Virginia residents who drive with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit or who drive under the influence of drugs run the risk of being charged with a DUI. When a person is charged with a DUI for the first time, they may have many questions about what to expect. In most cases, when a person is arrested for a DUI, even if it is their first one, it's likely that they will spend some time in jail.
A judge could allow the individual to go free after they have posted bail and are no longer under the effects of alcohol or drugs. It is likely that this individual will need to return to court at a later date for a hearing. During that hearing, they may face fines, penalties, or the suspension of their license.
In some areas, individuals accused of driving while under the influence may need to take a breathalyzer test or sobriety test prior to their being arrested. While a person may refuse these tests, they can still be taken to jail and forced to have their urine or blood tested instead. If a driver is under the influence of a substance that a breath test cannot detect, they will likely be arrested and receive drug testing while in jail.
Sentencing for a DUI offense varies. If a person has no prior record, it is likely that the sentence they receive will be a lot lighter than those who have had a number of DUI charges before. A first-time offender may lose their driver's license for a few months, be required to go through a DUI schooling program, and pay a fine.
When a person is accused of driving under the influence, they may wish to contact a criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense attorneys are not just for individuals who are guilty nor are they only for individuals who are innocent. They may be able to help their client through every phase of the process from arrest all the way through future release from jail or prison.