First Time DUI Charges in Culpeper County
First time DUI charges in Culpeper County are heard in the in General District Court and as a Culpeper DUI lawyer can tell you, prosecutors take first time DUI charges very seriously by seeking significant penalties including suspended jail time, fines, completion of the VASAP program and ignition interlock. One additional wrinkle in Culpeper is that they will also often ask for the SCRAM bracelet to be ordered for some period of time.
For these reasons if you are charged with DUI in Culpeper it is important you consult with an experienced Culpeper first DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense. Call and schedule a free consultation today.
Penalties For a First Time DUI Charge
Penalties for a first time DUI in Culpeper County typically include:
- 30 days of suspended jail time
- A $500 fine with $250 suspended
- Completion of the VASAP program
- A one year loss of license
- Ignition interlock on the vehicle for six months
- And in some cases the SCRAM bracelet
Typically prosecutors in Culpeper County do not offer any kind of diversionary program or first offender program, even for a first time DUI. Accordingly, every DUI in this County must be taken seriously and warrants attention from a first offense DUI attorney in Culpeper.
How Do Courts Treat First Time DUI Charges?
In Culpeper County, courts treat first time DUI charges seriously in every case. There are standard penalties which are imposed in Culpeper County, many of which are required by law and some of which are unique in that jurisdiction.
As far as judges or juries go most misdemeanor DUI charges are only going to be heard by a judge unless they are appealed. It is sometimes the case that when appealed misdemeanor cases or felony cases are heard by a jury there can be more leniency, but since jury not only determines guilt or innocence but also imposes the sentence, it is sometimes true that juries can be even harsher than judges.
Biggest Mistakes To Avoid in a 1st Time DUI Case
Some of the biggest mistakes first time DUI defendants make are answering the police’s questions and cooperating with their tests. In Virginia a person is required to identify themselves to the police and to provide identification if asked. It is also wise to comply with the commands of police, for example if they’re told to get out of the vehicle, even if the command is illegal. Beyond that the Fifth Amendment guarantees that individuals have the right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions or performing tests. In most cases, the questions that are asked and the tests that are given are entirely for the purpose of creating incriminating evidence. There is no benefit whatsoever to “cooperating” with the police as they attempt to get you to incriminate yourself.
Building a Defense For First Time DUI Charges
There are multiple levels at which a Culpeper County DUI lawyer builds a defense. Some of the things that a Culpeper first time DUI lawyer will look for are constitutional issues such as whether the stop is illegal or the arrest is illegal and whether there is sufficient evidence of a DUI, which means that the person has to have been operating a motor vehicle and also have been under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. Evidence of being under the influence can include everything from driving behavior, to field sobriety tests, to blood alcohol tests. There are challenges that can be made at each of these levels and only an experienced Culpeper first DUI lawyer will know how to look for the numerous defenses which can arise in any case.