It can be stressful and intimidating to be accused of a DUI, reckless driving, or another crime. You may be worried about the impact of a criminal record on your ability to secure a professional license or find a home. You should retain a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer to represent you during this challenging time. At S&R Law Firm, we take pride in offering the highest possible quality of legal representation. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that skillful and knowledgeable professionals are handling their defense. Our firm also helps Northern Virginia residents navigate the sensitive process of pursuing a divorce or resolving another family law matter. We develop personal relationships with our clients, and nothing matters more to us than the outcome of your case.DUI
In Virginia, it is illegal to drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or any drug, such that your ability to drive is impaired. It is also illegal to drive if your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or greater. However, you should not assume that you will be convicted if you have been arrested. Like other crimes, a DUI must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. When investigating and arresting you, police officers must abide by your constitutional rights, including your rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. A failure to do so can provide a strong defense.
A first-time DUI is charged as a misdemeanor. A DUI is treated as a first-time DUI as long as you do not have prior DUI convictions from the last 10 years. For a first-time DUI, you may face the possibility of jail time, fines, a license suspension, and probation. Certain circumstances, such as driving with underage children in the car while you were drunk, could result in harsher penalties. If your blood alcohol content was .15%-.20%, you will need to serve at least five days in jail to be eligible for probation, and at least 10 days in jail if your blood alcohol content was .20% or greater. You should retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Fairfax who can help you resist the threat of jail time.
Repeat DUI charges are more serious and come with harsher penalties. The penalties that you can face depend on the number of prior convictions and how much alcohol you had in your system when you were arrested. There may be greater penalties if you refused to take a Breathalyzer test when you were arrested, since the state has an implied consent law. Virginia courts must follow sentencing guidelines in determining the sentence for a DUI.Traffic Tickets
If you are convicted of a traffic violation, the DMV will be notified, and it will put the conviction on your driving record, assign you points based on what the ticket was, issue a suspension order, and notify your insurer as requested. Many people assume that fighting a traffic ticket is more hassle than it is worth. However, when you simply pay the fine associated with a traffic ticket, you are essentially admitting guilt. You will get points on your DMV record for tickets, and after a cutoff, your license can be suspended. The severity of the offense will dictate the points and how long this information stays on your record. Furthermore, when you accumulate a certain number of points, you can face greater insurance premiums. Our Fairfax criminal defense attorneys can develop a strategy for fighting your ticket based on your specific circumstances.
You can be charged with reckless driving if you drive at a speed or in a way that endangers others’ lives or property. Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. You can face a six-month license suspension, a $2,500 fine, points on your DMV record, and up to 12 months in jail. You should bear in mind that you are subject to these potential penalties even if this is your first offense. The severity of the penalties, as well as the stigma of a criminal record, make it critical to retain an experienced attorney once you realize that you may be charged with reckless driving.
Often, reckless driving is charged in connection with speeding. Under section 46.2-862, you may be charged with reckless driving if you go over the speed limit by a minimum of 20 mph. Furthermore, if you drive at more than 80 mph, you may face a reckless driving charge. The prosecutor bears the burden of proving how fast you were going, and one of these two situations must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. The prosecutor also will need to show that the speed-testing device was calibrated and working accurately on the day of your arrest. Sometimes there are errors on an officer’s certificate or other errors made by officers that can support a defense.Criminal Defense
We also can assist Virginia residents who are fighting charges of theft crimes, drug crimes, and other offenses. Each element of a crime must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and often there are multiple ways to attack the prosecution’s case. For example, someone charged with larceny may be able to argue that they did not intend to take the property. Meanwhile, someone charged with drug possession may be able to use a procedural defense based on their constitutional rights. If you retain our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers at the outset of your case, we can investigate all of the possible angles that might support your defense.Family Law
Going through a divorce or battling for custody of a child can be stressful and exhausting. Let our family law attorneys take the burden off your shoulders. In Virginia, you can get a divorce on fault or no-fault grounds. Spouses can obtain a no-fault divorce if they have been living separately and apart for a year, or if they have been living separately and apart for six months, they have no children, and they have executed a property settlement agreement. However, property division is often contested in a divorce. If the spouses cannot agree, the court will divide the marital property in a way that is equitable, or fair, but not necessarily equal.Consult a Vigorous and Resourceful Fairfax Attorney
Some attorneys wait until shortly before the first court date to begin work on a client’s case. However, preparation is critical when defending a client accused of a crime or helping a client pursue a divorce. At S&R Law Firm, we waste no time in getting to work on protecting and asserting a client’s rights. We represent people in Arlington, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford Counties, as well as in Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fredericksburg. Call us at 703.273.6431 or complete our online form to discuss your charges with a criminal defense lawyer in Fairfax or get assistance with a family law matter.
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