DUI and DWI
While many crimes happen because of an intentional act, there are others that result from a person’s temporary lapse in judgment. Driving under the influence (DUI), especially for a first offender, is usually the latter situation. Unfortunately, even an uncharacteristic, momentary lapse in judgment may result in many serious consequences, some of which have long-lasting effects. It is critical in these situations to enlist a criminal defense attorney who can tenaciously protect your rights. If you or a family member has been charged with drunk driving, Richmond DUI attorney Margaret B. Davis can help you try to get your life back on track.Fighting a DUI Charge in Virginia
It is important to be aware that the State always has the burden of proof in a drunk driving case. The standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a considerably higher burden of proof than what is required in the civil court system. Thus, a defendant should make sure to investigate all of the possible defenses that may be available to them to have their charge dropped or reduced. Very few cases are as straightforward as they may seem at first glance.
Under Virginia Code § 18.2-266, the criminal offense of driving while intoxicated is defined as operating a motor vehicle while the operator has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, or while the operator is under the influence of alcohol, a narcotic drug, a self-administered intoxicant or drug, or a combination thereof that impairs their ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle safely. Even a first-time DUI offender may be punished harshly under Virginia laws. Punishments may include not only jail time and fines but also the loss of a driver’s license, increased insurance rates, and the cost of an alcohol education program. Drivers with BACs above 0.15% or repeat offenders generally face even stiffer penalties. There may be other, less direct consequences as well, including a loss of employment, a reduction in future educational or work opportunities, and the stigma of being known as a drunk driver.
Fortunately, there are many possible defenses to a DUI charge. These may include constitutional arguments related to an officer’s lack of probable cause in stopping the defendant’s vehicle or a lack of Miranda or Fifth Amendment warnings. There also may have been a non-alcohol-related explanation for why the defendant failed a test administered by law enforcement, such as a health condition or medication. In other cases, the equipment used by the police officer in administering a test may not have been properly used or calibrated. These are just some examples of the ways in which a drunk driving lawyer may attack a charge, depending on the situation.Retain a DUI Attorney in Richmond or Beyond
Knowledgeable attorney Margaret B. Davis has handled many DUI cases for Virginia residents and can help you vigorously fight back against the prosecution. She represents people in Richmond, Midlothian, Chesterfield, Chester, Glen Allen, Tuckahoe, Petersburg, Mechanicsville, Ashland, Williamsburg, Colonial Heights, Bowling Green, Ruther Glen, Goochland, and Hopewell, as well as other areas of Henrico, Chesterfield, Caroline, Goochland, Hanover, James, Mathews, New Kent, and Petersburg Counties. Richmond DUI lawyer Margaret B. Davis can put her skill and experience to work on your case so that you can put a temporary lapse in judgment behind you and move forward toward a bright future. She also can assist people who need a reckless driving attorney or representation in fighting other types of criminal charges. Call (804) 354-8800 or contact us online to set up a free appointment.