Leesburg DUI & DWI Attorneys
One of the most important parts of our practice is in the area of Leesburg DUI, DWI and serious traffic offenses. Virginia has some of the toughest laws in the country against drunk driving, and getting charged with a DWI in Virginia can be a frightening experience. Virginia jurisdictions also routinely aggressively prosecute reckless driving cases, offenses involving suspended licenses, hit and run cases, habitual offender cases and routine traffic offenses. Virginia prosecutors and judges are also very tough on individuals charged with DWIs and reckless driving cases involving high rates of speed, and these cases require aggressive and competent legal representation. The advice and aggressive assistance of an experienced attorney often proves crucial to you getting through this unfortunate experience with a fair and just outcome. Contact our experienced Leesburg and Loudoun County DUI & DWI attorneys today.
Leesburg & Loudoun County DUI & DWI Charges
One of the most important parts of our practice at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC is in the area DUI/DWI and serious traffic offenses. Virginia has some of the toughest laws in the country against drunk driving, and getting charged with a DWI in Virginia can be a frightening experience. Virginia prosecutors and judges are also very tough on individuals charged with DWI’s and these cases require aggressive and competent legal representation. The advice and aggressive assistance of an experienced Leesburg DWI attorney often proves crucial to you getting through this unfortunate experience with a fair and just outcome.
Our firm believes that no matter how serious the offense and no matter how bleak the outcome may appear, you should never give up in pursuing a defense to DWI. Some of the cases which appear to be the weakest for the defendant often times turn out to be cases where there are issues an effective attorney can use in your defense.
Under Virginia law, a DWI is a class 1 misdemeanor which carries a maximum punishment one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. In addition, if you are convicted of a DWI, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year though you will most likely be eligible for a restricted license that allows you to drive to work and in other limited circumstances. Most jurisdictions do not require a defendant serve jail time for a first DWI offense, however, some jurisdictions like Loudoun County require a person to serve 24 hours in jail on their first offense unless an agreement can be reached with the prosecutor otherwise or there are some special circumstances with the case. A person convicted of a DWI is also required to attend the Alcohol Safety Action Program for several weeks, and, in some jurisdictions like Loudoun County, a person must also attend a Victim Impact Panel which is a panel of individuals who have had their lives affected by drunk driving.
It is also important to remember that there are several circumstances where a person will be required to serve mandatory jail time, even on a first DWI offense. For example, if a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .15 and .20, the person must serve a mandatory five days in jail if convicted. If the person had a BAC of over .20 there is a mandatory ten day jail sentence upon conviction. In addition, if a person’s BAC was .15 or higher, they will also have to install a breath test device on their vehicle called the ignition interlock device.
The penalties for multiple DWI offenses are also very serious. If a person is convicted of a second DWI within ten years of the first offense, they must serve a mandatory ten days in jail. If a person is charged with a third DWI in ten years, the charge is a felony, and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail. A fourth offense in ten years means a mandatory sentence of one year.
The penalties are much more serious for DWI convictions within five years of the first offense. If a person is convicted of a second DWI in less than five years, they must serve a mandatory 20 days in jail. If a person is convicted of a third offense in five years, they must serve at least six months in jail. Contact our Leesburg DWI and DUI attorneys for more information.
Most DWI cases involve individuals who are alleged to have a BAC of .08 or higher while driving, which is determined by the breath machine into which the defendant blows after his arrest. If a person unreasonably refuses to take the breath test Virginia law requires that the person’s driver’s license be suspended for one year, so most DWI suspects will take the breath test. BAC can also be determined by a blood test, but normally the breath test is used. Because the defendant will normally be convicted of DWI if the breath test or blood test is admitted into evidence, competent defense attorneys will spend a lot of time trying to find ways to attack the breath or blood test. The results of the test are shown by a certificate that is generated after a suspect takes a breath or blood test and it is this certificate that your defense attorney should attempt to attack in your case. Attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC have experience in using technical defenses to attack the results of breath and blood tests, and experience using expert witnesses in appropriate cases to attempt to overcome the BAC evidence at trial.
Many people do not realize that while a BAC of .08 is technically “the legal limit” a person can be convicted of a DWI when their BAC is below a .08 or even in cases where the police officer has no BAC to use against the defendant. It is important for your attorney to have the experience and competence necessary to defend you even if you are charged with a DWI with a BAC below .08 or where there is no BAC determined at all. Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC attorneys have extensive experience in defending clients who are charged with DWIs in these types of situations.
Another way individuals are portrayed as intoxicated by prosecutors in DWI cases is through the use of their performance on field sobriety tests. Police officers will almost always administer certain tests to DWI suspects to determine if they are intoxicated. While it is generally accepted in Virginia that these tests are effective ways to determine whether a person is intoxicated, it is important to remember that not all of these tests automatically pass scientific muster as being an accurate measure of intoxication. It is important that your attorney be familiar with the field sobriety tests used by police officers and which tests are subject to attack as being inaccurate or not scientifically proven to measure intoxication. Our Leesburg DUI & DWI attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC have developed specific methods for attacking these tests which we frequently use to defend clients in DWI cases.
Contact our Leesburg DUI & DWI Attorneys Today
The advice and aggressive assistance of an experienced attorney often proves crucial to you getting through this unfortunate experience with a fair and just outcome. Contact our experienced Leesburg and Loudoun County DUI & DWI attorneys today.