What Does It Mean to Be Charged With A DUI?

What Does It Mean to Be Charged With A DUI?

The term DUI is an umbrella term. The actual offense(s) you are charged with will depend on the specific nature of the crime. Different factors, like prior convictions, intoxication level, offense severity, and whether or not anyone was injured or killed as a result of the crime will determine the actual criminal charge. Understand that you are never charged with a DUI, but with a combination of the most specific charges. Because there are so many nuances to a DUI charge, it is always recommended that you hire a DUI lawyer in Virginia Beach to defend you in court.

What Constitutes a DUI?

Every state will have standards for what it means to drive under the influence. In most states, driving under the influence means driving poorly, like swerving or an accident, with the presence of alcohol in your blood. Some states, however, have “per se” DUI laws, which means that you can be convicted if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above a certain level, even if your driving wasn’t affected.

Authorities must also prove that the driving and intoxication were linked. If a cop pulls you over, this qualification is easy to prove, but at other times, it is harder to establish proof. For instance, police might not arrive until the driver has exited the vehicle, or the suspect may be asleep in a parked vehicle. Other times, it may be hard to prove that the suspect was intoxicated. In this case, courts will usually rely on the results of the blood or urine tests.

So What Types of DUI’s Are There?

If you are caught driving under the influence, you will automatically get charged with the baseline DUI offense. However, if your blood alcohol content is above a certain level, you have children present, or if your DUI results in injury and death, then the charges will quickly escalate. Additionally, if you are caught driving under the influence with a suspended or revoked license, or have a prior DUI conviction, then your charge will automatically be upgraded to a felony.

So That Means I Should Hire An Attorney?

Yes. A DUI is a very serious charge and could negatively impact the rest of your life. A DUI attorney in Virginia Beach will protect your rights as a defendant and help you negotiate a plea bargain, as well as defend you should your case go to trial.

If you have been charged with a DUI or a DWI, contact Swango Law, P.C. as quickly as you can. The sooner you seek help, the sooner we can help you. Our partners can be reached by phone at (757) 383-9229 or through our website at Swango Law P.C.

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