Normally, a DUI offense is a misdemeanor in Virginia, however, DUI charges can be elevated to a felony under certain circumstances. An individual can be facing a felony if they have previous DUI convictions or if they cause an accident that injured or killed another person. Someone facing felony DUI charges is looking at serious penalties and other long-term consequences that can severely impact their life. This is why if you have been arrested for a felony DUI offense, you may want to consider obtaining an experienced DUI attorney. An Alexandria felony DUI lawyer could fight for you and advocate on your behalf throughout the case.
The differences between a felony DUI and a misdemeanor DUI case includes the length of the process, as well as the timing and location of the process. All misdemeanor DUI charges will first be tried in the general district court and later tried in the circuit court if the accused decides to appeal the case. For a felony DUI, there will be a preliminary hearing or a probable cause hearing in the general district court and then the trial will be held in the circuit court. Also, Felony DUI cases tend to take much longer than misdemeanor DUI cases.
The initial steps that an Alexandria felony DUI attorney is going to take in preparing for a defense are going to be:
The lawyer is going to want to know about as much possible information about the case. After learning the facts of the case, the attorney will then be able to decide what defense strategies may be available.
The penalties for a felony DUI carries the possibility of up to five years in prison, expensive fines, and the indefinite loss of the offender’s driver’s license. It is important to know that felony DUI charges can be more difficult to defend than other cases because of the existence of the driver’s previous DUI records. This means that the judge or the jury is going to know that the defendant has already been convicted of a DUI multiple times. In addition, it can be tough to challenge forensic evidence in the form of a toxicology analysis.
It is essential for defendants to obtain the services of an accomplished DUI defense attorney. A seasoned Alexandria felony DUI lawyer is experienced handling these types of cases and knows how to challenge the state’s accusations. If you are facing felony DUI charges, you may need the help of an attorney who has defended DUI cases before and has had success in at trial. Call today to get started on your case.