Arlington DUI Lawyer
DUI Lawyer Arlington VA
An Arlington, VA DUI lawyer trusted by the community may be a critical resource and benefit following an arrest and charge of driving under the influence. Even if you are notably under the influence, and told by police that you are “guilty beyond a reasonable guilt”, it can still help to have a DUI lawyer on your side. This is because it is not uncommon for rights violations or investigative errors on part of the police to occur. Furthermore, it is possible that feasible “loopholes” could be identified and used to your advantage. If any of the aforementioned applies to your case, your DUI charges may be reduced or dropped.
The DUI lawyers in Arlington, VA have been providing honest legal advocacy for years. Our extensive knowledge of state legislation and precedents has enabled us to secure favorable outcomes for thousands of clients who were charged with a varying degrees of DUI charges. When you choose our firm, you can feel confident in knowing your case will be handled with care, precision, and due diligence. Guided by a tenacious zeal and aggressive approach to criminal legal representation, your DUI lawyer aims to fight for your rights and your future.
Table Of Contents:
- Why You Should Have a DUI Lawyer
- DUI Charges and Legal Representation
- After a DUI Arrest
- The Arraignment Process
- Driving Under the Influence
- Possible DUI Charge Penalties
- Arlington DUI Law Infographic
- How Penalties Differ for Private and Commercial Motorists
- What to Expect After Getting Charged with a DUI
- Arlington DUI Law FAQs
- Choose a DUI Law Firm Who Is On YOUR SIDE
Why You Should Have a DUI Lawyer
DUIs can have repercussions that not only take immediate effect but also occur long after you were initially charged. We at May Law LLP understand that you may regret your actions, but don’t know how to correctly express this in front of a judge. On the contrary, you may believe you are innocent and would like to fight your charges. Alternatively, a rights violation may have occurred. Regardless of what happened or how you feel, a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA can be there to offer legal guidance and moral support.
Your DUI lawyer can speak on your behalf which decreases the risk of saying something that actually incriminates you versus helping your case. A good lawyer, such as one from May Law LLP, may also know the prosecutor and judge and help to arrange a deal that reduces the penalties of the charges.
DUI Charges and Legal Representation
We have significant experience, training, and knowledge about the legal system, motor vehicle laws, and the judicial system. May Law, LLP has significant resources at our disposal and we use them to vigorously defend our clients. The sooner you call us, the sooner a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA can take charge of your case, ensure that your rights are not violated and that you do not put yourself at risk for incarceration which might otherwise be avoidable. In addition:
- We can also make sure that all necessary paperwork is completed before deadlines.
- We can represent you during all hearings as well as during your trial should a trial be necessary.
- We can communicate on your behalf with the prosecutor, the Court, your insurance company, and others.
After a DUI Arrest
After getting arrested for a DUI, your lawyer will have a firm understanding of the steps you will take in the defense of the charges against you. As a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA, we will base this understanding on the facts and circumstances of your case. The process may proceed along these lines:
- You are arrested for a DUI.
- You will appear before a judge for arraignment. This means that you will be formally charged with the DUI and asked to respond to the charge with either a guilty or not guilty plea. (We will be at your side so you should not have to undergo this process alone as long as you call us immediately after being charged.)
- Your bail amount may be set. We may argue on your behalf that you should be released on bail and that the bail amount should be a reasonable amount of money.
The Arraignment Process
As mentioned, we are happy to explain in detail what to expect during the arraignment and other phases of the legal process. In most instances, you can expect the following to occur:
- You will plead guilty or not guilty to the DUI charge.
- The judge will decide if you should be allowed to leave jail on a bail arrangement. If bail is approved, the amount of bail will be set. Your Arlington DUI lawyer may be able to arrange for your bail release even before the arraignment.
- Your lawyer will advise you as to whether a jury trial may be preferable to you or if you may benefit from forgoing a jury trial.
Driving Under the Influence
When it comes to DUI laws and regulations, every state will have its own. These might also change depending on whether or not a federal occupation or entity is involved. What is always true is that the legal age to drink is 21 years of age, and operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more is illegal.
If you have been stopped by a law enforcement official and faced with accusations of driving under the influence, you may be asked to submit a breathalyzer test. Legally you do not have to oblige; however, denying a test could result in an immediate license suspension followed by various charges. This may be true when your state has implied consent laws in place.
Remaining Silent While Being Arrested for a DUI
Technically, under the US Constitution, you have the right to remain silent, and invoking that right by refusing a breathalyzer should not be used against you. Many states have worked DUI laws so that exceptions to your rights apply. A majority of states allow prosecutors and juries to make inferences about your choice to refuse sobriety tests. This can often be brought up during a trial and Virginia prosecutors may be able to comment on your decision to remain silent.
That being said, choosing whether or not to take a sobriety test is not easy. In general, you won’t be able to ask the officer for a minute to consult a DUI lawyer in Arlington VA locals trust. Furthermore, if you do tell an officer that you won’t submit to a test until you have spoken with a lawyer, this could be considered a refusal of the test.
If you are visibly under the influence, a test might just add to the evidence as you will probably be arrested anyways. In this kind of situation, it might be in your best interest to refuse a test. Do keep in mind that if you refuse a breathalyzer test or sobriety test, you may have to submit a mandatory blood test. This means an officer could take you to the hospital to have your blood drawn. This is often only implemented when you are a repeat offender or you have been involved in an accident.
Possible DUI Charge Penalties
Penalties for a DUI can vary from one state to another and are generally dependent upon your case’s circumstances, and whether or not this is your first DUI. The penalties given by a judge will likely reflect these factors and include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license and/or CDL
- Revocation of your driver’s license and/or CDL
- Court fines
- Jail time
- Community service
- Mandatory SCRAM bracelet
- Criminal record
- Random drug testing
- Insurance increase
The consequences of a DUI often have a ripple effect and can damage your family and professional life. Relationship problems, employment difficulties, loss of a professional license, and emotional distress can ensue. The total amount of financial losses, especially when you don’t ask a lawyer to fight your DUI charges, could greatly exceed the actual costs of legal representation.
Arlington DUI Law Infographic
Different Rules That Apply to Commercial Carriers and Private Motorists Facing Drunk Driving Charges
A motorist driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% generally leaves them at risk of arrest on driving under the influence charges. That legal limit goes down to 0.04% for anyone operating a vehicle with a commercial driver’s license. Any experienced DUI lawyer in Arlington VA, like those at May Law, LLP, will tell you that this isn’t the only instance in which Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and state law dictates a different treatment for commercial carriers versus private motorists.
Pre-Trip Prohibitions Applicable to Commercial Carriers
Commercial carriers are anyone operating a vehicle-for-hire or one on behalf of the government, a civic group or a religious organization. FMCSA regulations prohibit these individuals from consuming alcoholic beverages four hours before driving.
How Penalties Differ for Private and Commercial Motorists
Most first and second DUI charges that private drivers face is misdemeanors, which are punishable with fines and up to a possible 12-month jail sentence upon conviction. Motorists convicted of a first-time DUI charge are subject to a 12-month license suspension, whereas it’s 36 months for two-time offenders. The third and fourth DUI charges are felonies in Virginia. Convicted defendants face a five-year prison term and an indefinite loss of their driver’s license.
Penalties are equally significant for commercial carriers found guilty of DUI in Virginia. A conviction would result in a one-year license suspension and an increase to three years if you were transporting hazardous materials. Public safety officials may permanently suspend your CDL license if you are convicted of a second DUI offense.
Post-Conviction Penalties Applicable to Commercial Carriers
If you were operating a commercial vehicle when your drunk driving arrest occurred, then you can expect the following additional penalties to apply post-DUI conviction:
- Mandatory self-reporting of your conviction to your employer within 30 days of its occurrence
- Not allowed to work for your fleet company for the duration of your license suspension
- Random drug and alcohol testing when there’s suspected intoxication
Any DUI lawyer in Arlington VA will tell you this is not an exhaustive list of penalties CDL license holders may face if convicted on these charges. Additional penalties may apply if there’s a refusal of BAC testing, depending on the degree of intoxication and whether there’s damage to property or injury to human life that occurs during such an incident.
What to Expect After Getting Charged with a DUI
As DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA, we, at May Law, LLP, represent those in the Arlington community who have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI). This is a very serious charge, one that carries serious penalties if convicted. If you were arrested for a DUI, contact an Arlington, VA DUI lawyer immediately as there are time constraints if you wish to preserve your driving privileges.
Without an experienced DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA to represent you, you are at risk of getting convicted of a serious crime that results in significant penalties. You might lose your driving privileges, face huge fines, mandatory community service, mandatory rehabilitation, endure points on your driver’s license (if you don’t permanently lose your license), and jail time. As a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA drivers trust, our firm has represented thousands of motorists by protecting their rights to a fair trial, negotiating plea deals, and even getting their cases dismissed.
Arlington DUI Law FAQs
What Does BAC Mean?
Your BAC is your blood alcohol level. Police use this measurement to calculate the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream when stopping you. BAC tests include breathalyzer tests, blood testing and urine testing. Breathalyzers are often administered when you’re on the road, while blood and urine tests usually need to be administered at the police station.
In most states, a BAC of .10 is over the legal limit and can result in DUI charges. A few states have the limit set at .08 instead. The results of BAC tests are used as evidence in court.
This is one of the details a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA, looks at when preparing your case. Depending on the circumstances and state laws, breathalyzer tests aren’t always admissible in court because they can make mistakes. We also look at the way officers administered the test and whether they had a warrant for blood or urine testing in the first place.
Can You Refuse To Take a BAC Test?
In many states, refusing to submit to tests for blood alcohol levels can be considered a criminal offense. This can carry harsh penalties. If you’re convicted of DUI, there may be additional fines and punishments for refusing to comply with the blood test.
At May Law, we generally advise our clients to cooperate with law enforcement up to a point. You can provide basic information about your name, address, and driver’s license. You can refuse a breathalyzer test, but you should usually submit to a blood test as long as officers have a warrant for it.
That said, you’re not legally required to answer all of the questions police have. You can have a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA, present during the interview.
What Happens If You Drive With a Suspended License?
If you were convicted of DUI in the past and had your license revoked, continuing to drive isn’t a wise decision. The penalties for driving without a license can be far more serious, including prison time and hefty fines. The right way to approach this situation is to speak with a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA.
At May Law, we can help you understand all of your available options. Sometimes, it’s possible to reach an agreement that lets you regain your driver’s license sooner. There are also ways to get a restricted driver’s license, which at least allows you to drive between your home and place of business.
A DUI charge is a serious type of charge that should be addressed immediately, as a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA can explain, like one from May Law, LLP. It can have a profound impact on your record, and can result in severe consequences that can limit your freedom, such as fines and jail time, and can affect your relationships with family and friends.
Why Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?
A lawyer is familiar with DUI laws and knows how to prepare the strongest defense for our clients. Regardless of how severe your charges are, we will determine the best legal strategies so that you can have the outcome that you deserve. The criminal defense should not be taken lightly, and when you are facing charges, you need to act right away. With a lawyer at your side, you are less likely to unintentionally weaken your case by saying or doing the wrong thing. They can advise you on statements you should make to strengthen your defense.
Can’t I Fight a Charge On My Own?
Although you have the choice to decide that you want to fight the charge on your own, this is not recommended. If you have had a prior conviction, are facing a felony, or have no idea what to do for your defense, you should hire a lawyer who has the experience and skills to effectively get you the right results that you need. You need an exceptional and strong defense so that you can avoid the worst outcomes. This requires a strong understanding of the law and defense strategies that will best support you. If you choose to represent yourself instead of hiring a DUI lawyer, you risk losing your case.
What Should I Know About DUI Penalties?
Your DUI charge may increase in severity if you have had prior convictions. A DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. Because of the great amount of hardship and losses that you can face if you don’t present a strong defense against the DUI charge, it is recommended that you consult with a reputable and qualified lawyer for legal assistance.
What Should I Do If I’m Stopped by the Police?
You should be aware of the basic rights you have and how to act if you are ever stopped by law enforcement while driving. You have to be aware of the risks involved if you refuse a test. You can risk hurting your case if you do refuse a test. If you are not sure what to say to an officer to improve your case, it may be best to remain silent. You are not obligated to talk to the police officer and have the right to request a lawyer.
You are entitled to seek out your legal options so that you can receive the strongest legal support. A DUI lawyer like the one at May Law, LLP will give attention to your case so that you have the best legal representation possible. If they are able to deliver a particularly compelling and persuasive defense, they may be able to get the charges dismissed. Talk to a skilled lawyer now if you need legal assistance.
Questions To Ask Your DUI Lawyer in Arlington, VA
If you’ve received DUI charges in Virginia, you want to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. Ideally, you will have the opportunity to interview attorneys during a consultation. Before the meeting, compile a list of questions targeting the lawyer’s background, opinions about your case, and case management. Here are topics of discussion with accompanying questions that might help you choose a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA.
There are definite advantages to hiring attorneys from May Law LLP, who have substantial experience in defending DUI clients. When interviewing potential lawyers for your case, you may want to find out how long they have practiced law and what they consider their specialty areas. Also, ask about their connections to the court you will attend. If this DUI lawyer frequently defends clients in that jurisdiction, they likely have already worked with your prosecutor. Familiarity with judges and prosecutors could be a significant advantage during plea negotiations.
Here are three questions regarding the lawyer’s background you should keep on your list:
- How long have you been working with clients facing DUI charges?
- What percentage of your caseload is devoted to DUI cases?
- Have you worked with the prosecutor assigned to my case?
Assessment of Your Case
Your most pressing topic might be the lawyer’s assessment of your case and his or her opinions about how to defend you. Keep in mind that most lawyers cannot guarantee an outcome for your case, but they can tell you which strategies have worked based on their previous experiences. May Law LLP will ask you a series of questions to help them evaluate your case and its specific positives or negatives.
Ask these questions to find out what a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA recommends for your case:
- What factors are in my favor?
- What aspects of my case may be negative?
- Do you suggest taking a guilty plea?
- Should I go to trial?
Many clients, regardless of the type of case they have, get frustrated by court delays, lack of status updates, and infrequent communication from their attorneys. You can counteract this by asking upfront questions to find out how a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA, operates his or her practice.
Find out how your case will be managed by asking the following:
- Are you representing me, or will someone else be working on my case?
- Will you attend my court hearings? If not, who will be attending?
- How should I contact you?
- How often will I receive status updates? What will the updates include?
Choose a DUI Law Firm Who Is On YOUR SIDE
It is your right to hire a lawyer, and if possible, you should. Our firm can help you to understand our fees and explain what payment options may be available. To consult a DUI lawyer for free, call May Law LLP. All types of sobriety tests do not violate your rights, but they are almost always upheld in a court of law. Realistically the only way to avoid them is to refuse a test or not drink and drive in the first place. If you have been charged with an Arlington VA DUI, it may be in your best interest to not say anything more until you have sought free legal advice from a good DUI lawyer Arlington VA residents recommend.