We Deliver Honest Answers to Sensitive Questions About Penalties for a DUI Accident in Chesapeake or Virginia Beach
General tips for what you should do if you are pulled over for DUI
Since Virginia’s DUI laws carry some of the harshest consequences, merely seeing the police lights through your rearview mirror can set off a panic button inside and cause you to act nervously. Acting nervous can lead the officer to falsely believe that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel. The attorneys of Shannon & Bedois, P.C would like to share some pointers on what to expect from a traffic stop:
Call the dedicated attorneys of Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 or online today.
- Field sobriety test: The officer may ask you to step outside of your car, walk a straight line and then stand on one foot and touch your nose to test your balance. The law does not require you to participate in field sobriety tests, so you may refuse. Plus, these tests are generally known to be inaccurate.
- Blood alcohol test: The laws in Virginia see you enjoying the privilege of driving on our roads as your implied permission to test your blood alcohol content. If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer® test or any other chemical test, your license may be suspended immediately.
- Questions: The officer may not resist the urge to ask you where you are coming from or where you are going. You are under no legal obligation to answer any questions. The more you talk to the officer, the chances of making him or her suspicious increase.
You will be required to provide your license and registration. And, if after the officer reads these you still find yourself jumpy when he or she taps on your window to return your documents, feel free to ask for legal counsel.
In Virginia, a driver can be arrested for DUI after causing an accident within three hours of its occurrence — without an arrest warrant
The Commonwealth of Virginia is serious about drinking and driving laws, and the state’s penalties for alcohol and drug-related offenses reflect that. If you are arrested for causing an accident and are charged with DUI, our attorneys at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. know how to effectively protect your rights, in addition to guiding you through the legal process and refuting the evidence at trial.
Driving while intoxicated threatens your freedom, costs you money and could affect you for the rest of your life
Conviction for a first-time DUI offense is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor that can result in:
- A $2,500 fine
- Up to one year in jail
- Suspension of your driver’s license for one year
- Mandatory participation in an alcohol education program
We help restore your driving privileges in the Norfolk, VA area
Repeat DUI offenders will suffer increasing penalties with each offense they commit. Suspension of your license occurs immediately upon your DUI arrest when your blood alcohol content is at or above the legal limit of .08 percent or if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer® test. Penalties include:
- First-time offenders have their licenses suspended for seven days
- Second-time offenders have their licenses suspended for 60 days or until they face trial
- Third-time offenders have their licenses suspended until their trial date
If you are convicted multiple times on DUI charges, your license will remain suspended until the last sentence is fulfilled, which means if you accumulate DUI convictions, you also accumulate months without a driver’s license. In addition, a conviction on a DUI charge for the third time is a Class 6 felony offense and can result in jail time for a minimum of 90 days to six months (the sentence is determined by the judge based on how long it has been since your last DUI conviction). And DUI convictions remain on your record forever.
Causing an accident and seriously injuring or killing someone followed by a DUI charge requires defense by skilled attorneys
If your accident occurred in Chesapeake, Norfolk or any of the surrounding areas in Virginia and drugs or alcohol could have been a factor, our DUI attorneys have the criminal legal background to defend you against the serious resulting charges. In the most severe scenario — the death of someone else involved in the accident — you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter or a felony and if convicted, you could face imprisonment for up to 10 years. That sentence, however, could double to a maximum of 20 years if the court elevates the charge to aggravated involuntary manslaughter by finding that driving under the influence recklessly disregarded the lives of others.
Don’t delay in choosing our skilled Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyers for your defense
It will not cost anything to sit down with the attorneys of Shannon & Bedois, P.C. to discuss your case — your initial criminal consultation is free. Our office is conveniently located in Chesapeake, VA, and we serve the residents of Norfolk, Virginia Beach and other surrounding areas. Call us at (757) 228-5529 or send us a message online and we will contact you within 24 hours.
Shannon & Bedois, P.C. is located in Chesapeake, VA and serves clients in and around Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Fort Monroe, Suffolk, Carrollton, Hampton, Chesapeake City County, Hampton City County, Norfolk City County, Portsmouth City County, Suffolk City County, Virginia Beach City County.