Fairfax County DUI Attorney
If you are stopped and arrested for DUI in Fairfax County, it is of the utmost importance to consult with an experienced attorney. With years of experience defending clients in the Northern Virginia region, a Fairfax DUI lawyer can use the law to your advantage, helping you fight for a favorable legal result. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, an attorney in Fairfax County may help you get your DUI charges reduced or dropped. Although there are no guaranteed results in any legal matter, speaking with a Fairfax defense attorney immediately following your DUI charges is a step in the right direction.
DUI / DWI Charges in Fairfax
There are standards regarding the evidence that must be present in order for a prosecutor in Vienna, Herndon, Centreville, Springfield, Chantilly, Reston, or anywhere else in Fairfax County to successfully convict a person of a DUI. Even when the case seems open-and-shut, there are a number of effective defenses open to someone with knowledge of Virginia DUI laws.
In the Commonwealth, a police officer must have a good reason for pulling a person over. Such a reason could include any of the following:
- Traffic violations
- Straying into other lanes
- Abrupt turns
- Riding the yellow line
Your Fairfax DUI lawyer will ask you for a detailed account of the events leading up to your arrest, which allow him or her to determine if indeed the officer had a good reason to initiate the traffic stop that led to your DUI charges.
Fairfax DUI Traffic Stops
Once a person has been pulled over, however, the officer must still have some type of reason for suspecting the person is driving under the influence. Reasonable suspicion can be based upon a number of factors, including slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and the presence of alcohol in the vehicle. If an officer believes a person to be under the influence, he or she may then order the driver to perform standardized field sobriety tests. If at any time the officer fails to correctly carry out the tests, this may mean that the resulting evidence against the driver could be disregarded.
After a person is arrested and charged with drunk driving, he or she will then be taken to a local jail, detention center, or police station. It is here that an actual alcohol test will be given. Most places perform the test using an Intox EC/IR II machine. If the suspected offender refuses to take the test, there can be an additional charge of refusal. Such a charge can result in the suspension of an individual’s license, even if they are ultimately found not guilty of the DUI charge.
DUI Penalties in Fairfax County
Being convicted of a DUI in Virginia can lead to significant consequences. Although outcomes vary from case to case, the punishments prescribed by the Code of Virginia are as follows:
First Offense: a potential sentence, ranging from probation only to 12 months in custody, minimum $250 fine, loss of license for one year. If the blood alcohol content (BAC) is between 0.15 to 0.19, the offender faces a mandatory 5 days in jail. If the BAC is over 0.20, the offender faces a mandatory 10 days in jail.
Second Offense: The penalty depends on how long after the original offense that the second DUI is obtained. The closer to the original offense, the more severe the penalty. Under Virginia law, a second offense will require spending anywhere from 10 days to 12 months in jail as well as having to pay a minimum $500 fine. Someone convicted of a second offense also faces a potential 3 year loss of license.
Third and Fourth Offense: If an offender is convicted of a third DUI within a time period of 10 years, this is a class 6 felony, meaning a fine of at least $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 90 days. In addition, the offender will lose his or her license indefinitely. When an offender is convicted of a fourth DUI, he or she may face a mandatory minimum one year in jail and a fine of at least $1,000.
Fairfax DUI Lawyers Can Help
Because a DUI conviction in Fairfax County has the potential for extremely harsh penalties, it is always in your best interest to speak to an experienced DUI attorney. By working with prosecutors, a Fairfax DUI lawyer can work to get charges reduced or – if there is a lack of admissible evidence – dropped altogether. Contact our aggressive Virginia DUI attorneys today so that they may begin evaluating your case and can provide you with a detailed explanation of what options are available for your defense.