The Importance of Legal Representation for Those Charged With DWI Offenses in Virginia
If the police stop you for driving while intoxicated (DWI), it could mark the beginning of a long journey that ends with you paying a hefty fine and even spending time behind bars. Under the circumstances, intervention by a lawyer can be the difference of you being a jailbird or a free bird. Such legal help can be obtained from the Dischley Law, PLLC.
The Laws of Virginia
The state is known for its harsh sentencing of those convicted violating DWI laws. Although considered misdemeanors, even first or second offenses can result in a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent violations include mandatory minimum jail time and a 3rd offense is a felony that comes with an indefinite license revocation. Any charge can be a frightening experience, but proper representation by a DWI attorney can help reduce some of these fears and bring certainty into the situation.
What to do During a DWI Stop
Although it is important for detained motorists to cooperate with law enforcement personnel, they still have the right to otherwise remain silent. Motorists who are suspected of driving drunk may be asked to take field sobriety tests, including the “one leg” stand, the alphabet recital and the walk and turn, but none of these are mandatory. Drivers also have the right to refuse field breathalyzer examinations, but they must submit to such tests given at police stations or face the separate charge of unreasonable refusal.
The Rights of the Accused
DWI offenders in Virginia do have certain rights that can be used in their favor. It may be possible to challenge the original stop, the arrest of the motorist or the results of the subsequent breath test. A DWI lawyer may in some cases have the charges dropped or the jail sentence suspended, or arrange an agreement in which the motorist accepts responsibility for a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. However, it will take the involvement of a DWI attorney to ensure the best possible outcome in such cases. It is for these reasons why those charged with DWI offenses should consider the services available from The Law Office of David Dischley PLC.