Get Top Legal Representation from Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law
Did you know that DUI offenses in Roanoke, VA, affect more than your driving record? For many area vehicle operators, we may see reports in the news or encounter traffic stops. These reports and measures are only a response to the larger issue of impaired driving.
What causes these phenomena of driving under the influence across the commonwealth? Most people think that DUI offenses are something that will never happen to them. More importantly, how can having top legal representation from Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law help with DUI offenses?
Many Underlying Reasons for DUI Offenses in Virginia
For those charged with keeping regional roads and waterways safe, law enforcement officers see the many different factors. Impairment while driving a vehicle can occur with more than just having one too many alcoholic drinks. The image of driving drunk on a Friday or Saturday night aside, officers see increased impairment due to other substances.
Law enforcement may stop a young driver on the road after taking over-the-counter cold medicine. They may encounter a grandmother taking children to day care who took a prescription pain reliever. Prevalent drug or substance use, whether OTC, prescription, or illicit, impacts the likelihood of DUI offenses.
Virginia’s DUI laws pertain to any type of vehicle, including motorcycles, mopeds, boats, and other watercraft. If police suspect a vehicle accident involves being under the influence, they can arrest the operator. The arrest may come within three hours of the accident and it can occur anywhere and without a warrant.
Charged with a DUI Offense? You Are in the Criminal Justice System
Drivers across Virginia might feel that a traffic summons related to a DUI offense is not a big deal. However, driving under the influence is a criminal matter. Far from being a ‘minor inconvenience,’ misdemeanor or felony DUI offenses can be costly in many ways.
Section 18.2-266 (ii) of the Virginia Code is the commonwealth’s DUI law. Beyond an expected fine, penalties on conviction can mean license suspension, jail time, and using an ignition interlock. Offenders must also attend and complete an Alcohol Safety Action Program, or ASAP, course.
At the time of your arrest, law enforcement may report DUI offenses to the Central Criminal Records Exchange. This means it is likely you will have a criminal record because of the incident. Virginia is tough on impaired drivers, with multiple penalties for those convicted of DUI offenses.
Initial Penalties for DUI Offenses in Virginia
A vehicle operator convicted of a first DUI offense must pay a minimum $250 fine and face having their driver’s license revoked for one year. A second DUI offense carries a $500 fine, license revocation for three years, and jail time up to a year. You may soon see that having strong legal defense is a requirement.
Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law fights for the rights of clients in Virginia who face DUI offenses. We understand the many penalties drivers face when charged with DUI. Melvin L. Hill has been serving residents of the Roanoke area for over 30 years.
Over this time, we have seen a variety of DUI matters ranging from first offenses to repeat offenders. Police may arrest an operator for DUI three times or more. At that point, they are no longer eligible for bail while waiting to go to trial.
Additional Penalties and Other DUI Offense-Related Circumstances
We mentioned above the situation of the grandmother stopped taking grandchildren to daycare. Conviction for DUI offenses with a minor in the vehicle carries a mandatory five-day jail term. Plus there is an additional fine of $500 to $1,000 beyond any other penalties.
Impaired drivers causing an accident also face liability of up to $1,000. This fine covers the cost of law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical responding to the accident location. Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles provides a handy guide for drivers with information on the many penalties for DUI offenses.
Even More Added Costs Relating to DUI Offenses
When we say there are many costs relating to DUI offenses, think beyond the scope of the courthouse. If law enforcement catches someone driving after a DUI offense, they can impound the vehicle for 90 days. Should the vehicle not be yours, the owner would have to petition the court to release it. Officers may charge the owner with a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is against the law to allow another driver with a DUI-related license revocation or suspension to operate a vehicle.
One final cost is the added insurance premiums that drivers pay when convicted of DUI offenses. These higher insurance premiums are a lingering shadow even after the incident or accident. In a way, one ‘small, inconvenient’ offense is like a gift that keeps on giving long after any court proceeding ends.
A Few Words About Criminal Defense for DUI Offenses
We hope this review might give you time to reflect on the ways a DUI offense can affect your rights. Consider this the next time you get behind the wheel or take to the road or water. So many vehicle operators may never know how close they come to law enforcement stopping them. It does not take much to turn a good time into a criminal matter requiring legal services.
As a former prosecutor, Melvin L. Hill knows how the prosecution builds its case. We have experience representing clients at the many traffic courts throughout the area. Whether you need to discuss your first DUI offense or need strong defense on your latest charge, our firm can help with DUI offenses in Virginia. Call today to review the specifics of your DUI offense matter and know where you stand in defending your rights.
Contact Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law in Roanoke, Virginia, today at (540) 342-1851 for consultation on criminal offenses. Return to our blog to read more on legal issues affecting your rights and freedom, like DUI offenses.