Drunk driving is a factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States, including Virginia. States are looking for ways to decrease the incidence of drunk driving fatalities, citing ride-sharing services and law enforcement campaigns as examples of measures that may have had some positive effect.
Virginian residents who get a traffic ticket also have the option of deciding whether or not to contest it. While most people do eventually decide to simply pay the ticket, that isn't the path that you have to follow. However, it is your own unique circumstances that will determine whether contesting your ticket is worthwhile.
In February of this year, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill that imposes harsher penalties on drivers who cause injuries to others while under the influence. The governor of Virginia subsequently signed the bill into law, which means that it took effect as of July 1st. We at Madigan and Scott know that many citizens may become confused when new legislation goes into effect, and we hope that the following explanation will provide the necessary background to help you to understand how the new law may affect you.
Two men, a 45-year-old passenger and a 40-year-old driver, sustained injury last October in a crash in Roanoke, Virginia. A tractor-trailer struck the side of the SUV in which the two men were riding after the driver of the SUV reportedly failed to yield to a yellow light. As a result, his passenger required hospitalization for approximately five months, one of which he reportedly spent in a coma. Initially, the SUV driver faced charges of felony DUI maiming due to his passenger's injuries in addition to charges of driving while intoxicated.
If you have been arrested for and charged with a suspected driving under the influence of alcohol charge in Virginia, you will want to learn as much as you can about the elements that may be helpful in your defense. One of the things you should educate yourself about is the tests administered by officers prior to placing you under arrest. These are commonly called field sobriety tests.
Your defense attorney in Virginia may enlist the assistance of an expert witness to support your case and assist the jury in making a decision. Either a prosecutor or a defense attorney may call an expert witness, and expert witnesses have participated in both criminal and civil proceedings.
Getting arrested is upsetting regardless of the circumstances. One thing that you are sure to think about if you get arrested in Virginia is when you will get out. Fiction leads us to believe that law enforcement can only hold you for 24 hours before they must charge you with a crime or allow you in front of a judge to get bond. This is not accurate. Like many things in the movies, books and television shows, this is another creative license taken by writers.
In Virginia, a person may face different potential penalties based on the traffic crimes they are being accused of. The more serious penalties are usually tied to issues like driving while under the influence or getting into an accident with another motorist or pedestrian. However, traffic tickets can be just as harmful to an accused driver.
A conviction for a Virginia drinking and driving charge can bring with it considerable consequences, and it has the potential to set you back financially as well as professionally. You may, too, face jail time, mandatory substance abuse treatment requirements and other potential penalties for your actions following a Virginia DUI or DWI conviction. Because the penalties associated with drinking and driving are so substantial, it is critical that your breath test results paint a clear and accurate picture of your alcohol consumption. At Madigan and Scott, Inc., we understand that certain factors can throw off Breathalyzer accuracy, and we have assisted many Virginia residents facing DUI or DWI charges defend themselves.
At Madigan and Scott, Inc., in Virginia, we understand that you may not take a traffic ticket too seriously, especially if you are a young person. You may just throw it in your glove compartment and forget about it or you may think that if you ignore it long enough it will just go away. In either case, however, if you forget or neglect to go to court on your appointed day, you could find yourself in big trouble.