DUI Defense Lawyer Fairfax
Although a charge of Driving While Intoxicated is generally classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, it is a serious offense that carries severe penalties such as fines, loss of license, alcohol classes, incarceration and a criminal record that lasts a life time.
DWIs are very common and most people charged with them have never been arrested before and are unfamiliar with the legal system. In order to achieve the best outcome possible in your case it is vital to retain an attorney who not only has experience with DWI cases but is also skilled in litigation and is familiar with the prosecutors and judges in your jurisdiction. Each case is unique. The case law is complicated and constantly evolving. An experienced attorney can properly assess your case and advise you based on their knowledge and expertise.
At the Law Office of Nader Hasan, P.C. it is our practice to fully investigate each DWI case we handle. Some of the areas we focus on are:
1. Was the initial stop valid? In other words, did the officer have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle in the first place?
2. What observations did the officer make after the initial stop, i.e. glassy/blood shot eyes, slurred speech, or odor of alcohol?
3. How well did the defendant perform the field sobriety tests? Were there any issues with the directions given by the officer, the defendant’s physical condition, the condition of the road where the tests were performed?
4. Was a Preliminary Breath Test offered/given? What were the results?
5. What time was the arrest made?
6. Did the Defendant provide a breath sample at the police station? How long after the arrest was the sample taken? Was the breath technician properly certified? How long had it been since the equipment was tested or calibrated?
7. What records does the Department of Forensic Science have on the machine used?
In cases where a Defendant will not give a breath sample at the police station after being arrested on suspicion of DWI, he/she may be charged with an additional offense called Refusal. If an individual is found guilty of Refusal, the penalty is a mandatory 12 month loss of license with no eligibility for a restricted operator's license. In many cases, we were able to negotiate with the Commonwealth Attorney to have the refusal charge dropped to avoid disruption of the client’s employment and/or transportation of their children.
Additionally, a second or subsequent DWI carries harsher penalties. A second DWI within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail. If a second DUI is committed within 5 years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 days in jail. A third DWI within 10 years is considered a felony which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail and $1000 fine. A third DUI committed within 5 years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 6 months in jail. A fourth or subsequent offense within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one year, $1000 fine, and 3 year loss of license. Call us for a free consultation today. We will provide you with examples of our case results.