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A bad start to a new year

For those arrested in Loudoun County on New Year’s Eve for DUI, the new year has lurched to a bad start. You face an array of possible penalties, all of which are among the nation’s harshest for drunk driving.

The punishments for a first offense DUI (also referred to as DWI) include up to a year in jail and a suspension of your driver’s license for a year. You also face a fine of up to $2,500, mandated installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device (at your expense), weeks of alcohol treatment and a criminal conviction on your record.

The first step to take after a drunken driving arrest is to speak with an attorney either by phone or in person, sharing the details of the arrest, sobriety tests (including breath or chemical tests), any erratic driving, passengers in the vehicle, where you were and what you were doing before the incident and so on.

In that way, an experienced DUI defense attorney can begin to understand what happened and if there were any police missteps or testing errors in the process. The lawyer will also carefully examine the police report of your arrest, with a knowledge of the law and procedures that can only be gained by years of experience in defending clients.

Some people accused of DUI automatically plead guilty. They can then do nothing but accept whatever sentence the court hands out. Others know that automatic guilty pleas play right into the hands of prosecutors. Instead, these defendants fight to preserve their freedom, rights and driving privileges.

At the Leesburg office of Sevila, Saunders, Huddleson & White, P.C., we have the experience and knowledge to use to your advantage in negotiations with prosecutors or at trial. 

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