Virginia Beach DUI Defense Attorneys
Pursuing Freedom from DUI Charges in Hampton Roads - Call (888) 490-0876
Virginia does not deal lightly with drunk and drugged drivers. As you fight your DUI charges, make sure that you do so with a DUI lawyer from McCormack & McCormack by your side. If you choose to work with us, you will receive aggressive defense from a team who will remain at your side. Contact us at (888) 490-0876.
Understanding the Charges Against You
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs is a danger not only to the driver and their passengers, but to anyone else sharing the roads. That is why the commonwealth of Virginia has very strict and harsh laws regarding the punishment of DUI offenders.
Anyone who is found to be driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher can be arrested for driving under the influence. If you are under 21, however, you can be arrested for a BAC of 0.02% or higher since Virginia is a "zero tolerance" state. A person may also be arrested for DUI even if their BAC is less than .08. Additionally, if narcotics are found in a blood test, you might be arrested for DUI-D (Driving Under the Influence – Drugs).
Penalties for DUI in Virginia
For a first DUI offense, an offender is facing:
- Hefty fines
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Possibility of a 12-month license suspension
The penalties dramatically increase for second or subsequent convictions, depending on the time that has elapsed since your prior conviction, with subsequent offense convictions carrying an increasing range of mandatory minimum time as the number of offenses increases.
Additionally, if your blood-alcohol level is over 0.15 or 0.20, there are separate mandatory jail sentences upon conviction. Once a defendant is charged with a third offense DUI, the charge becomes a felony.
Field Sobriety Tests
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - the officer will move a pen or small object back and forth as they observe the person's eyes .
- Walk-and-turn test - the officer instructs the person to walk in a straight line for a certain amount of steps, turn around and then return back.
- One-leg stand test - the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for until told to put it down.
While the person performs these sobriety tests, the officer is looking for common signs that they are intoxicated. These include swaying/hopping, slurred speech and not following instructions correctly.
DUI Defense Strategies
There are a number of different ways to fight charges of DUI in Virginia. Police misconduct is one of the most common causes for dismissal. Police officers can only pull you over if they have been tipped off by another motorist or witness, if they witness signs of intoxication themselves, or upon observation of any violation of law. After you've been pulled over, they must treat you with respect and take adequate measures to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. If they make a mistake when guiding you through field sobriety tests, or if they fail to calibrate a breathalyzer machine before having you take a breath test, you may have grounds for dismissal of your case.
Call McCormack & McCormack: (888) 490-0876
Speak with a Virginia Beach DUI attorney from McCormack & McCormack right away if you have been charged with drunk driving. Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and will help you present strong evidence of misconduct or a faulty BAC test result. We are also capable of providing DUI defense for military men and women who are facing charges that may damage their future military career. Contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a case evaluation with an attorney who will fight your case tirelessly.
We are proud to represent clients in and around Hampton Roads, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News, Suffolk, Hampton, Williamsburg/James City County, York County and Northamptonand Accomack Countieson the Eastern Shore.