Culpeper DUI Arrest Process
The following is taken from an interview with a Culpeper County DUI lawyer as they discuss the typical arrest process for a DUI case. If you have been arrested and are facing DUI charges, call today to discuss your case and begin building a defense.
Where Are You Taken After a DUI Arrest in Culpeper County?
When an individual is arrested for DUI in Culpeper County, they will be taken to the Culpeper County jail where they will be taken to have their blood alcohol test performed. At that time, it will be explained to them that there is a 20 minute waiting period during which they cannot vomit or belch or else the waiting period will have to start over.
Once the waiting period is over, they will be brought to the Intoxilyzer machine and asked to give at least two samples of breath. If they’re able to give two samples, then the machine will give a readout of the lower of the two samples and that will be the blood alcohol content, which will be used as evidence of their impairment for the DUI charge.
After the BAC test is completed, the individual will be brought before a magistrate judge, often over a video link, and at that time a police officer will present to the magistrate judge the evidence of DUI. In most cases the magistrate judge will then issue an arrest warrant for a DUI and will make an initial bail determination for the accused. In some cases the individual will be released on his own recognizance, meaning they will not have to post any money to be set free. In other cases the magistrate judge may require that a bond be posted as a condition of being admitted to bail in which case an individual will either have to post cash in that amount or hire a bail bondsman to post security in that amount.
Can You Refuse To Take a BAC Test?
An individual has the right to refuse a preliminary breath test at the side of the road without there being any consequences. An individual also has the right to refuse a BAC test that is offered at the station. However, under Virginia implied consent laws, if a person refuses to take that test they will be charged with a civil offense or refusal. If a person is convicted of refusal, which requires only a showing that there was probable cause for a DUI arrest, not that the person is guilty of the DUI charge, then they will have a one year loss of license.
This can be a very difficult charge to contend with, because whereas in a DUI setting when there is a loss of license a restricted license can be granted, if a person is convicted of a refusal, no restricted license can be granted, meaning that they will simply be without the ability to drive for an entire year.
At What Point Should An Attorney Be Contacted?
An individual should contact an attorney for a DUI case at their first opportunity after being released. For most people this is going to be after they have been in front of the magistrate and they’re released on a recognizance or have posted their bond and then released. Immediately after, an individual should seek out a DUI lawyer to discuss their case particularly while the facts of the case are fresh in their mind.
Can You Get a Lawyer For a Bond Hearing?
If an individual is denied admission to bail or not given a bond after being charged with a DUI, then they can hire a lawyer for the bond hearing only if they wish to do so. In this circumstance there would be a hearing before the General District Court judge where a number of factors would be considered including primarily whether the individual is a flight risk or a danger to themselves or others.
At that time the judge will make a determination of whether the individual will be admitted for bail. If they are admitted to bail, often a bond of some amount will be a condition of that bail. In many cases individuals will hire a DUI lawyer to represent them at the bond hearing as well as at the trial of the DUI case.