Do you have a pending charge for driving while under the influence? A DUI conviction can have life-altering consequences; having a competent DUI attorney as soon as the charges occur is your greatest chance of preventing a conviction. If you are facing potential DUI charges, read on for more details of what you should find yourself looking for in a DUI attorney who can stand up to the challenge.
What Happens After Your DUI?
When a driver is arrested for a DUI, their license is administratively suspended for 7 days on a first DUI; 60 days on a second DUI. In the absence of any aggravating factors, the amount of alcohol in your blood is the most important element considered in determining how long you will spend in jail for a DUI. If you are convicted of a first offense Virginia DUI with a blood alcohol level of .15 to .20, the law requires the judge to sentence you to a minimum of 5 days in jail. If your blood alcohol concentration was over .20, the law states that you must serve at least 10 days in jail. There is no mandatory jail time if your blood alcohol level was less than .15.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Virginia, you will be required to successfully complete VASAP (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program). Even if the DUI was for prescription medication, this condition is still a requirement with a conviction. Some courts may not mandate VASAP as a condition of probation; however, you must complete VASAP in order to have your license restored by the Virginia DMV. VASAP usually consists of a minimum of a 10 week course, each lasting two hours. VASAP may require that you also complete additional counseling and AA meetings, depending on your record and substance use history.
One of the most common concerns many people have about a pending DUI conviction is whether or not they will go to jail. If your case includes aggravating factors such as an auto accident or having a child in the car, the chances of being sentenced with jail time increases significantly.
In the Courtroom, You Need Someone With A Strong Track Record
In addition to the attorney being experienced, ensure they have a successful track record as well as a good reputation within the court system. An attorney familiar with the court of jurisdiction is more likely to have a favorable working relationship with the prosecutor’s office as well as the court, and will be knowledgeable about the most likely outcome.
A Perfect Ethical Track Record
You want a lawyer with a solid track record in DUI defense, in addition to honesty and professional character. While no attorney has a 100% success rate, you want an attorney with a history for winning challenging cases and earning the respect of his or her peers and clients. It can be difficult to determine whether or not this is true of the attorney you are contemplating on your own; however, you can typically trust the quality of your attorney if he or she is well-regarded in the legal community.
Communication Abilities That Are Exceptional
Ask the attorney what method and frequency of communication you can expect from them if they are to represent you. It is common for many attorneys to delegate particular pretrial tasks and communications to a paralegal. Not only should your attorney be able to present your case clearly to the court, but also with you as a client. There should be a clear understanding of what the options are for your case.
You should also look for an DUI attorney who takes the time to learn about the many types of criminal cases he or she handles. For most lawyers, this entails not only keeping up with the newest advancements in law journals and scholarly publications, but also gaining as much practical experience with the subject as feasible.
It is simple to find an attorney eager to defend you in Virginia, but selecting the best Virginia DUI lawyer for your case might make all the difference in the outcome.
Where To Turn
A reputable attorney will answer your questions completely and honestly and no attorney, no matter how prominent, can ever guarantee an outcome in court. However, an attorney familiar with your particular jurisdiction can provide a good idea of what you can most likely expect and should relay this to you in clear language. A DUI is a severe offense that can have far-reaching consequences for your life; choose the attorney who best meets your specific requirements as soon as possible after the arrest.
Contact the experienced DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge, PLLC. Our team understands what you are going through and will gladly outline the best options for your specific case.