If you have been arrested for DUI in Virginia, you are facing serious consequences—even if this is your first offense. You could be sentenced to jail time and a hefty fine, lose your right to drive, and have a permanent criminal record. However, you may be able to raise defenses that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
Ways to Challenge Your DUI Charges
You will need the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer to identify the defenses that would be effective in your case. Here are some common defenses that could help you:
- Invalid stop. The police must have a reasonable suspicion that you were doing something unlawful, such as swerving between lanes or speeding, to stop you. If they did not have a valid reason to stop you, all the other evidence of your intoxication could be inadmissible.
- No probable cause. The officer must also have probable cause that you were intoxicated in order to arrest you for DUI. They must have observed behaviors, such as slurred speech, an odor of alcohol on your breath, or your failure to pass field sobriety tests, to establish this. If they did not have probable cause, they may not be able to use the evidence they obtained after your arrest to prove you were driving while drunk.
- Inaccurate field sobriety test. The police must follow very specific rules when administering field sobriety tests, like the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test or one-leg stand. Your attorney may be able to challenge how these tests were conducted and get the judge to rule that the results are invalid.
- Improper breath and blood tests. Breathalyzer and blood tests are not always accurate. For example, the breathalyzer machine may not have been properly calibrated or the police may not have administered the tests correctly. Your lawyer can subpoena law enforcement records to determine if your test results can be disputed.
- Violation of your constitutional rights. You have important constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent and protection against an unlawful search, if you are stopped by the police and arrested. If these rights were violated, the charges against you could be dismissed.
Contact Us for the Legal Assistance You Need
If you were arrested for DUI, you should not try to raise these and other defenses on your own. Our knowledgeable DUI attorneys will mount an aggressive defense strategy to help you reach the best possible outcome in your case given your situation. To learn more about how we can assist you, fill out the convenient online form on this page or call our Manassas office to schedule your free consultation today.