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Three Critical DUI Questions For Everyone Charged with DUI in Virginia

3 Critical DUI Questions

What if I submitted to a preliminary breath test before I was arrested?
If you submitted to a “preliminary” breath test before you were arrested, the state is not allowed to use that fact against you at a subsequent DUI trial based on that incident.  But note; it may be used against you at other critical times, such as at the pretrial motion stage or it even can be brought up pertaining to other charges not related to DUI!  If you refuse a preliminary breath test, the police officer who arrests you must make this known (the fact that the submission to the preliminary test can not be used against you at trial).  If you have questions about the circumstances of your DUI or related charge, please do not hesitate to call your local Virginia Beach Traffic Lawyer.  See, Virginia Code Section 18.2-267 for more information.

What will happen to me if I refuse to submit to a breath or blood test if I’ve been arrested for DUI?

The Virginia law states that a person will lose his or her license if they “unreasonably” refuse a breath or blood test.  However, a second occurrence of refusal may result in a criminal charge that can lead to serious jail time.  This offense is taken seriously; up to six months in jail and loss of driving privileges for up to three years is possible.  The statutes don’t stop there in their attempts to deter this behavior.  In Virginia, drivers may lose their license for three years and can be charged with a crime that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail if they refuse a third time.   Just as concerning is the fact that your refusal after arrest can be used against you at trial.  See Virginia Code Section 18.2-268.2 and 268.3.  Also, call your local Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer for an assessment of your facts, even if you are worried that the case may be difficult.  You may be surprised at the defenses your lawyer may be able to assert on your behalf.

What is the punishment for DUI in Virginia?

Since public policy aims to deter drinking and driving yet the society and culture administering these policies understands that good people do make judgment errors, the law provides for increasing punishment levels for subsequent offenders.  Other factors, aside from subsequent offender status, include blood alcohol level, whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor, and whether a child was in the car at the time of the offense.  Consult a professional for an assessment of your case, and for an assessment on the punishment that the court could impose if you are found guilty.  Your local Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer is best prepared for that undertaking.