Building a Fredericksburg First-Offense DUI Defense

A first-time DUI offense can be an overwhelming experience. It is easy to feel confused and not know If you want to know more about building a Fredericksburg first-offense DUI defense, reach out to a distinguished first-offense DUI lawyer that could help.

How Courts Treat First-Time DUI Charges

The court will treat all first time DUI charges similarly unless an individual has a bad record. Sometimes if a person has had unrelated convictions before, like trespassing or other alcohol offenses that are not driving, and while they might not seem related to DUIs, the court and the judges are going to treat the DUI as more serious.

The individual will receive a much harsher sentence and they will take that into consideration for sentencing purposes, even if the individual does not think it is related to the DUI. An individual cannot expect to be treated lightly just because it is their first time DUI or just because their blood alcohol level was not very high (for example, 0.08 or 0.09). The prosecutor is still going to want a conviction which is why it is necessary to work with a skilled attorney that could begin building a Fredericksburg first-offense DUI defense.

Motion to Suppress Evidence

Every first-time DUI case is different and Fredericksburg attorneys often approach building a Fredericksburg first-offense DUI defense by examining the facts of the case. In some cases, a motion to suppress is their best avenue to take which will hopefully not allow incriminating evidence to be heard at the trial and the judge will not consider it when deciding whether or not to find the defendant guilty.

For example, if the police unlawfully stop the defendant in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights for illegal searches and seizures which means they do not have reasonable articulable suspicion for the traffic stop, then an attorney can move to suppress that. There will be a lot of case law about the particular issue and whether or not it is a lawful stop according to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Weaving Vehicles

A matter that an attorney could contest when building a Fredericksburg first-offense DUI defense is whether the vehicle was weaving. The officer will say that the vehicle was observed weaving in and out of a lane of traffic. The officer will pull over the vehicle and ask the driver if they had anything to drink and to step out of the vehicle. Just because an individual was weaving does not mean that the officer automatically gets to stop the individual. There are actually a lot of different cases that talk about specific types of weaving:

  • Does the tire touch the side of the fog line
  • Is the driver going into another lane
  • Did they use their turn signal
  • Is it one weave or is it multiple weaves over a certain amount of time

A couple of cases have actually analyzed these driving instances and that is just one of the hundreds of issues that can come into play for a traffic stop.

Questions an Officer Might Ask at a DUI Stop

Once an individual is stopped, the questions the officer asks are very important:

  • Was the individual asked to step out of the car or did the officer order them out of the car?
  • Did they agree to participate in a field sobriety test or did the officer demand that they participate in the field sobriety test?
  • Did the officer speak to them in English or in another language? Did they have an interpreter who is translating?
  • Was this a situation where the field sobriety tests are not explained correctly to the individual?

The answers to these questions ultimately lead to whether or not the field sobriety test should come in or should they be suppressed under the Fifth Amendment rights or the Sixth Amendment rights, depending on the arguments that they made.

And then there is the idea of the arrest and whether the arrest should be suppressed. When deciding whether to suppress an arrest or not, attorneys may look at whether the arrest was lawful, whether there was probable cause or not, and if there was probable cause, whether implied consent applies or not.

Implied Consent

When individuals receive their driving licenses, they are agreeing to what is called implied consent. Implied consent means that as a condition of having a license, individuals are agreeing to take blood and breath tests, and accept that while they have the right to refuse, there are consequences for refusing DUI tests. If the individual refuses and if there is probable cause, the individual might lose on the refusal charge, but they could still win their DUI case. Later in the DUI, there could be a situation where it was not beyond a reasonable doubt for the DUI but there was probable cause for the DUI. The individual would then lose on the refusal but win on the DUI. That is something that happens quite commonly in these cases.

How a Fredericksburg First-Offense DUI Attorney Could Help

A first-offense DUI lawyer could be an invaluable asset when building a Fredericksburg first-offense DUI defense. The kind of defense that an attorney could build really depends on the specific facts of the case, what evidence is available, and what evidence the Commonwealth intends to use against the defendant. If you have been charged with a first-time DUI, consult a capable legal advocate that could pursue the best possible outcome for you.

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