DUI Lawyer Bristol, VA
DUI Lawyer Bristol VA
Vigorously defending the rights of those charged with drunk driving in Bristol, VA and the surrounding communities.
When an individual is convicted of a DUI charge in Virginia, they can face steep and devastating penalties, such as:
- Exorbitant Fines
- License Revocation
- Loss of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
- Required Alcohol Classes
- Community Service
- Loss of Employment
Statistics show that up to 10% of individuals are wrongfully convicted of DUIs they did not commit. Moreover, a DUI conviction can have severe and long-lasting results, including a requirement to disclose a conviction on many job applications. For those seeking governmental jobs or jobs that require security clearances, a conviction can mean the difference between obtaining a job or being disqualified from consideration.
Don’t Take Your Chances Without Representation from an Experienced Bristol DUI Lawyer!
If you are facing drunk driving charges, turn to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. When your driving privileges, freedom, and rights are on the line, experienced Bristol DUI lawyer Mark Hurt is here to fight for your future.
Attorney Mark Hurt graduated with honors from Duke University School of Law in the top 10% of his class. He has represented clients in numerous state and federal courts, and has the extremely rare distinction of representing clients before our nation’s highest court – The United States Supreme Court.
With more than 25 years of legal experience tenaciously defending clients against criminal charges, Mark works tirelessly in opposing the prosecution’s efforts to convict, and in seeking the best outcome for clients in every case.
If you or a loved one was arrested for DUI, call our office to schedule a free consultation to learn how we may be able to fight for reduced charges and penalties, a complete dismissal, or a not guilty verdict.
We offer affordable fees and accept credit card payments.
What Types of DUI Cases Does The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt Handle?
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, as an experienced Virginia DUI attorney, firm founder Mark Hurt and our team can help with matters involving (but not limited to):
- Breath Test Refusal
- Driver’s License Suspensions or Revocations
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Suspensions or Revocations
- DUI Causing Injury or Death
- First DUI
- Second DUI
- Third DUI
- Felony DUI
- Ignition Interlock Devices
Why Were You Pulled Over?
It’s important to understand that under the US Constitution, police officers are not allowed to randomly pull over motorists for no reason, or for “thinking that the driver might be some sort of criminal.” The police must have a constitutionally-valid reason and suspicion for stopping a driver, such as if they saw the driver running a stop sign or weaving across the centerline of a road.
If you were pulled over based upon an unconstitutional reason, it may be possible to get your case dismissed, as the prosecution may not use evidence gained from an illegal stop. One of the first matters that we will want to find out is the reason that a client was pulled over.
How Strong is the Prosecution’s Evidence?
Prosecutors are bound to dismiss cases if they do not have a good-faith belief that they have admissible evidence that can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Many times the prosecutors will not have a strong case (or a case that meets this legal threshold). When this is the situation, we will also take action in seeking to have a case dismissed.
Further, when the prosecution has a weak case, they may also make an offer for reduced charges. In these situations, we fight for the best outcome for clients, and leave the decision to them as to whether to accept reduced charges or take a case to trial and seek a not guilty verdict.
What Should I Do If I Am Pulled Over for DUI or Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint in Virginia?
If you are pulled over for driving under the influence or stopped at a DUI checkpoint, it is critical to understand your rights. The following are just a few tips to help you stay on the right side of the law:
- Do not over-share. It is critical not to give away more information to police than is necessary. Beyond providing basic identifying and insurance information, you are not required to say anything further. If an officer proceeds to ask questions, you can state that you are invoking your Fourth Amendment right to remain silent.
- Be polite. While it is not necessary to answer every question, it is typically advisable to remain calm and be as polite and courteous as possible. Do not argue with the police – let them say (or assert) whatever they want. This is not the time to argue your case. Being compliant can help your case by showing that you were cooperative.
- You are not required to participate in a search. While police often make it sound like they can automatically search a vehicle, an officer needs consent unless he or she has a warrant, or unless they can see evidence of a crime (such as if illegal drugs are in plain sight).
In Virginia, you are not required to consent to a search of your vehicle – we urge you to not give consent if asked, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Remember – you don’t need to prove your innocence to the police. If you refuse to give consent and the police nonetheless begin searching your vehicle, remain calm and do not interfere. If the search was unlawful, evidence from the search most likely will not be admissible.
- You are not required to participate in a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg stand, walk and turn, and horizontal gaze test, also require an individual’s consent. These tests can be inaccurate and unscientific, as they depend on an officer’s perception. Thus, participation in a field sobriety test may only serve to provide law enforcement officers with evidence to use against a person in court.
It is important to note that if an individual is arrested for a DUI (meaning an officer has probable cause that an individual is driving under the influence), the law requires them to blow into a breathalyzer. Failure to do so could result in license suspension, a fine, and potentially incarceration.
However, in Virginia individuals can refuse what is known as a preliminary breath test (PBT), which is administered by police on the side of a road. There is no penalty for refusing a PBT, and evidence of PBT refusal is not admissible in court. As a result, normally a request by an office to administer a PBT should be refused.
If an individual is pulled over for a DUI and police believe they have probable cause, there may be little that can be done to prevent an arrest. However, it is critical to understand that you do not have to discuss your case with the police without legal representation. We invite you to invoke your right to remain silent, and to call our office and let us defend and speak for you.
Call Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Bristol DUI Defense Attorney Mark Hurt.
When you need tenacious defense, you can rely on The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. Experienced Bristol DUI lawyer Mark Hurt brings over two decades of battle-tested, zealous defense advocacy to every DUI defense case. No matter how overwhelming the evidence against you or your loved one may seem, we may still be able to get charges reduced or dismissed. Call today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help!