20 Y/0. Active duty military. Hearing set for this Friday. Military legal won't represent me in criminal case.
These are both class 1 misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Depending upon how bad the scene of the accident was, you are likely not looking at jail time. The important thing is that you DO NOT ADMIT to operating the vehicle. Often in these cases they cannot prove you were driving. Do not make statements to anyone and consult a lawyer ASAP.
In Arlington, your first court date is your arraignment -- at that hearing they will advise you what you are charged with, ask you what your plans are regarding a lawyer, and set the next trial date. Your lawyer will be able to get the police reports in advance of your actual trial date, interview witnesses, and negotiate with the prosecutor.
Standard disposition for DUIs in Virginia, first offense, are a fine, suspended jail time, ASAP (alcohol classes), a suspended license, and if you want a restricted license, ignition interlock on your car. The penalties can be devastating to your employment and any security clearances. If there are any defense angles to exploit in your case, you need to move quickly to preserve them.
Best of luck to you.
Depends on your blood alcohol content, driving behavior, the prosecutor you get, the judge you get...
Use the Find A Lawyer tool and consult with an attorney in the jurisdiction where you got the charges. This is not a situation with a quick answer.
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Contact a local DUI lawyer to get info regarding your case. You've given us the law but haven't given us any case facts.
I am licensed attorney who focuses on Serious DUI Cases such a 2nd DUIs, 3rd DUIs, 4th DUIs, and Felony DUIs and DMV hearings. I also have much experience handling car accident cases. Although the information I provide is helpful, it is not legal advice. Although Avvo makes it clear to consumers that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, some attorneys prefer to add their own disclaimers to answers. You can set your custom disclaimer here and it will be automatically added to your answers. Do NOT include any direct solicitations or contact information.
I suggest you retain a lawyer for your case. I have a few associates who are JAG, and I believe after dealing with the state actions you could still receive sanctions by the military. So, it's very important that you deal with these cases as effectively as possible. Frankly I'd suggest speaking to one attorney familiar with State law claims and another familiar with UCMJ (which is a very specialized practice, so look for ex-JAG officers now in private practice). Good luck.
An attorney-client relationship is only created by retaining my legal services. Also, none of my answers to questions on this forum should be considered legal advice.
As the others have said you are facing two separate legal issues. As an Army offier, I am aware of both. The first being the state offenses which both hold the potential for jail time, fines, suspended drivers license, and a plethora of other mandatory stuff.
The second is either the Article 15/Captains Mast/Office Hours/NJP or the formal proceedings heading to a courts martial. If the military wishes to pursue matters on their side (depending on your rank and charges you could be losing up to two ranks, half months pay for two month, restriction, extra duty, or in the days of draw down an Adminstrative separation)
So to answer what do you do, get an Attorney and do it quickly.
The answer submitted by the Attorney above is for Educational Purposes Only and is not Legal Advice. The attorney does not represent the poster and no attorney-client privilege has been created by answering the question. As always the Attorney suggest that the poster seeks out a qualified attorney in their geographical area to assist them in the matter.
The Hit and Run case could be either a misdemeanor or a felony -- depending upon injuries and damage alleged. (Don't post more fact of your case this public website). DUI is a misdemeanor. Your disposition could be anything from an acquittal to a conviction with incarceration. Every case is different.
There are many defenses to each charge, so consult with the best attorney you can get. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations.
I chime in only to tell you that the VCC code you've given us, HIT-6604-F5, indicates that you have been charged with a felony hit & run. That will almost certainly be a career killer in the armed forces if you are convicted. You need to consult with several defense attorneys in your area and hire the best one you can afford.
In addition to all of the other excellent answers that you received above, I recommend finding an attorney who also has significant experience with the military collateral consequences that will come from this. Regardless of the outcome on the civilian side, the military will likely take action based on the nature of this offense--whether that is an adsep, court-martial, Art. 15 or some other action will depend on the outcome of this case and other actions that you take over the upcoming weeks. Bottom line, this will have a serious impact on your military career, so be careful to think this through on both the civilian side and the military.
The hit and run charge is a felony as you have cited it, while the DWI is a misdemeanor. If your case is in Arlington, you should consult with an attorney who regularly practices in that county. Likely results depend on the county, prosecutor, judge, and the detailed facts of your case. A big difference for the felony charge will be whether another driver was injured, or if there was property damage only. As others have said, the DWI outcome will depend primarily on what your blood alcohol level was. I'd be happy to speak to you if you'd like -- feel free to call me or send me an email directly. I practice primarily in Arlington.
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