Are There Any Common Misconceptions About DUI Charges In Virginia?

What does BAC mean in DUI charges?

People often don’t know what the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) number means; such as a BAC of 0.08%, or higher.  This is the Blood Alcohol number the person gets if they have been consuming alcohol before they blow into a “Preliminary Breath Test” device, out on the road when they’re stopped by the police; or, at the police station; or, if their blood is drawn and analyzed by a scientist at Virginia’s Division of Forensic Sciences.

Most people have heard all kinds of things about DUI charges from friends, co-workers or relatives regarding a BAC number, and what it means; or how many glasses of wine, liquor or beer it takes to get to the nationwide drunk driving legal limit of 0.08% BAC. Most of what they will have heard is simply wrong!  Most people usually don’t have any realistic idea about how alcohol actually affects them; or how their weight, size, gender, what they have just eaten and what medicines taken will also interact with their alcohol intake.  Their BAC number, and what affects it, is probably the biggest misconception about DUI’s we see.

What Mistakes Do People Make Regarding DUI Charges?

Many people either think that their DUI case is hopeless, and therefore they don’t think getting a lawyer can help them; or, they don’t know, or appreciate, all of the terrible consequences of a DUI conviction, or, they see themselves as a smart, intelligent and successful person in their personal and professional lives (which they may very likely be); they believe that they can do some research on the Internet, talk to friends or relatives who have had a DUI charge before, or, even worse, talk to several lawyers to “pick their brains” and then think they can put all of their “research” together, and handle their DUI case themselves.

Why is this thinking one of the biggest mistakes of their life? Well, I could give you literally hundreds of reasons why (including just plain old “Common Sense”) that makes thinking of representing themselves a disaster, but I will leave the answer to Shakespeare.  Shakespeare said it best in one of his Plays… “He or she who represents themselves, has a FOOL for a Client, and an ASS for an Attorney”.

The second major mistake almost all people make is that they are overly “Price- Conscious” about the attorney’s fee they are going to have to pay.  While it seems that this may be easy for me to say, since I’m an attorney, I say this for the benefit of anyone with DUI charges in Virginia or nationwide-The laws surrounding a DUI are detailed and complex, with traps and dead-ends, and with numerous potential options and defense strategies to consider and pursue.  There are time-sensitive deadlines that must be known and adhered to.  There is their past “Driving Record” that must be reviewed.  In essence, do you want the “cheapest” lawyer money can buy; or, do you want the “best” lawyer you are comfortable with for your case.

At my Law Firm, I give a fair and reasonable fee for the over 30 years of experience, and the more than One Thousand DUI cases we have successfully handled throughout all of the Northern Virginia Courts; and we always offer the option of a customized “Payment Plan” paid over several months for our Standard Fee… or, a Reduced Fee if they pay the Attorney fee all upfront.  What this means is that we will work with you to meet your financial needs that is fair to both of us.  A “win-win” situation for all of us.

What Is The Greatest Number Of Prior DUI Charges Someone Has Had, That You Defended?

The greatest number of prior DUIs that a person I defended had, before coming to me, was 6 within 10 years.  Even someone who went out and got drunk every night of the week, they would probably have a hard time getting pulled over six times in their lifetime; so it is amazing for someone to have 6 DUIs.  In my practice, we frequently see people who have had 2 or 3 prior DUIs within a period of 10 years, (the time period in Virginia that prior driving-related convictions are used against a person in court).

In Virginia, a second DUI offense within 10 years of a person’s first DUI conviction results in additional penalties, including a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail; and if within 5 years, a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail.  Also of note is that in Virginia , a third DUI within 10 years of the first DUI conviction is charged as a Felony, not a Misdemeanor, with the person facing up to five years in prison with a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail.  If two of the prior DUI’s occurred within 5 years, there is a mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail.

For more information on Misconceptions About DUI, a free initial consultation with DUI lawyer is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 548-1462 today.

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