DUI Attorneys in Bedford, VA
A DUI or traffic violation is more than a minor inconvenience. You could lose your driver’s license and possibly your job or your professional license, not to mention being subjected to fines and possible jail time.
Even a ticket that seems relatively minor at the time can have more serious consequences down the road, as points build up on your license, and subsequent offenses are treated more harshly when there are previous convictions on your record.
Every ticket or arrest should be treated seriously, and the attorneys at Pack Law Group are knowledgeable, experienced legal advocates who have handled countless DUI cases and other matters in central Virginia. We’ll provide the advice and representation you need to get the best outcome in your case.
Virginia DUI Laws
Virginia law is very tough on drunk driving, and harsh DUI penalties may await those who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), even for a first offense. If there’s also been an accident it could be even worse. Beyond fines, fees and jail time, you face the loss of your driver’s license, being forced to install (at your expense) an ignition interlock device on your car, and being ordered into screening for treatment or education, again at your own expense.
Below are the Virginia laws pertaining to DUIs:
DUI Conviction – First Offense
- Mandatory minimum fine of $250
- One-year revocation of your driver’s license
DUI Conviction – Second Offense
- Mandatory minimum fine of $500
- Three-year revocation of your driver’s license
- Possible jail term up to one year
- If second offense is within five years of a prior offense, mandatory minimum 20 days in jail
- If second offense is within ten years of a prior offense, mandatory minimum 10 days in jail
DUI Conviction – Third Offense
- Mandatory minimum fine of $1,000
- Mandatory indefinite revocation of your driver’s license
- Possible prison sentence up to five years (Class 6 felony)
- If third offense within five years of prior offenses, mandatory minimum six months in jail
- If third offense is within ten years of prior offenses, mandatory minimum 90 days in jail
- Forfeiture of vehicle
DUI Conviction – Fourth Offense
- Mandatory minimum one year in jail
The above penalties show the minimum in fines, suspensions and jail time you may be exposed to, but the actual penalties imposed can be much higher. In addition, there are several ways in which the mandatory minimum penalties can be automatically enhanced on conviction, for instance if your BAC was .15% or higher, .20% or higher, or if you were transporting minors in your car at the time of your arrest.
You may already know that if stopped on suspicion of DUI and a breath test shows a breath alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). But you may not know that you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is less than .08%, if the police have other evidence that your ability to drive is impaired. Also, under Virginia’s open container law, you could be charged with DUI if there is an open container of alcohol in the cabin and it appears you have been drinking.
Even if you were arrested with a BAC over .08%, it is important for you to know that you may have defenses available to help you avoid a conviction. First of all, the police must have had cause to stop you and test you in the first place, and their justification for the initial stop can often be challenged. Also, the evidence being used against you may be open to challenge as well. Often times arrests are made based on subjective “field sobriety tests” that don’t return scientifically valid results. Even where scientific equipment such as a breathalyzer is used, if this equipment was not properly maintained and calibrated, it may deliver erroneous results showing you to be over the limit when you were really weren’t.
If the Commonwealth cannot prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, you are entitled to go free. We can help by providing a strong defense at trial or negotiating a favorable disposition when a trial is not in your best interests.
We also service DUI cases in Lynchburg.
How an Attorney Can Help You
Though on the surface the process of handling a DUI crash may seem simple, in reality it consists of a complex set of determinations that require experience and a trained eye. To be sure, a DUI crash victim may see that they are facing current medical bills, and simply assume that a damages award should be just enough to cover that. A legal professional will look much further into the future, however, and arrive at a calculation that not only takes into account the cost of medical rehabilitation, both now and in the future, but any lasting harms, as well. Indeed, it is the attorney’s job to ensure that their client is fully compensated for all that they have suffered, which demands an in-depth investigation and prior experience.
Furthermore, most DUI crash victims are unfamiliar with the variety of legal processes that must be followed in order to pursue a successful case. Take for example, the statute of limitations set forth in Virginia law, which provides that anyone who wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit must do so within two years of the date of their accident. This is not a rule that can be avoided; in reality, missing this deadline by even a day will generally lead to the case being thrown out altogether, subsequently preventing the victim from ever recovering compensation. With a trained lawyer, however, a DUI crash victim never needs to worry about filing deadlines or other administrative rules, and can instead focus on their recovery.
Help is Available for Virginia DUI & Traffic Violations
If you have been arrested for DUI in central Virginia’s Bedford, Lynchburg and Roanoke counties, contact Pack Law Group for help from a team of experienced and dedicated DUI defense attorneys.