Arlington DUI Lawyer

Arlington’s laws concerning DUI are among the harshest anywhere in the country. A conviction for even the basic level of DUI will create a criminal record, will result in a license suspension, and may even result in a jail sentence.

Subsequent offenses, or incidents involving extreme intoxication carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence. Making matters worse, the Commonwealth offers no diversion program for first-time offenders. It is easy to see why offering a powerful defense when facing allegations of DUI is extremely important.

An Arlington DUI lawyer may be able to help you if police charge you with a DUI offense. Whether these allegations involve a first offense, a subsequent allegation, or imply extreme intoxication, an attorney may be able to help. They can work with you to examine the facts that led to your arrest, to evaluate the legality of any police work, and to develop a defense designed to protect your rights.

DUI Laws in Arlington

As a county in Virginia, DUI arrests in Arlington must follow Commonwealth laws. This is unfortunate for many defendants. The Commonwealth’s laws concerning DUI are among the most severe in the country. According to VA Code §18.2-270, police and prosecutors can press DUI charges under a variety of circumstances.

The most well known is the blood/alcohol content rule. Under the statute, it is illegal to operate any motor vehicle on a public way while having a blood/alcohol level of .08 percent or above. However, the DUI statute is far more expansive. Police may also make an arrest upon probable cause of:

  • Simply being under the influence of alcohol
  • Being under the influence of any drug or medication
  • Being under the influence of a combination of drug and alcohol
  • Blood/drug concentrations as provided by statute

As a result, police can make an arrest and prosecutors can base a case on nothing more than an officer’s observations. Alternatively, many cases rely upon scientific evidence of blood or breath measurements to prove their allegations. An Arlington DUI lawyer could help to build a defense that fits a defendant’s case regardless of how the officer justified an arrest.

Fighting Back Against DUI Charges

The penalties for a first offense DUI are harsh. The Commonwealth offers no diversion program like in other jurisdictions and any admission or finding of guilt is a misdemeanor-level offense. The statute says that a conviction will result in a fine of at least $250, the loss of license for one year, and may result in a jail sentence of up to one year. Subsequent convictions, or cases of extreme intoxication carry mandatory minimum jail sentences.

An Arlington DUI lawyer could help individuals to avoid this fate. An attorney could work to dispute the scientific reliability of any blood or breath tests performed by police officers. They could also aim to question the validity of any field sobriety tests that a defendant may have completed.

Finally, an attorney could file evidentiary motions that aim to omit evidence of intoxication because the officer did not have the right to perform a traffic stop to begin with. Police officers need reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop. In other words, officers cannot make a stop based solely upon a hunch.

Unless an officer cites swerving, a lack of headlights at night, or some other violation of the rules of the road, their stop may have violated a defendant’s rights. An Arlington DUI lawyer could help to form a defense that fits the facts of any DUI allegation.

Let an Arlington DUI Attorney Assist You

Allegations of DUI in Arlington can be frightening and intimidating. The laws that prohibit this behavior are harsh and prosecutors have many means to pursue a conviction. It is imperative that you gain an understanding of the law and work to create a powerful defense to protect your future.

An Arlington DUI lawyer could provide this essential help. They can work to examine the facts of the case to determine why the officer felt justified in making an arrest. They could then interface this with the relevant laws to identify weaknesses around which to build a defense. The penalties for a conviction are heavy and could affect both your freedom and ability to drive. Let an Arlington DUI lawyer fight for you today.