People who have been arrested have all kinds of excuses for not hiring a capable Fairfax DUI defense attorney. Everything from “I can go to court on my own” to “I will pay the fine and go on with life” are reasons that many individuals have faced severe consequences. The fact is, driving under the influence is a criminal offense, and one that is not taken lightly today as it may have been a decade or so ago.
Perhaps you think you’re “done for” because the police officer said you were over the legal limit. Maybe you put a DUI in the same category as a speeding ticket, that you pay the fine and it will just go away. Neither is true; police do not know everything, and it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. You can pay the fine, but other consequences of a DUI conviction will haunt you for years, such as having a criminal record or increased insurance rates.
Fairfax DUI defense lawyers know that the consequences can be extremely harsh, particularly for those who are repeat offenders. Even a first offense will leave you facing a $250 fine if convicted, and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. A second offense that occurs within five years of a first offense means a fine of $500, revocation of your driver’s license for three years, and a mandatory jail sentence of 20 days. Subsequent offenses carry penalties that become even more severe.
What can a Fairfax DUI defense attorney do to protect your legal rights? Your lawyer should be skilled and experienced, thoroughly knowledgeable in the laws of DUI. A seasoned attorney knows that missteps are often taken in the course of an arrest. Police may not have had reasonable suspicion to stop you; blood and/or breath tests may not have been administered or handled properly. The prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is what your defense lawyer will work to prevent.
You can simply plead guilty and face the consequences, putting your reputation, career and future in jeopardy, or you can fight the charges by hiring an aggressive Fairfax DUI defense lawyer. There are also other extenuating circumstances that may leave you facing additional punishment, such as whether you were charged with reckless driving, were under 21 years of age, or caused an accident. Regardless of your situation, it’s to your advantage to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney right away, before answering any questions posed by law enforcement.