Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

Fairfax County treats drunk driving charges seriously. This is especially true if there is an accident and a person is injured or there is a fatality as a result. There are always two sides to every story and while an accident with injuries or death is a terrible thing to happen, the person who was driving the vehicle and is now facing DWI charges, and perhaps multiple other offenses, can have his or her life turned upside down. This is why it is wise for a driver who has been charged to understand what to do next.

Recently, a 47-year-old female pedestrian died after she was hit by a 22-year-old male driver. According to the law enforcement investigation, the man hit the woman and then drove up an embankment. The vehicle subsequently went back onto the road, crossed the median and crashed into another car. The alleged drunk driver and his two passengers had minor injuries. The driver of the other car that was hit also had minor injuries. The driver who hit and killed the woman was arrested on drunk driving charges. Other charges are pending after this accident.

Penalties for drunk driving charges in the state of Virginia are growing harsher. A driver who is convicted will face fines, the loss of driving privileges, jail time and other possible penalties. They might have to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. A conviction for DWI can also affect a person's life in other ways when they try to get a job or try to get admitted into a school.

While DWI is serious, that does not mean that there is no chance of being acquitted. It's possible that there is some reasonable explanation for the belief that the driver was under the influence. The police might not have followed the proper procedures when conducting the investigation and therefore tainted the evidence that led to the arrest.

In this case, because a person died, some people might jump to the conclusion that the driver of the vehicle is guilty of DWI. However, the driver has the right to a strong defense to try and clear himself of the charges. To lay the foundation for that defense, the first thing he should do before anything else is to speak to a lawyer experienced in defending clients on multiple offenses related to DWI.

Source: NewsLeader.com, "Pedestrian killed, VA man charged with drunk driving in Springfield accident," Sept. 6, 2015

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Christie A Leary

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