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If you leave the scene of a crash you risk a felony DUI

There are few things worse than that sinking feeling you get when a police officer charges you with committing a crime. In that moment, you know that your life could change forever, especially if you don’t think quickly and obtain legal counsel right away after getting arrested.

But while some people feel compelled to do the right thing and contact a skilled criminal defense attorney after an arrest, some rely on advice given to them by friends, family members or even the Internet community. Most people do not have the deep understanding of the law like an attorney has, which means the advice of these other people might not be as sound as you’d like to believe.

Take for example the advice a lot of people give regarding drunk driving accidents. Some people believe that leaving the scene of a crash is a good idea. After all, if you call the police and they determine that you are intoxicated, you could face a serious DUI charge.

But if you think leaving the scene of an accident is a better idea than facing a DUI charge, think again.

Here in Virginia, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime. If you are later found and police determine that you were intoxicated at the time of the crash, you can face steeper charges and far worse penalties than if you had just stayed at the scene of the crash. If the accident involved injuries or fatalities, you could face a Class 5 felony charge, which includes the possibility of large fine and the chance for a long prison sentence.

So a trusted word of advice to our Leesburg readers: there is no substitute for the good experience and counsel of a practiced drunk driving attorney. You’re future freedoms could depend on you remembering that.

Source: Virginia Decoded, “Code of Virginia § 46.2-894,” Accessed Oct. 21, 2015

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