Some people in Virginia probably consider drunk driving cases to be “minor” criminal charges. These cases are hardly minor when you consider the potential consequences for even a first-time drunk driving case.
Those consequences can include fines, a license suspension, a period of probation supervision and court-ordered alcohol treatment or education classes, among other potential possibilities. The consequences get more severe upon multiple drunk driving convictions.
So, what can you expect from a drunk driving case?
Many of these types of criminal cases start because a police officer on patrol notices an erratic driver, or a driver who violates a traffic code and then, upon further investigation, appears to perhaps be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
During a traffic stop in which an officer is investigating potential drunk driving, that officer can ask the driver to submit to chemical testing, usually with a Breathalyzer or similar chemical breath test device.
Officers can also ask drivers to participate in field sobriety tests. If the chemical testing or field sobriety tests indicate potential intoxication, the officer can make an arrest.
From there, arrestees are usually transported to the local jail and booked. Within days, if not hours, the arrestee will usually be ordered to appear in court to hear the charges in the case. The arrestee might post bail or be temporarily released.
Afterward, the case will proceed through the court process. Many cases end in plea agreements, while others go all the way to trial. Some are even dismissed.
Get the right information
If you have been arrested on drunk driving charges in Virginia, you need to be sure to get the right information about your unique situation. Every criminal case is different, and your options need to be considered carefully.