Virginia DUI Arrests

Being pulled over for a DUI can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are not used to interacting with law enforcement. You may find yourself wondering what happens immediately after a Virginia DUI arrest. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can answer any questions that you may have about the DUI arrest process, and can fight for you. If you have been arrested for a DUI, get in touch with a qualified DUI attorney who can work diligently to build your case.

Where Are Individuals Taken After Arrest

What happens immediately after a Virginia DUI arrest is that an individual is taken by the police to either the local jail, the local police station or wherever the closest breathalyzer test is available to them. Once they are there, they begin the process of submitting a breath test for the government. The exception to that if a person is suspected of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol or just drugs. Under those circumstances, they might be taken to a medical facility where a nurse or doctor can extract blood, pursuant to “I-Consent Law” so that the blood can be analyzed to determine the level of intoxicant in their system.

Expectations Following Arrest

After they have submitted the breath test, they will be taken before the magistrate where they will be formally charged with the DUI if the breath test is in excess of 0.08 or higher. They will be advised that their license is likely suspended for at least the next seven days if it is a first offense, 60 days if it is a second offense, and then indefinitely until the trial date, for a third offense. After they are advised of all these things, they will be processed into the jail by various forms of screening such as medical screening and mental health screening. Eventually, they end up in a holding cell while they wait until they get released. Generally speaking, most people charged with a first offense DUI will get a bond, it is very reasonable or even a personal recognizance bond and they will be released as soon as the jail is of the opinion that they have sobered up. Usually, that involves supplemental breath test some hours after they were booked in and the alcohol has had time to metabolize through a person’s body.

Refusing a Blood Alcohol Test

There is a statute says that any unreasonable refusal of a blood alcohol test shall result in a separate charge.  In other words, if a person decides they do not want to take the test for whatever reason, that is considered an unreasonable refusal under Virginia law. If a person does refuse, then they face a separate charge that will result in a 12-month loss of license and unfortunately it is a hard suspension which means a person is not allowed to drive for any reason during the next 12 months.

Contacting an Attorney During a DUI Stop

Individuals are not allowed to call an attorney while they are in the process of being investigated for a DUI. After a person is arrested and booked at the jail, they will be allowed to call an attorney from there.

If someone is being pulled over and dials an attorney before the police officer even walks up to their window, it would not be an additional charge and it would not necessarily be an aggravating factor. A person might annoy the officer by doing so, and the officer will probably tell the person to hang up the phone. But if a person calls an attorney in the midst of a traffic stop they can talk for a few seconds and the attorney can give advice on what to do and what not to do. But as a general rule, they are not going to let anyone continue once the officer reaches the window.

When to Contact an Attorney

After a person is arrested and taken before the magistrate, the magistrate will determine what, if any, bond should be granted in the case. A person does not have the right to have an attorney present for that interaction, there is no role for an attorney to play when the driver is in front of the magistrate. However, if the magistrate sets a bond that is unreasonable or something that cannot be met, under that circumstance, a person would stay in the jail and they would be able to hire an attorney and that attorney would file a bond motion to get the client out of jail as soon as possible.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A DUI case does take quite a bit of time to prepare for trial. There is a number of different things an attorney will need to do in order to get as much information as possible about the government’s case. Contact a local DUI lawyer who can explain what happens immediately after a Virginia DUI arrest.