Four Things the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict You of a DWi in Virginia
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Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010
by James Parrish
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
Five officers participated in DWI-directed patrols in the Sully Police District of Fairfax County on Thursday, February 4 instead of setting up one sobriety checkpoint.
The results? Officers stopped about 29 drivers. They made two DWI arrests, and issued ten summonses for other traffic offenses.
Fairfax County has a low rate of fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers when compared with overall Virginia statistics.
If you are charged with a count of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol, and experienced attorney can make a difference.
In Virginia, the prosecutor must prove four things in order to convict a defendant of a DWI or DUI.
1. That you were actually the person operating the motor vehicle. They can not just assume you were driving the car and ask members of the Court to do the same.
2. You were pulled over by the police for a constitutionally valid reason. The prosecutor must prove that the officer who pulled you over reasonably believed that you were in violation of the law.
3. The authorities had probably cause to arrest you for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence. If the prosecutor can not prove this, the Court must dismiss the case.
4. At the time you were driving or otherwise operating the vehicle, you had a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08, or that you were under the influence of another controlled substance.
Even if you are pulled over for a minor traffic violation, the authorities may ask you to take a field sobriety test if they suspect you have been drinking.
Do you have the right to refuse? You do, of course, have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, if you refuse the test, it is more likely that you will be arrested.
In the event that you are arrested on the charge of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney will review the facts of the case to determine if the prosecutor has a case. An experienced attorney will apply the pressure to the prosecutor when it comes to their burden of proof.
Copyright (c) 2010 James Parrish
Accident information for Fairfax County: http://www.city-data.com/county/Fairfax_County-VA.html
Fairfax County Government: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov
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