Harrisonburg traffic lawyer David L. Parker, P.C. can help defend your rights against DUI charges. Having a strong advocate at your side helps you understand the possible consequences of DUI conviction and the best way to deal with such charges.
When arrested for a DUI, an automatic and immediate seven-day drivers license suspension goes into effect. Anyone driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) higher than .08 is subject to Virginia DUI laws.
A police officer with probable cause to suspect drunk driving may detain you and require you to take field sobriety tests and a breath or blood test for alcohol content. If you have a previous DUI conviction within the past ten years and refuse the BAC test, the consequences are dire.
You can lose your drivers license for three years and may face a six-month jail sentence if convicted a second time. A one-year jail sentence is possible if convicted of a third offense. An auto accident attorney in Harrisburg can best advise you about whether to take or refuse a BAC test. But this decision must be made immediately after you are stopped.
Three stages of DUI There are three types of DUI charges in Virginia, based on the offense:
First offense—the first time DUI arrest—Class one misdemeanor
- Maximum criminal penalties: $2500 fines and one year in jail
- Administrative penalties:
- Mandatory Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)
- Driver’s license revocation/suspension for one year
- Penalties for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tests registering .15 to .20 percent require five days mandatory jail time and ignition interlock device (IID) when license privileges are restored
- For BAC tests registering .21 or higher, ten days mandatory jail and IID are required
- Minimum jail sentence within five years of a previous conviction:
- One month for BAC .08 to .14 percent
- One month plus additional 10 days for BAC .15 to 2.0 percent
- One month plus additional 20 days for BAC of 2.1 and higher
- Administrative penalties include mandatory ASAP attendance and drivers license suspension for three years, plus IID when license is restored
Third offense—Class 6 felony
- Minimum of three months in jail if convicted within five to ten years of a prior offense
- Minimum of six months in jail if convicted within ten years of a prior offense.
- IID when license is restored
In addition, those convicted of DUI may receive much higher insurance premiums, fines, and surcharges.
Is it possible to get out of a DUI? Similar to fighting a speeding ticket in Harrisonburg, the same conditions can apply to DUI charges. Blood alcohol content (BAC) testing must follow strict guidelines. Experienced lawyers can challenge BAC testing and sobriety tests when appropriate, along with the entire arrest process.
Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Harrisonburg David L. Parker provides effective legal assistance to clients who need Harrisonburg speeding ticket defense.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the court system deals with traffic violations such as speeding tickets by putting the following procedures into effect:
- Posting the conviction to your driving record
- Assigning demerit points according to the severity of the offense
- Issuing an order of license suspension, if applicable
- Issuing an order requiring successful completion of a driver improvement clinic, if applicable
- Notifying your insurance company upon request
Demerit points reflect risk for auto accidents based on traffic violations. Because insurance companies run their business based on risk management, they take great interest in reviewing demerit points. An insurance company assumes responsibility for the risk of a loss in exchange for a premium. The greater the risk is, the more expensive the insurance premium.
While auto coverage policies vary and some insurance companies charge higher rates than others, you can safely assume that your insurance rates are going up if you get a traffic ticket in Harrisonburg, especially a speeding ticket. Speeding is a leading cause of car accidents.
In addition, demerit points stay on your driving record:
- A three point demerit—three years
- A four point demerit—five years
- An six point demerit—11 years
A serious conviction may stay on your driving record permanently. Over the years, increased premium prices cost thousands of extra dollars.
How can I beat a ticket? Beating a speeding ticket in Harrisonburg may be possible with effective legal assistance. An experienced traffic tickets attorney knows:
- Legal technicalities that can lead to dismissal if the rule of law is not properly followed during the arrest process
- Which courts and judges are more open to negotiation
- Which police officers do not usually show up for a trial or hearing
- What types of traffic violations are reduced most often
In certain cases, judges and prosecutors are open to working with lawyers. Plea bargaining for lower offense is often in the best interests of the court, saving taxpayers time and costs.