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Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

Defending against DUI charges

Virginia has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country. A DUI conviction can result in jail time, hefty fines, license suspension, alcohol treatment programs and other serious consequences. That is why it is so important to do everything you can to defend yourself against these charges. With the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney, you may be able to use one or more of the following defenses to protect yourself.

Senate passes bill legalizing drunk driving on private property

Driving under the influence of alcohol can result in drunk driving charges. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may lose your license, as well as face jail time, probation and fines. However, according to a bill recently passed in the Virginia Senate, you may be legally allowed to drive while intoxicated on your own property.

What happens if I refuse to take a Breathalyzer test?

Many DUI cases rest on the results of the driver's Breathalyzer test. If the Breathalyzer test determines that a driver's blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of .08, the prosecution may have a much easier time proving that the driver is guilty of a DUI. Because of this, many drivers wonder whether they can simply refuse to take the test. The short answer to this is, yes, but there will be serious consequences.

Virginia man charged with DUI after accident fatality

While all DUIs can result in serious legal consequences, a driver facing a DUI after a fatal accident has a lot more on the line. If a driver is convicted of driving under the influence after their involvement in a fatal accident, they may face charges of involuntary manslaughter or vehicular homicide. The penalties may include extended jail time, license revocation, fines and the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle when their license is reinstated. In Virginia, a conviction for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence results in a mandatory prison sentence of three years.

Sobriety checkpoint in Fairfax County could result in DUI charge

Fairfax county patrol are always on the lookout for law-breakers and illegal behavior. However, once in a while, the police makes their intentions known to those in the community. One of those such times where local authorities announce their plans for a sobriety checkpoint in Fairfax County, one of which occurred over the past weekend. A sobriety checkpoint is different from a regular traffic stop and is subject to its own rules and regulations to ensure lawful search and seizure.

Making a strong defense against a DUI charge

While some motorists view a drunk driving offense as a minor criminal charge, Virginia residents should note that the recent changes over the last decade have significantly increased the penalties for those convicted of a drunk driving or reckless driving charge. Because of this, such a charge should not be treated as minor but rather an offense that could drastically impact his or her life personally and professionally.

Challenging a blood alcohol concentration test after a DWI charge

While many might view a drunk driving charge as a minor offense, this is actually considered a major traffic violation that could result in serious penalties if convicted. Thus, motorists in Virginia and elsewhere should take these charges seriously, noted the evidence used against them and ways to assert a defense against the pending charge.

Virginia sees fewer drunk driving fatalities than other states

Most people in Virginia are responsible when it comes to not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They understand that drunk driving is a crime, and therefore avoid doing it. They may ride with a designated driver, hail a taxi or simply stay where they are if possible while they sober up. This may be reflected in new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stating that Virginia ranks among one of the areas of the United States with the fewest drunk driving fatalities.

Virginia police need reasonable suspicion to stop a car for DWI

Under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Terry v. Ohio, a Virginia police officer can generally stop an individual for questioning, or pull a vehicle over, only if the officer has a reasonable suspicion a crime may have been committed. This means that with the notable exception of random DWI/DUI checkpoints, an officer cannot stop a car to check whether the driver is intoxicated unless the officer can articulate a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.

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Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

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10505 Judicial Drive, Suite 203
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

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9300 W. Courthouse Rd., Ste 204
Manassas, VA 20110
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