Contact a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA if you or someone you care about has been accused of drunk driving in Arlington, Virginia. At May Law, LLP our attorneys can help you navigate this difficult situation. Call and set up a free consultation.
DWI in Virginia is a criminal misdemeanor charge that carries potential punishments including jail, license suspension, fines and probation. A DWI Lawyer Arlington VA will help you assess the evidence in your case, identify potential defenses, negotiate with state prosecutors, as well as organize and present a defense in a trial.
A DWI Lawyer Arlington VA knows that there can immediate issues related to a DWI charge in Virginia: you most likely have been arrested, your vehicle may have been impounded, your driver’s license may have been administratively suspended, and you likely have court appearance called an Arraignment within the next few days. A DWI Lawyer Arlington VA can help you address these initial challenges.
From there your DWI Lawyer Arlington VA will go about identifying issues related to the evidence of your case. This phase of your case may also include a formalized inspection of the prosecution’s evidence called Discovery.
If you have been arrested for DWI, Virginia law compels a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test through a mechanism called Implied Consent. In most cases this is a breath test, but in certain circumstances might be a blood test. Virginia law says that a BAC of 0.08% or more creates an inference that you are impaired by alcohol. An experienced DWI Lawyer Arlington VA has seen these kinds of cases frequently and knows the ins and outs of BAC procedures.
As definitive as a BAC test might seem – and it is a strong piece of evidence for the prosecution – there are many ways that a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA might attack the state’s evidence in a DWI prosecution.
For example, a police traffic stop based upon evidence that does not rise to the level of a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity could be the basis of the suppression (exclusion) of any subsequently collected evidence – including the BAC test. A DWI Lawyer Arlington VA will know how to try to convince a judge to exclude evidence obtained during such a traffic stop if the circumstances are appropriate.
Likewise, a suspect may not be arrested without probable cause to believe that the suspect is impaired. This is where a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA will look to roadside interaction between police and suspect in the form of Field Sobriety Tests. To prevail on this issue would invalidate evidence that flowed from the arrest, including any BAC test.
Other possible defenses might look to forensic or scientific challenges to the BAC result itself. There can be issues related to the administration of the BAC test itself, or even issues related to the subject’s health or physiology that can impact the BAC result. A capable DWI Lawyer Arlington VA understand the science behind the case the prosecutor will need to present and will use that knowledge to try to obtain the best result at trial.
Blood tests can add additional levels of possible arguments for a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA to explore. There can even be prosecutions that don’t include a BAC test – for example, when there was a refusal to submit to the BAC test or physical inability to perform the BAC test.
A diligent DWI Lawyer Arlington VA will bring this preparation to bear in an organized and reasoned trial strategy. In some instances, compromises can be reached with prosecutors before trial. This is where experience in the local court is critical.
The Legal Grounds for DWI Checkpoints
If you’ve been charged for DWI and you’re considering hiring an Arlington DWI lawyer, you might have run into trouble at a DWI checkpoint. Many state police forces set up DWI checkpoints to detect drunk or impaired motor vehicle operators. Checkpoints are often established on holidays or on busy streets where motorists are more likely to be driving under the influence. Officers randomly stop cars and motorcycles at roadblocks and interview drivers for any signs of inebriation.
Checkpoints have come under fire for conflicting with Fourth Amendment rights, but there are legal grounds for these stops. As a DWI lawyer Arlington VA has to offer might tell you, it’s important for drivers to understand when these checkpoints are legal.
A checkpoint is legal if…
1. The National Highway Safety Transportation Board states that a DWI search and seizure is legal if these criteria are satisfied:
2. The checkpoint must be set up by senior authorities, and not at random by field officers.
3. The locations and how long the checkpoints will last should be determined by law enforcement in good judgment.
4. Areas with high numbers of incidents involving alcohol and drugs should be the targets for mounting checkpoints.
5. Checkpoints should be safe and should include sufficient lighting, police vehicles, warning signs, and signals.
6. Anyone stopped at a checkpoint should only be detained for questioning and determining if they are intoxicated.
7. Checkpoints must be made public before they are set up.
However, it’s imperative to know that police officers might still act in an illegal manner at a completely legal checkpoint. In these situations, a DWI lawyer in Arlington VA may be able to get their client’s charges dismissed on the grounds that the arrest was not valid.
A checkpoint is illegal if…
If you were stopped at a checkpoint and any of the conditions were not satisfied, then you may have grounds for a claim of unlawful search and seizure. A few defenses a DWI lawyer Arlington VA can provide might argue include:
1. If you are held longer than necessary to determine sobriety or intoxication, you may be able to claim wrongful detention.
2. If the DWI checkpoint was not made public before being set up, you may claim that you never knew about the operation and because of this, the search and seizure was unconstitutional. For this defense, the court will not accept the argument that you merely didn’t see or hear the announcement.
3. There is a required time frame for a checkpoint that should be detailed in the public notice for the operation. If the checkpoint lasted longer than the posted time, you may be able to use that as a defense.
4. If the checkpoint was set up at an unreasonable location, a DWI lawyer Arlington VA residents trust might argue that the checkpoint was invalid. This argument would state that, because the particular area was at low risk for intoxicated drivers, the checkpoint should have never been placed there at all.
If you believe you were unfairly arrested at a checkpoint and that your constitutional rights were violated, consider contacting a DWI lawyer Arlington VA drivers trust for a consultation. At May Law, LLP, we work with our clients to build strong defenses and do what we can to gather evidence to prove a checkpoint violation.
Contact a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA Drivers Depend On
At May Law, LLP a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA can help with your case. We know exactly what you have at stake: of course, one’s liberty itself is paramount. We will work to reduce or eliminate the potential of a jail sentence whenever possible. When the evidence of a particular case indicates jail is a possibility, we will explore every alternative. In many cases, the preservation of one’s driving privilege is critical. A DWI Lawyer Arlington VA understands the realities of modern life in this region can require a driving privilege to maintain employment, to pursue education, and to care for one’s family.
At May Law, LLP we have been concentrating on DWI cases since our founding more than 20 years ago. If you find yourself in need of consultation with a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA, call and talk to a DWI Lawyer Arlington VA or set up a free consultation at our Arlington offices.
Commonly, DWI charges may also elicit drug possession charges as well…
Strategies for Fighting a Drug Possession Charge
Being arrested for drug possession and then facing a misdemeanor or felony charge is a serious offense that can have long-term repercussions for the accused. As much of a temptation it may be to hide away and act like everything will be okay, taking action without delay can help prevent this charge from negatively impacting a person’s life and future opportunities. The first step in fighting a drug possession charge is to meet with an Arlington, Virginia drug crime lawyer at May Law, LLP for guidance. It is best to obtain legal representation immediately after the arrest, so an attorney can begin planning a strategy in your defense.
Procedural Error During Arrest
When it comes to a drug possession charge, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were aware of and had control over the drug. An Arlington, VA drug crime lawyer can defend you by stating the prosecution has failed to properly prove that these elements applied to your arrest. For instance, possible strategies could be that the officer who arrested you performed an illegal search, so your rights were violated and the drugs confiscated should not be used against you. Sadly, in many instances, there was a procedural error during the arrest, but the accused doesn’t realize this because they don’t understand criminal defense legalities.
Faulty Laboratory Testing
After evaluating your case, an Arlington, VA drug crime lawyer at May Law, LLP may decide to argue that there is not enough proof that the drug found in possession is in fact illegal. The substance taken at the time of the arrest is often submitted to a laboratory for testing. However, it is possible the testing equipment had malfunctioned, the sample was mishandled, or the substance was lost entirely. This type of scenario doesn’t happen too often, but it can and may be a useful defense strategy.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
As stated above, the prosecution must have sufficient evidence to convince the judge that you were in possession of the substance beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps you had been driving loved ones around in your vehicle, and one of them was in possession of an illegal drug. The drug may have fallen out of their pocket or purse without you knowing. Then, an officer pulls you over and sees the substance tucked near the passenger side door or elsewhere in plain view.
An Arlington, VA drug crime lawyer at May Law, LLP can advocate for your innocence in that the drugs belonged to someone else. The key concept here is that the burden of evidence is heavily on the prosecution. So, if they cannot bring forward enough proof to show you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you won’t be convicted of the drug possession charge.
We highly encourage anyone who has been arrested on a drug possession charge, to meet with a drug crime lawyer Arlington VA clients recommend at May Law, LLP as soon as possible. The sooner you reach out, the sooner was can begin building your defense. Call us right away so we can support you, and help protect you from suffering harsh punishments.