Defending against DUI charges in Virginia

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

If you are convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences you face will depend on several factors including prior convictions (if any), your blood alcohol level, and whether you caused serious injury/death.

Even a first time DUI charge with no aggravating factors can result in serious penalties. Generally, a first DUI offense in Virginia will typically be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which may result in a fine of $250 to $2,500, a minimum license suspension of one year, and a mandatory alcohol education course.

Defending against DUI charges

If you are facing DUI charges, there are several potential ways to defend against these charges. Here are a few of the most common defenses to DUI charges in Virginia:

  • Lack of probable cause: Law enforcement must have probable cause to pull you over and arrest you on DUI charges. This means that the officer must have a reasonable belief based on the totality of the circumstances that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If an officer arrests you without probable cause, the stop itself would be considered illegal, and any evidence gathered during that stop would be inadmissible.
  • Inaccurate breath tests: Breathalyzer test results are notorious for being inaccurate due to improper calibration of the testing device or improper administration of the test.
  • Unreliable field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests are also often unreliable due to improper administration of the tests or the officer’s improper judgment. Additionally, certain medical conditions or disabilities can prevent drivers from being able to successfully perform these tests.

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to write down the details of your traffic stop and arrest and identify any potential witnesses as soon as possible after the incident. These details can help your attorney come up with a strategy to defend you in court.