DUI attorney in Roanoke, VA

You must take your DUI charges seriously; being convicted could have a catastrophic impact on nearly every aspect of your life. Working with an experienced Roanoke lawyer at Select Law Partners PLLC may be the best way to dodge a guilty verdict. After reviewing the circumstances of your arrest, your DUI attorney in Roanoke, VA will better understand which defenses are most likely to return a verdict in your favor. Connect with our criminal defense law firm today to request a confidential consultation and put our decades of experience to work for you. roanoke dui attorney

How much does it cost to hire a DUI lawyer in Roanoke?

Do not let your concern about the cost of a DUI lawyer in Roanoke hold you back from getting the right criminal defense law firm on your case. The exact amount you can expect to spend will vary widely on a case-by-case basis. The availability of evidence, whether another party was seriously injured or killed, and the extenuating circumstances of your case will all play a part in how much your attorney will charge for their services. No matter the cost, having a highly qualified DUI attorney at Select Law Partners PLLC working for you could make all the difference in your ability to secure your freedom.

DUI laws in Roanoke

You can face DUI charges when your BAC levels reach the legal limit of .08%, and the prosecuting attorney must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for the jury to return a conviction. Your DUI lawyer in Roanoke, VA will help you understand the Commonwealth’s DUI laws and criminal charges. These charges can apply whether you were actively operating a motor vehicle or law enforcement suspects you were in control of a motor vehicle immediately before the stop. Even without your BAC test results, you could be convicted if the Commonwealth can prove you were under the influence of drugs or impaired in such a way that you were unable to operate a motor vehicle safely.

You have 7 days to protect your license

If this is your first time being accused of a DUI, you will face an immediate seven-day administrative license suspension. However, if this is your second time facing DUI charges, you could expect your driver’s license to be suspended for a minimum of 60 days. The length of your license suspension could dramatically increase if you are convicted of the DUI charges in question.

What are the penalties for DUI in Virginia?

Your attorney in Roanoke will work diligently to determine how to approach your case best. The consequences of a DUI conviction could have a devastating impact on your life both now and well into the future. Not only do you need to worry about criminal penalties, but the collateral consequences could turn your life upside down. Depending on the charges and circumstances, you may face child custody or visitation challenges, be at risk for deportation, lose your firearm rights, and find it difficult or impossible to obtain gainful employment. roanoke dui lawyer

First offense

If this is your first DUI charge, the consequences will not be as severe as those of “habitual offenders”. If the level of intoxication is particularly high on the BAC test, then you may face some mandatory days in jail. Some of the most notable penalties include:
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for up to 12 months
  • Fines of $250 minimum, not to exceed $2,500
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Required Attendance at a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP)
  • Installing an ignition interlock device (IID)

Second offense

Second-time DUI offenders will face more severe consequences. If this is your second DUI within five years of your initial DUI, penalties could include:
  • Fines up to $2,500 with a mandatory minimum of $500
  • At least 20 days mandatory in jail
  • Use of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of 6 months
  • An additional 20 days in jail if your BAC levels exceed .20%
If this is your second DUI conviction within 10 years of your first conviction, but more than five years, fines could reach $2,500, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail, be ineligible for a restricted license until four months after completing your sentence, and have your driver’s license suspended by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for up to three years.

Third or subsequent offense

Habitual DUI offenders with three or more DUI convictions will face more severe penalties. A third DUI is considered a Class lV felony. Being convicted of a third DUI is a Class IV felony, meaning you could spend up to five years in a Virginia state prison and face up to $2,500 in fines. If you become a convicted felon, you will be prohibited from possessing or owning a gun, be unable to hold a public office, and lose your right to vote. There are other countless collateral consequences that can impact what jobs you can hold and even where you live.

Illicit substances

A DUI involving a controlled substance could also carry harsh penalties. If you are convicted of operating or being in control of a motor vehicle or watercraft under the influence of cocaine, prescription medications, marijuana, or any other controlled substance, you could face:
  • A one-year license suspension
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines up to $2,500

Minor in the car

If you are arrested for drunk driving with a child in the vehicle, not only could you face your DUI charges, but you could also be charged with felony child endangerment. If you are found guilty of a DUI with a child in the car, you could expect penalties that include:
  • A mandatory minimum of five days in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • 80 hours of community service
You may also need to deal with the collateral fallout of a DUI child endangerment charge, such as child visitation or custody issues, the ability to obtain security clearance, ineligibility for federal student loans, and probation restrictions as part of your VASAP program.

Possible DUI defenses in Roanoke

Your criminal defense attorney will be prepared to challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence against you to exclude certain types of evidence from the trial, which result in the charges against you being reduced to a less serious offense or dismissed altogether. However, if your case proceeds to a formal trial, certain defenses may be more viable than others.

Illegal stop or search

Law enforcement officials must have reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS) when pulling someone over. As long as police suspect that you were breaking the law in some way, they can make a traffic stop. For example, if you have a tail light out, failed to use a turn signal, or drove through a stop sign, police could stop you, even if you were not weaving in and out of traffic or otherwise driving dangerously. However, if the police did not have RAS to complete a traffic stop, the Commonwealth may have no other choice but to dismiss your DUI charges. Similarly, law enforcement must have probable cause to suspect that there is evidence of criminal activity in your vehicle to conduct a search and seizure. Under the 4th Amendment, you have the right to be protected against unlawful searches and seizures, so if the police did not have probable cause and searched the vehicle anyway, we may be able to get any illegally obtained evidence suppressed at trial. If the Commonwealth relied on this evidence to prosecute you, they may be forced to dismiss your case.

Improper test administration

If police or law enforcement officials did not properly administer BAC tests or breathalyzers, the results may be invalid. These invalid results should not be used as part of the Commonwealth’s case against you, so we will file the necessary pretrial motions to get this evidence excluded.

Improper handling of evidence

If police or lab analysts did not properly handle evidence, the forensic results could be tainted or inconclusive. This type of evidence creates reasonable doubt of your guilt.

Other issues

You could also challenge the DUI charges against you if there was evidence of prosecutorial or police misconduct, or other issues that your attorney may discuss with you.

Why do I need to work with an attorney?

Working with an attorney may be the best way to avoid being found guilty. Although DUI charges are not the most severe crime you can be charged with, a conviction could still have a devastating effect on your life. Your DUI lawyer will be prepared to negotiate with the Commonwealth and defend your case at trial so you can get back to your life without a conviction on your record.

DUI defense process

Every DUI case is different, but the trial process will generally unfold similarly.

1. Arraignment

In arraignment, you are formally charged with the DUI charges in question.

2. Discovery

In discovery, the Commonwealth exchanges evidence with the defense. At this point we will review the evidence the Commonwealth is planning to use against you and prepare to challenge it.

3. Evaluate evidence

We will thoroughly investigate the DUI charges against you. We will carefully evaluate the exculpatory evidence we obtain and be prepared to challenge the evidence the Commonwealth plans to introduce.

4. Negotiate with prosecution

We will attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor and potentially avoid having to bring your case to court. Sometimes prosecutors are willing to reduce DUI charges under certain conditions. Other times they may be willing to agree to restricted drivers licenses for work purposes, even if they want a conviction.

5. If a plea agreement or alternative option is not possible in your case, we will proceed and present your defense at trial.

Charged with drinking and driving? Our DUI attorney in Roanoke, VA can help.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious criminal offense. A conviction’s implications could permanently alter your life’s course and take away your freedoms. Do not leave your future in the hands of an overworked public defender. Hire Roanoke’s leading DUI law firm to negotiate with the prosecutor or present a compelling defense strategy if your case goes to trial. You have the right to defend yourself when accused of a crime. Exercise that right and take steps to protect your reputation and clear your name of the charges against you. Schedule your initial defense strategy session today when you submit our convenient contact form or call our office at (855) 541-4867.