Your lawyer will want to know everything you can remember about your encounter with the officer. Was anyone else in the car with you? Did the officer say why he stopped you? Did you say anything to the officer about how much you had to drink? How did he get you to step out of the car? Which field sobriety tests did you do? What were the instructions and what did you actually do? Did you do a breath test in the street? What was the result? How about at the jail? Did you notice if the encounter was videotaped? Do you have any medical conditions that affect your ability to do the field sobriety tests? Did you tell the officer about them?
If you are convicted of first offense DWI, the judge will have no choice but to suspend your license for 12 months in addition to other penalties. However, you may be eligible for a restricted license with an ignition interlock installed on your car. Your lawyer can help you review your particular circumstances and advise you of what you are realistically facing.
DUis are very fact specific. In my practice, I use a lengthy intake questionnaire to gather as many facts as possible to prepare for trial.
The punishment for a DUI is governed by statute, and the judge has limited discretion. If you are convicted of this misdemeanor, you will have a mandatory $250 fine, and the total fine can be a maximum $2,500. You can be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail; however, most judges do not impose any active time on a first DUI but instead impose a suspended sentence. You have to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, and install an ignition interlock in your car if you are granted a restricted license.
I encourage you to consult with a local attorney as soon as possible.
Bring with you a copy of all the paperwork you received the night in question. A good lawyer will walk you through everything he needs in the meeting.
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One of the best ways to help your lawyer or potential lawyer is to listen to and answer his or her questions and requests, rather than anticipating each question. You can also help the lawyer by asking whether he would like certain specific relevant pieces of information that the lawyer maybe did bring up.
My website's disclaimer page at http://katzjustice.com/disclaimer.htm applies to all my answers on AVVO.com .
Lots..so if he/she will only talk by phone or only give you a 30 min consult..find someone else.
Here is an brief list of what I usually start with:
receipts , bills, from bar or restaurant you were at. (if you cant find go back and see if you can get copy)
name, address phone number of people you were with, especially last person to see you prior to arrest.
your cell phone..so don't delete any calls or messages
the exact location of where you were stopped.
the route you took from last location to stop
Your medical history and current prescriptions , names of your doctors
your DMV record
what you did that day
what and when you ate
what you drank, how many, what size, what time started , what time ended,
(this is just an example but will get things started)
also , do remember to bring all the papers you received from the cop or magistrate.
Your case is governed by the Virginia Code, which sets out the elements of the crime, as well as presumptions and procedures. While you may have a defense, such as an improper stop, improper testing, etc., most DUI stops result in a conviction. recently, ignition interlock became mandatory - as is license suspension for 12 months, a $250 fine and completion of an Alcohol Action Safety Program ("ASAP"). You may be eligible for a restricted license (to/from work, ASAP, doctor's appointments, religious services). You will be well served to get a DUI attorney to help you through this.
Remember that although it seems terrible, you are not the first person in this situation and you will make it through and hopefully be better for it!
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