Chantilly First Offense DUI Charges

When prosecutors go to investigate a first-offense DUI, they will take it seriously and try to ensure that it does not happen again. A first offense DUI charge is not going to go away without all information coming forward, so a DUI attorney in Chantilly is essential in representing your interests in your case and ensuring that a strong defense is built based on the facts and circumstances. Therefore if you are facing a first offense DUI, it is imperative you seek the counsel of an experienced attorney immediately to begin preparing you for what to expect.

Defense Strategies

A lawyer can build a defense for first-time DUIs in a variety of ways. First, a DUI lawyer is going to examine the traffic stop itself and ask why the officer pulled someone over in order to come in contact with them, as well as what the observations made by the officer before he pulled the driver over were.

A DUI lawyer is going to then challenge that and confirm if the officer did this unconstitutionally. They will want to understand if they had any constitutional basis for pulling someone over and if they have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or probable cause that a traffic infraction was committed. From there, a Chantilly DUI defense lawyer is going to look at the interaction between the accused and the officer. They will want to know what observable behaviors they exhibited during their interaction with the officer, and if they slurred their words, had bloodshot eyes, or exhibited any of the other factors that officers are trained to look for in order to continue to investigate somebody for driving under the influence.

Gathering Evidence

A Chantilly first offense DUI defense attorney is also going to look at any videos that may have occurred as a result of the stop that would usually be on the officer’s dashboard camera or any performances their client did on a Field Sobriety Test. If they took a Preliminary Breath Test, attorneys will look at the results of any breath test that were conducted at the scene prior to the arrest, then the attorney will look at all these factors and decide whether or not there is going to be enough to give the officer probable cause to charge someone with a DUI.

First, there is the result of the breathalyzer test conduct after the arrest to consider.  There are ways that somebody can challenge the BAC level at the station. They could argue that the machine operation was faulty, the person did not operate it correctly.  There is this confusion between the two when looking at whether or not somebody’s body size and weight had something to do with how they metabolized the drink. It also can depend on what they ate, when they slept, and certainly the type of alcohol that they drank.

Whether or not there was sufficient probable cause for a first offense DUI charge in Chantilly is the second point that a DUI attorney can examine and possibly challenge in court.  From there, the attorney has a variety of things they can argue and try to contest.

License After a First Offense DUI

If somebody is convicted of a first offense DUI, their privilege to drive in Virginia will be suspended for one year. During that period of suspension, they may be able to get a restricted driver’s license that allows them to drive to and from work, school, or religious services. There is also an allowance for driving children to and from school, daycare, and medical appointments. If someone was convicted, they are not going to be able to challenge the suspension of their license pursuant to statute. The suspension is automatic and non-negotiable.

If someone is not convicted of the DUI, this means they were found not guilty, and they will get their license back. If they are found guilty of something else that allows for the suspension of a license and their license is suspended pursuant to that statute, then they will not be able to get it back, but it will be suspended for a lesser period of time than it would have been for the first DUI.

Restricted License

Someone can apply for a restricted license after they have been convicted and had their license suspended pursuant to a first offense DUI. Certainly, it is under the court’s discretion whether or not they grant it, for how long, and certainly under what circumstances. Someone does not have the right to a restricted license. They can apply for it, but depending on the facts of their case, they may or may not get it.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake to avoid for a first offense DUI defendant is taking any field sobriety tests when pulled over by police. It is their right to decline to take them, and they should. Field sobriety tests can only give the officer more reason to arrest someone for a DUI, the same goes with the Preliminary Breath Test at the scene. If someone is pulled over and offered a Preliminary Breath Test, declining to take it is the right choice.

Additionally, telling the officer they had something to drink earlier or admitting to the officer they were drinking at any point in the night is not going to be a good idea.  Remaining silent is in someone’s best interest and their right and they should exercise that right under these circumstances.

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