Roanoke DUI Lawyer for Drunk Driving Charges
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Virginia, we would invite you to call our firm for a free consult to learn about how we can help provide you with a vigorous representation and strategy to seeking the best result possible for your case.
In addition to a free consult, we also offer fixed fee representation for most cases, so you do not need to be concerned about how much your legal fees may be. We accept credit card payments for the convenience of clients.
It does not cost any more to retain our firm at the outset of your case (soon after you are arrested), than to hire us at a later stage. The sooner that we are retained, the sooner that we can begin representing you. We invite you to call our office 24/7 to get started.
DUI and Drunk Driving Representation
Many of those charged with DUI or drunk driving in Roanoke are minors or young adults. They are our children. We understand that sometimes children and young adults do not always make wise choices concerning alcohol.
We believe that a DUI charge should not have to impact a person for the rest of their life, or impact their ability to get a job.
As a Roanoke DUI lawyer and drunk driving attorney, I and my firm fight tenaciously on behalf of all of our clients; especially those who are minors and young adults.
What Are The Punishments for a DUI Charge in Virginia?
Penalties for a DUI Conviction for a Person Under Age 21
In Virginia, those who are under age 21 are subject to penalties including:
- An administrative license suspension. Those convicted of driving with a BAC of at least .02 and less than .08 will receive a suspension for one year from that date of conviction, provided that in the discretion of the court, a restricted license may be issued during such time period.
- A fine of $500 or a requirement to complete 50 hours of community service.
- The person will be eligible to attend an Alcohol Safety Action Program..
If the person has previously been convicted of a DUI, more harsh penalties may apply.
Persons Convicted of DUI Who Are Age 21 or Older
If a person is age 21 or older, the penalties that may be imposed will be dependent upon the BAC level, as well as whether the person has been convicted of DUI in the previous 10 years. Those having multiple convictions within a ten year period are subject to increasing fines, as well as additional penalties (such as the requirement to have an ignition interlock system on their vehicle).
As an example, the penalties for first and fourth time convictions are as follows:
- First-time conviction.
- Incarceration for up to 12 months,
- A fine of between $250 and $2,500.
- Mandatory jail term of five days if the BAC was between .15 and .20, and ten days in jail if the BAC is over .20, and
- Potential requirement to attend an alcohol safety and treatment program
- Fourth-time conviction
- One year in prison,
- A fine of $1,000 to $2,500, and
- Permanent revocation of a driver’s license.
There Are Often Many Defenses to a DUI Charge in Virginia.
- Illegal stops and searches.
- Improper administration of sobriety tests.
- Lack of proper calibration of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) devices.
These are only a partial list of items that may constitute a defense in a Virginia.
In some situations, such as if a stop and search was unconstitutional or if there is reason to exclude a BAC test, a case may be required to be dismissed, regardless of what level of intoxication may have been registered by a BAC test. When a stop is illegal, for instance, it does not matter what transpired thereafter, as law enforcement is simply not allowed to stop vehicles without a justifiable, articulable reason.
As an example, law enforcement cannot stop a vehicle because they believe that the driver “looks suspicious.” Instead, they must have a valid reason, such as if the vehicle was being driven erratically by crossing between lanes, or if the back brake lights were not working.
The police know that they must have a valid reason for making a stop; thus there may be an incentive to “make up” a reason for a stop after-the-fact. We will want to know the real reason for the stop.
If the police believe that a car was being driven erratically, for example, did they turn on the video in their car to record such driving? If they did not activate the video, why did they not do so? If they didn’t activate the video, such failure could be interpreted by a jury that perhaps there was not any erratic driving in the first place.
Obtaining the Information from the Prosecution to Defend You
Because it may be possible to get a case dismissed based upon the facts, our first steps in a Roanoke DUI case will be to understand what happened from our client’s perspective, and then to obtain copies of all evidence that may be in the state’s possession. Based upon such evidence, we may be able to seek an outright dismissal of all charges. In these situations, we typically work directly with the prosecution’s office, advise them of why a case should be dismissed (or why key evidence is inadmissible), and then seek formal dismissal.
Prosecutors have a legal duty to dismiss all criminal charges if the evidence to convict was not properly obtained (such as with an illegal search and seizure), as well as if the admissible evidence is not sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Moreover, prosecutors in general do not like to lose. They also usually don’t want to bring a weak cases to trial, as taking any case to trial requires the use of the state’s limited resources. In these circumstances there are often opportunities to secure a very favorable outcome for a client outside of trial.
Should I Take My DUI Case to Trial?
Our principal attorney, Mark Hurt, has represented clients at all level of Virginia courts, and he has successfully represented clients at trial in numerous cases. He has also represented clients in Federal District Court, before the Federal Court of Appeals, and has even had the extremely rare opportunity to represent clients in two matters before the Supreme Court of the United States.
If you choose to go to trial with your case, you will be represented by a veteran trial attorney who is skilled at presenting a client’s case before a judge and jury. Not only does Mark work tirelessly in representing clients in the pre-trial stages, but he is tenacious in seeking a not guilty verdict if a case goes to trial.
We Invite You to Call Us for a Free Consultation and to Learn How We Can Help
Call the law offices of Mark T. Hurt today or complete our contact form below to get started.
 Virginia Code Section 18.2-266.1