Jul 08, 2019 Defending DWI-refusal charges – Virginia DUI lawyer weighs in
Defending trials alleging DWI and BAC refusal – Virginia DUI lawyer underlines the possibilities and challenges
Defending in trial against allegations of DWI and refusal to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing by breath or blood testing presents its own opportunities and challenges. As a Virginia DUI lawyer who has taken numerous of such cases to trial, I provide the following defensive thoughts.
Absence of BAC testing can increase chances of acquittal on DWI, says Fairfax DUI lawyer
A conviction for BAC test refusal brings a mandatory one year driver’s license suspension for the first offense. For a second offense, that penalty rises to three years of no driving together with a jailable Class 1 misdemeanor conviction. As a Virginia DUI defense attorney, I know that when BAC testing is absent, the chances of acquittal when defending a DWI charge can increase, because now the prosecutor cannot prove DUI per se for any BAC test of 0.08 or higher, and is left to try to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. At the same time, plenty of Virginia DUI defendants exist who prefer seeking a plea deal for DUI with agreed terms and conditions if that will get a dismissal of the refusal charge.
Fairfax DUI attorney on appealing a partial or full loss when defending against a DWI and refusal charge
Typically it is more easy for a prosecutor to win a refusal conviction than a DUI conviction. When a defending party wins a Virginia DUI count and loses the refusal count, it is good to consider appealing for a trial by jury on the refusal conviction when it is a civil offense rather than for a misdemeanor second offense. When the defendant loses both counts and appeals for a jury trial, the defendant should consider whether to seek a separate jury for each of the two counts. A qualified lawyer should be consulted for such decisionmaking.
Virginia DUI lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has successfully defended hundreds of people accused of DWI / driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To discuss your felony, misdemeanor or DUI case with Jon Katz, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation.