DUI and Traffic Offenses

Legal Representation for Individuals Facing Charges Pertaining to DUI & Traffic Offenses in the Roanoke - Bedford, Virginia Region

Driving Under The Influence

When it comes to DUI and traffic offenses, Virginia's courts are particularly tough on drunk drivers.  The  BAC (blood-alcohol content) allowed in this state has been lowered to 0.08%. The potential of personal and property loss from the action has had an incredible impact on the way the court system views the offense in the last twenty years. Courts now view the offense as being on the level of murder in cases involving death and penalties resulting in life sentences for the defendant.  Without legal representation, you stand to lose much more than your license.

See Virginia Code § 18.2-266 for a definition of driving while intoxicated.

Driving Offenses

As we all know, everyone has either experienced a traffic offense or knows someone who has at some point in life. For most people, and for most offenses, it is an infrequent inconvenience which results in a few points on our driving record, a raise in insurance premiums and some out of pocket expense.

However, even minor infractions can now carry substantial weight with certain employers and even prevent you from obtaining specific types of employment. Consulting the services of an attorney in these types of situations is definitely beneficial.

Certain types of offenses in Virginia, such as DWI/DUI, vehicular homicide and reckless driving, or the accumulation of several infractions in a short period of time, can become a serious matter to you. Penalties can range from suspension of your license to heavy fines, and/or imprisonment. All of these have substantial impact on life in terms of possible personal asset and employment loss issues. You need a qualified attorney to represent you!

When do I need a lawyer for a traffic offense?

If you are charged with a offense that could result in incarceration and/or loss of your licence, you need a lawyer. These offenses include cases involving; DUI (drunk driving), reckless driving, hit and run, driving with no insurance, involuntary manslaughter, habitual offender, or driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Receiving A Traffic Citation

If stopped by the police for committing a minor traffic offense, you are likely to receive a "citation." Such traffic offenses are usually summary offenses. You can either pay the fine within the time provided or contest the citation by attending a scheduled hearing. If you pay the fine you are admitting to the violation, which is equivalent to a guilty plea. If you request a hearing, your case will be heard by the District Court whose address appears on your citation.

Before you decide to pay the fine or appear in court, you should find out what the consequences of the citation will be. All moving violations result in points charged against your driver's license. An accumulation of too many points can result in consequences such as higher car insurance premiums, being required to attend driver improvement school or suspension from driving.

Is it helpful to have a lawyer represent you for all traffic offenses?

Police officers are human and can make mistakes. An attorney may be able to better represent your explanation in cases where you feel an error in judgment was made.

For instance, attorneys can meet with the police officer, state trooper or Commonwealth's Attorney and agree to a lesser charge. By obtaining an attorney, a judge is more open to hearing your case if you are serious about having your case reviewed. If the charge is reduced or dismissed you can save beyond your attorney's fee by keeping your insurance premiums low.

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DUI & Traffic Offense Articles

Discuss Your Case

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI offense, request help by filling out and submitting our criminal charge information form. A representative will contact you within 24 business hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do police officers look for when searching for drunk drivers on the highways?

The following is a list of symptoms in descending order of probability that the person observed is driving while intoxicated. The list is based upon research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Administration:

  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Straddling center of lane marker
  • Almost striking object or vehicle
  • Weaving or drifting
  • Driving on other than designated highway
  • Swerving
  • Speed more than 10 mph below limit
  • topping without cause in traffic lane
  • Following too closely
  • Tires on center or lane marker
  • Braking erratically
  • Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
  • Signaling inconsistent with driving actions
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane)
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
  • Headlights off