There are some people in Virginia who would tell you to play everything "by the book" during a drunk-driving stop, even telling you to be honest with police about whether or not you've consumed any alcohol beverages. The rationale behind this advice typically stems from the belief that if you've done something wrong, you should be held accountable for your actions.
Imagine that you are a young person who is facing your first drunk driving charge. Though you're not fluent with the law, you do know that a criminal conviction can have a very severe impact on your life. In many cases, it can impact everything from entrance into college, seeking employment or getting access to affordable housing.
Most people worry about getting arrested because they know their understanding of the law is not deep enough to effectively get the criminal charges against them dismissed. Most people know that their best chance at walking away from criminal charges with a clean slate is to hire a skilled defense attorney to handle their case. If you also think this is a good idea, then you're on the right path already.
As you all know, each state in our country is allowed to draft and enforce its own laws. While every state may have the same basic laws, such as charges for drinking and driving, each state is allowed to handle violations of the law how its courts see fit. This means that while laws might be similar, trial outcomes will not always be the same from state to state.
The famous English poet Alexander Pope once proclaimed that "to err is human, to forgive divine definition. All people commit sins and make mistakes." While this certainly applies in a religious setting, one can't help but see its application to people who have broken the law and are now facing criminal charges as a result.
In this day and age, information regarding the law is incredibly abundant and available to anyone who knows how to find it. Unfortunately, sifting through what applies to your situation and what doesn't can be challenging, especially because laws can differ between states.
A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about the high financial cost of a driving under the influence conviction. DUI charges carry thousands of dollars in costs, fines and penalties that range from legal penalties, to payments for therapy or classes, and even for the ignition interlock you may have placed on your vehicle. There's also the likely increase in your insurance payments.
As many Loudoun County residents know, employers today often make criminal background checks before deciding on which job candidate to hire. In many cases, an employer will pass over a perfectly qualified candidate simply because he or she was once arrested on suspicion of DUI. Even if the person was found not guilty, or if the charges were dismissed, the arrest itself might make it impossible for a job candidate to land a desired post.