Abingdon DUI Lawyer for Southwest Virginia.
If you’re facing a DUI charge in Southwest Virginia, we can help. Here’s what you should know and do, as well as how we help clients charged with drunk driving and impaired driving offenses.
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One has been Charged with DUI?
First, do not talk to the police about your case. Immediately inform them that you want to exercise your right to talk with your attorney and that you do not want to talk to them. At that point they have a legal requirement to cease any further conversations about your case, and anything said after that will be inadmissible.
Second, before calling a bail bondsman, please call an attorney. If you can be released without the requirement of any bail, which can result in substantial savings.
Third, do not discuss your case with anyone other than an attorney. In particular, do not discuss your case on social media or text messages. The prosecution will have every right to look at publicly-available social media postings; thus any postings by a person charged with a DUI about what they were doing immediately prior to their arrest can come back to haunt them.
How We Help Those Charged with a DUI
We turn over every stone in an effort to get your DUI charge dismissed or a “not guilty” verdict, or to minimize the penalty if you are convicted. We look for both procedural and substantive flaws in the DUI charge. In doing this, we scrutinize the individual facts of your case. We do not use a cookie-cutter or assembly-line approach.
First, we conduct an in-depth interview of you to make sure we are aware of all the pertinent facts.
Second, we make a written request to the prosecutor for all the evidence that he has for your case. Many defense attorneys omit this critical step in some cases.
Then we conduct a detailed analysis of the legal and factual basis for the DUI charge, looking for fatal flaws.
For instance, there may be a question as to whether a DUI stop was legal. The police cannot merely stop a driver for no reason or a reason that is not legally valid. If a stop was not legally valid, then it may be possible to get all charges dismissed.
In DUI cases the prosecution will focus on blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests to show impairment. These test results are not always accurate. There may be issues concerning how the breathalyzer test was administered, or the machine itself may be faulty. There may also be an issue concerning when the breathalyzer machine was last calibrated.
Field sobriety tests – such as walking in a straight line – may not be fair. Some people have medical issues that will not allow them to perform this test even sober, such as balance or even leg, foot, or other physical issues. Traffic stops are often made at night in poorly lit conditions. Sometimes uneven pavement or pavement with rocks and other debris is present. As a result, field sobriety tests can be unfairly administered, making them more difficult to pass.
It will also be helpful to see any video that was taken during the traffic stop to better understand the facts and circumstances of the case. We will want to know what specific evidence or reasons the police had to administer any sobriety tests in the first place. While the prosecution will focus on evidence that they believe shows impairment, We will want to focus on evidence that casts doubt on the prosecutor’s assertion of that you were impaired.
For instance, were you able to answer questions coherently? Were you able to follow instructions given by the police? These and many other facts can be used to show that a driver was not impaired.
Questioning the Prosecution at Every Step
In the United States, as we all know, we are innocent until proven guilty. Thus even after being charged with an offense, a person is still legally presumed to be innocent.
Prosecutors prefer that those charged with DUI simply plead guilty or do not vigorously contest their charge. This makes their life easy. This is not how our firm represents its clients charged with DUI.
We will vigorously challenge each and every aspect of the prosecution’s theory of guilt. This may include questioning witnesses, reviewing the videotape of a traffic stop and questioning the prosecution’s view of what transpired, questioning the legality of the traffic stop in the first place, objecting to the admission of evidence when possible (such as blood alcohol and other sobriety tests), and introducing evidence that would tend to show that a driver was not impaired. Whenever possible, we will seek to have the DUI charge dismissed.
When prosecutors know that they will be up against tenacious legal counsel in a case, it will require much more work on their part. They know that their efforts to prove guilt will not go unopposed. They may also be concerned about losing at trial, as a trial loss may adversely affect their reputation. Thus, the prosecutor is sometimes willing to reduce or dismiss a DUI charge rather than risk a trial.
Seeking the Best Outcome for Our Clients
If going to trial is the best option, with collectively decades of trial experience, the lawyers of our firm will be well prepared for trial. In many cases, however, the prosecution may be willing to offer a plea to a substantially reduced charge based upon the evidence and a person’s driving record. Under the law in Virginia, the penalties for a DUI are much less for a first-time offender than for a repeat offender, so there are often opportunities for seeking leniency (if a case cannot be dismissed). If a plea agreement is forthcoming and this is the course of action selected by a client, we work hard to get the absolute best outcome for a client that is possible (with the understanding that trial is an option if an acceptable outcome cannot be negotiated).
Call Us To Get Started
We offer fixed fee representation, so you will not need to be concerned about how much the legal fees might be for your case. Further, with fixed fee representation, it does not cost any more to obtain legal representation at the outset of your case. We also accept credit card payments.
We are available 24/7, so please feel free to call us at any time to get started with your representation.