Being pulled over for a DUI can occur even if you do not believe that you were experiencing any symptoms that affected the way you operated a motor vehicle. Similarly, you can be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol content is less than .08 percent. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Virginia, you may wonder if you need any legal representation from a criminal defense attorney.
Do You Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Once you have been charged with a DUI, you will be assigned a court date. DUI convictions can involve severe penalties. The judge may order one or a combination of several applicable punishments, including a fine, jail sentence, probation, and having your license suspended.
In addition to the DUI charge itself, you are also at risk of other moving violations or criminal offenses that resulted from your arrest. A reckless driving charge might be on your list of offenses if you were speeding or operating your vehicle unsafely.
Defending yourself in court may seem to be a logical idea, allowing you to save money that you would otherwise spend on legal representation. However, a criminal defense attorney will advocate on your behalf to reduce your penalties and even have your charges dropped entirely if possible. The value of their expertise is worth the cost.
Why Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney?
While hiring an attorney might seem expensive, their presence in court may save significant money for you in the long term. There are many ways in which an attorney can mitigate the penalties that you may face or even convince the court to completely dismiss your case if enough reasonable doubt has been provided.
Ability To Use Evidence To Avoid Permanent Consequences
Your attorney may focus on how you were stopped; an experienced attorney understands that unlawful traffic stops happen without probable cause all the time. While each case is unique, an attorney is able to evaluate the evidence available and structure your case to give you the best chance of avoiding permanent consequences.
Can Help Reduce Sentences & Possibly Jail Time
An attorney will determine the most appropriate strategy for your trial. DUIs are serious charges that can have a negative impact on your future. While having your case dismissed is not always an option, an attorney can help you receive a reduced sentence, help you keep your license, and even help you avoid jail time.
Advocates For Your Best Interest
The goal of an attorney is not to judge you or get you into trouble for driving under the influence. The role of the criminal defense attorney is to advocate on your behalf to ensure that you secure the best outcome from your unique situation.
A criminal defense attorney will listen carefully to and evaluate the available evidence from you, the officer, and the prosecutor to ensure that the court hears the details in the most favorable terms.
May Find Possible Missteps By Law Enforcement
An attorney can also help identify possible missteps committed by law enforcement, issues with lab results, or other factors that may be favorable to your position. If an officer was not within his or her rights to arrest you, or if you were coerced or the victim of brutality or excessive force, an attorney can also assist you in having your charges dropped or bringing a case against the law enforcement officer. The police are typically protected by a concept known as qualified immunity, and some skill in criminal proceedings is valuable in overcoming this challenge in the courtroom.
Reach Out to Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Your DUI
If you have been charged with a DUI in Virginia, be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the incident. While you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of going to court and believe that hiring an attorney will only cost you more money, having a skilled legal professional by your side can help you avoid severe fines, jail time and even losing your driver’s license.
In addition to the fines that the court may impose, a conviction can lead to higher auto insurance costs, lost wages due to jail or probation sentences. Other requirements such as an alcohol awareness program and the use of alternative modes of transportation in the event of a suspended license can also create a loss of wages.
The criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to discuss your case with you and develop a strategy that achieves the best outcome possible in your case. Reach out to request a consultation.