The process of being arrested and charged with driving under the influence can be quite nerve-wracking. To have the entire experience over and done with, some may think that pleading guilty is the way to go. However, the truth is that DUI charges are taken very seriously in Virginia. This is why, while there may be temptation to just plead guilty, at Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White, P.C., we always suggest first talking with an attorney.
With DUI charges, the first thing to realize is that the consequences can be severe. Even when facing first time DUI charges, a conviction could mean driver's license revocation for up to one year, expensive fines and even jail time. One can also expect their insurance rate to go up after a DUI arrest. Depending, there could also be employment consequences.
The important thing to remember is that a DUI arrest is not the same as a DUI conviction. Rather, in the U.S. people are innocent until proven guilty, which means people have the right to hire an attorney to prepare a defense against criminal accusations.
A criminal defense attorney who has experience handling Virginia DUI cases will know what to look for when preparing a defense. For example, there is the possibility that the arresting officer did not follow proper protocol during an arrest, or mistakenly thought tired or erratic driving was drunk driving. In addition, there are sobriety test standards that an officer must follow. A failure on the officer's part to follow all of these rules and procedures could end up being used to fight back against DUI charges.
To learn more about our defending against a DUI, please visit our drunk driving page.