If you get a Culpeper County DUI or DWI, you really should talk with an experienced Culpeper DUI attorney. Even if you don’t have a defense available in your case, an experienced Culpeper DWI attorney should be able to help navigate the case with you, including helping you mitigate and minimize possible punishments.
There are a few main defenses in a Culpeper DUI charge. One possible defense is that the officer did not have reasonable articulable suspicion to pull you over in the first place. For example, sometimes a person is stopped for something as simple as weaving within their lane. And while Virginia law saws that weaving within your lane can be a valid stop, there are specific requirements that the officer would have to meet in order to prove that he had reasonable suspicion that there was some criminal activity afoot.
Another kind of thin stop that we see sometimes is just if you’re driving erratically. The officer has to be able to show that you were actually doing something illegal, possibly illegal at the very least, to show that he had reasonable articulable suspicion to pull you over. He doesn’t have to prove that you were actually doing something wrong, just that he had reasonable suspicion and can point to what was suspicious that indicates to maybe committing a traffic infraction or a criminal action in Culpeper.
The second issue that we look at in any DUI case in Culpeper is whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you for DUI / DWI. Probable cause means that the officer can prove when he made the arrest that it was more probable than not that you were intoxicated. The main ways they prove probable cause in a DUI stop is with the roadside tests and the preliminary breath test. As I’ve written about before, you do not have to do any tests on the side of the road and you do not have to do any breath tests on the side of the road. Virginia law requires that you submit to a breath test at the station if you are validly arrested for DUI so you can, and I suggest you should, refuse any tests that are asked of you on the side of the road, because in most cases those are going to do nothing but hurt you.
If the officer has probable cause to arrest you for DUI, then he usually will have you take a breath or a blood test. And, again, that is the test that if you refuse, then you can be charged with an additional charge of refusal. For that test, we look at the actual breath machine or the blood test examination that was done and see if there are any arguments we can make that the machine in Culpeper wasn’t working properly or something to that effect. That is one of the main last defenses we have is to analyze the actual equipment and procedure that was done to analyze your blood alcohol content.
If the Commonwealth can prove the case for DUI or DWI in Culpeper, then what we look at are possible ways to mitigate the case and really the exact punishment that you’re facing. The above examples are only a few types of defenses we can use. There are many more that do come up and lots of evidence to examine in any Culpeper DUI.
One of the main concerns many people have though is whether or not they’ll be able to get a restricted license. If you are found guilty of any Culpeper DUI or DWI, your driver’s license would be suspended for at least one year. It would be one year for a first offense and it would be three years for a second offense within ten years of the first. The law in Virginia says that on a first offense you would be eligible to get a restricted license, although you would have to have ignition interlock installed on your vehicle that you drive in order to use that license.
As you can see, there are lots of moving parts to any Culpeper DUI case and this is why, even if you think that it may be hopeless, it still makes sense to, at the very least, talk to an experienced Culpeper DUI attorney to see what defenses might be available in your case and how we might navigate the possible outcomes.
photo credit: taberandrew
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