at the general district court, with some available online via the Virginia Judicial System website.
A public arrest record can have a very detrimental impact on an individual’s employment. A lot of employers will perform background checks to make a determination for employment. In addition to that, a public arrest record can also affect someone personally. There is normally a big embarrassment factor that comes with a public arrest record. Mug shots, however, are typically not available to the public in Richmond. A FOIA request can sometimes be filed with the police department to obtain those if someone wants to search them down, but mug shots typically are not publicly available.
Sealing Records & Expungement
The best option to deal with an arrest record in Richmond is to attempt to try and get the case dismissed. The courts, if the individual is an adult, will not typically seal these records. If an individual can get the case dismissed, they can get the records expunged. This is usually the best way to try and handle arrest records. With record sealing, the record still exists, it is just the court does not make it available to the public. With an expungement, the record is basically destroyed or removed. If someone wants to run a background check on an individual, there would be no indication of any sort of criminal charges whatsoever.
The courts in Richmond typically will not agree to seal records in general district court and circuit court. If the matter is a juvenile court matter, or if a case involves juvenile witnesses, the courts will agree to seal the case. Typically, however, the courts will not agree to seal arrest records.
If an individual is acquitted of a DUI, they would still have an arrest record available to the public. However, the individual could attempt to get the matter expunged.
Importance of an Attorney
In particular having the familiarity with how Richmond handles them and how Richmond punishes DUIs. Having knowledge of how strict they are, knowing procedurally that and what unique penalties a defendant may face in Richmond are important. If there’s an accident involved in the DUI, the judge is going to more likely to impose an active jail sentence. They’re also going to be like a lot less likely to allow a reduction in an aggravated case without strong legal arguments.
Having a Richmond DUI lawyer that is familiar with the individual judges as well as the prosecutors is a crucial advantage to have in the city of Richmond.