Hanover DUI Lawyer

Being ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in and around Hanover County, Virginia, is a serious matter that could involve a jail sentence and an expensive fine and also endanger your driving privileges. Anyone who is charged with this offense, whether they are on the I-95, Highway 1, on their way home after a social gathering in Richmond, or anywhere else in the county, can retain a seasoned Hanover DUI lawyer as soon as possible to defend themselves from the charges. An experienced defense attorney can assist in guiding you through the legal process and ensuring a strong defense is built.

Hanover County DUI Charges

Drivers can be charged with DUI if any of the following conditions applies:

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration greater than or equal to 0.08
  • The officer believes, and observes indications that, the driver’s ability to drive is impaired by the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • The driver is underage and has alcohol in his or her system.

Once arrested, the suspect’s driver’s license is immediately suspended. In order for it to be returned, even on a provisional basis prior to trial, they must appear before the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request this temporary reinstatement (which is not guaranteed). Chances are that if they can drive for a time, there will be some restrictions to their license until their day in court.

Those convicted of a first offense will be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in their DUI Hanover DUI Attorney vehicle once their driving privileges are restored. It must remain on the vehicle for at least six months. All DUI suspects are administered a blood chemical test to determine whether they are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, and the degree of their impairment. This can occur through a Breathalyzer test, a blood test, or a urine test. Suspects may decline to take any of these tests, but there is a serious penalty for refusal, which is the immediate loss of their driver’s license for a year. This suspension is statutory, which means that the suspect cannot apply for a restricted license for that same year if they are subsequently convicted. This makes it important to contact an experienced Hanover DUI lawyer.

DUI Penalties

A new and “weighted” sentencing schedule for DUI/DWI convictions has been in effect since January 2014. A Hanover DUI lawyer can help protect you from these penalties. A variety of factors determine the penalties upon conviction, including:

  • The presence of minors in the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense
  • The number of prior convictions over the past ten years that can be considered during sentencing
  • The driver’s BAC

DUI offenses in Hanover County are class 1 misdemeanors. This mean they are punishable by:

  • Up to $2,500 in fines
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • A statutory license suspension effective for one year

If the driver has a prior DUI conviction, the penalties may be enhanced, including:

  • A $500-minimum fine
  • A 20 to 40 day mandatory minimum jail sentence
  • Three years of a suspended license

If the driver has two prior DUI convictions, the penalties may be further enhanced, including:

  • A $1,000 minimum fine
  • A mandatory six-month minimum jail sentence
  • Indefinite license suspension

Other Enhanced Penalties for Hanover DUIs

Depending on the level of your BAC, whether a minor was in the car, and the number of previous convictions, mandatory sentences of five days to a year in jail can be imposed for the most serious intoxication offenses. Mandatory minimum fines that could be as much as $1,000 can also be levied upon conviction [Section 18.2-270(2-4)].

Underage drivers convicted of a DUI now also face:

  • A minimum fine of $500
  • A one-year license suspension
  • 50 hours of community service [Section 18.2-266.1].

A fine of up to $250 may also accompany the presence of an open alcoholic beverage container in the vehicle’s passenger area. This is considered a separate class 4 misdemeanor.

Hanover Courts

Local DUI Cases are referred to the General District Court for the 15th Judicial District of Virginia, which is located at 7515 Library Drive in Hanover. Traffic (and DUI) cases are heard on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (except on the fifth Friday of the month) beginning at 8:30 a.m. A Hanover DUI lawyer can give you further advice on attire and court etiquette.