Alexandria DUI Enforcement

In a DUI case, the prosecutor needs to prove that the person was both operating the motor vehicle and that they were under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol at the time that they were operating that motor vehicle. In Alexandria, DUI cases are prosecuted vigorously because of the dense population of the area and because of the presence of so many restaurants and bars.  There is a lot of opportunity for people to drive under the influence and therefore this is something that is a focus of both prosecutors as well as law enforcement in that jurisdiction, making it important a DUI defense attorney is contacted as soon as someone is accused.

Enforcement Trends

If there is any trend related to DUI cases in Alexandria, it is that they are being treated more and more seriously. DUIs are always a focus of the prosecutors and police, and there is increasing enforcement and an increasing focus in general on this kind of charge.

A significant cause of the trend toward greater enforcement and focus on DUIs is because they are a type of behavior or charge that frequently leads to a number of undesirable events, such as:

  • Injury
  • The loss of the property
  • In some cases the loss of life

Because of this, prosecutor’s offices, as well as police departments, feel that they have a very important responsibility to the public to enforce these kinds of laws, as well as to prosecute the individuals charged with them very vigorously.

Where Cases Are Heard

Alexandria DUI cases are heard in the Alexandria General District Court. Misdemeanor DUI cases, which include first and second DUI offenses, are going to be heard by judges because they are misdemeanors. Felony DUI cases, which would include any DUI that is the third or subsequent offense, can be heard either by a judge or by a jury. In either case, it is extremely important to have a qualified lawyer with local expertise by your side.

Length

Misdemeanor DUI cases are usually concluded within two to three months after arrest. A felony DUI case can take much longer and may not be complete for up to six months.

Sentencing

In a misdemeanor DUI case, the sentencing is going to take place immediately after conviction. If a person is convicted of the charges levied against them, the judge will then ask both the attorney for the government as well as the attorney for the accused whether they have any evidence to present for sentencing and whether they have any argument for sentencing. Once that evidence and argument have been offered to the court, the judge is going to pass a sentence.

In a felony DUI case, because the charges are more serious and therefore require more deliberation, there will typically be a delay between conviction and sentencing in the case of a bench trial. Another thing to note is that pre-sentencing investigation and sentencing guidelines will be prepared. In the case of a jury trial, however, there will a sentencing hearing which will be held immediately and the jury will determine what the punishment should be.

How An Attorney Can Help

The process of navigating the courts as a defendant in a DUI case can be complex and intimidating. There are multiple steps and nuances to consider along the way, and it can be invaluable to have an attorney by your side. An experienced lawyer will be able to guide and advise you throughout, while building the strongest defense possible.