Fairfax DWI defense addressed by Virginia DUI lawyer
Fairfax DWI defense calls for a full court press by the defendant and their Virginia DUI lawyer
Fairfax DWI prosecutions under Virginia Code § 18.2-266 are among the most serious misdemeanors that can be charged in the commonwealth. A substantial percentage of my law practice is devoted to work as a Fairfax DUI lawyer, having successfully defended hundreds of DWI defendants, and showing my commitment to great Fairfax DWI defense through such activities as being among the small percentage of Virginia lawyers who are members of the National College of DUI defense and the limited number of lawyers who get trained by one of the nation’s top teachers to police for conducting the field sobriety tests that police so dearly want Virginia DWI suspects to undergo, and which suspects have the full right to refuse. DUI defense — including with challenging blood alcohol concentration testing through breath and blood testing — calls for understanding and applying the relevant science, which I am helped all the more with applying through having worked scores of times with forensic science experts in challenging BAC testing, and adding medical doctors in presenting the GERD / acid reflux defense at trial.
What happens if a person without a Fairfax DWI defense lawyer misses the arraignment or attorney review date?
If a person is without a Fairfax DWI defense lawyer, s/he must timely attend the arraignment and attorney review date. If you miss either date, you can expect the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Your Virginia criminal Recognizance should state your arraignment date, but will not tell you your next two Fairfax DUI court dates, which are your attorney review and trial dates, both of which are available by looking up your case at the Virginia online case search website. Your Fairfax DUI arraignment date will usually be at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 1D, but make sure of that by checking the online court docketing system or by checking the hallway video screens by the courthouse’s first floor courtrooms. If you already have hired a Virginia DUI defense lawyer before either your arraignment or attorney review date, ask your lawyer if you still need to attend either date. Neither you nor your Virginia DUI lawyer need to attend either court date so long as your lawyer timely and correctly files a praecipe / entry of appearance with the Fairfax County General District Court traffic clerk, or files the online entry of appearance form.
What benefit do I get by hiring a Fairfax DUI lawyer earlier rather than later?
A strong Fairfax DWI defense starts when you obtain a qualified Virginia DUI lawyer. In Fairfax, the prosecutor’s / commonwealth’s attorney’s office agrees to provide the discovery / prosecution evidence that it is required to disclose within as short as ten business days after being requested, so long as the prosecutor’s office has access to such discovery. (UPDATE- As of November 2022, the Fairfax prosecutor’s office instead agrees to sign a proposed order to provide discovery at least ten calendar days before trial or preliminary hearing.) That is among the fasted discovery provision times for Northern Virginia General District Court cases, and can be taken advantage of once you have a lawyer. Your qualified Fairfax DUI lawyer will also be ready for all curveballs that come your way, including notices that the police officer is seeking to reschedule your trial, motions by the prosecutor to amend your charging document (including to reflect a threshold blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is accompanied by mandatory minimum jail time if convicted), and notices by the prosecution of intention to introduce your BAC result into evidence without needing live testimony (such notices are common in some jurisdictions but not currently in Fairfax, where I still timely file an objection to the certificate of analysis without waiting for a notice from the prosecution).
This is my first DWI charge with a BAC result under 0.15. Why do I need a qualified Fairfax DUI lawyer?
Some people ask whether their Fairfax DWI defense justifies the cost of a lawyer, when they do not expect any jail if convicted. Avoiding any Virginia DUI conviction is worthwhile, and being convicted for DWI calls for pursuing the most favorable possible sentence, including the most extensive possible restricted driving privileges. You will be put on probation for a Fairfax DUI conviction, with the risk of incarceration or other adverse consequences if found in violation of probation. If you are convicted later on for a second or third DUI offense, you risk mandatory minimum incarceration and harsh consequences against your driving privileges. All Virginia DUI defendants need a qualified lawyer.
Will I be able to get it over with on my first Fairfax DUI trial date?
The county General District Court’s written procedures generally permit both sides the opportunity to obtain a Fairfax DUI trial date continuance on the first trial date. If it will be a financial or calendaring hardship for you to have to appear for more than one court date for your Fairfax DWI defense, talk with your Fairfax DUI lawyer about that, so that s/he may consider such approaches as requesting an advance court order to waive your appearance for the first court date, or to mandate no continuances on the first court date (but a report of illness by an opposing witness can still lead to a court date continuance).
When should I consider requesting setting my Fairfax DUI sentencing for the judge’s sentencing date rather than on my trial date?
Usually a Fairfax General District Court judge will be ready to proceed to sentencing on the same date that s/he convicts a defendant for a Virginia DUI offense. If your Fairfax DWI defense will include dealing with an allegation of a related collision, high speed, or other aggravating factors, you may benefit from being sentenced on a later date (as long as the judge is not going to incarcerate you pending sentencing, which I would rarely expect), by being able to develop more equities (for instance attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and/or starting alcohol treatment) and by distancing the judge from any initial disenchantment with the allegations.
Most importantly, when charged with a Fairfax DUI offense, take the bull by the horns for your defense
A qualified Fairfax DUI lawyer can make a vital difference for your Fairfax DWI defense, including the possibility of an acquittal, which not only avoids a conviction, but also the probation, driving suspension, and court fines and costs that accompany a conviction. Investing in the right Virginia DWI defense lawyer is the right choice.
Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan Katz pursues your best defense against Virginia DWI, felony and misdemeanor prosecutions. Call 703-383-1100 for your free initial in person consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case.