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With nearly 40% of fatal auto accidents in West Virginia involving alcohol, the state takes a tough stance against drinking and driving. Their DUI laws are firm, and the penalties for violating them can be severe.
For this reason, you need to take any DUI charges you receive with the highest level of concern. Your first call should be to a West Virginia DUI lawyer who can guide you through this confusing time. Remember, DUI law is highly complex, and only a few lawyers truly specialize in it. Just make sure the attorney you choose is a specialist with a successful track record.
But it’s not enough to simply hire a DUI lawyer to handle your case. You need to play an active role in your defense. After all, it’s your future that’s at stake. The best way to get involved with your case is to educate yourself on West Virginia DUI laws. The information provided in this overview will help you make informed decisions regarding your defense.
The first thing to understand about West Virginia DUI laws is the term ‘implied consent.’ These laws dictate that all licensed drivers have given the state their consent to have their BAC tested whenever an officer so demands. If you refuse to submit to a BAC test, you could lose your license for at least a year.
In West Virginia, DUI cases are tried according to two different methods. The first way of proving one’s guilt is according to their body chemistry. These are known as per se laws. In these cases, any individual operating a vehicle while having a BAC of .08% or higher will be arrested for DUI. DUI experts know this isn’t a foolproof way of proving someone is drunk. Test results have a margin of error depending upon the machine’s calibration and other outside forces.
The other way of trying DUI cases is based on an officer’s judgment. Officers may use circumstantial evidence (your driving patterns, your performance on field sobriety tests, or your general behavior during the traffic stop) to prove you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Now, any lawyer can tell you this evidence is highly subjective, and it should always be called into doubt during your defense.
West Virginia has a 10 year washout period. This means that any DUI offense essentially drops off the record after 10 years. The guidelines for West Virginia DUI penalties are as follows:
If you’re a first time DUI offender, your penalties may include up to 6 months in jail, fines up to $500, and a driver’s license suspension of 6 months.
For your second DUI conviction, you could spend up to a year in jail. Additionally, you’ll be fined up to $3000, and your license could be revoked up to 10 years.
If this is your third DUI, your penalties are as follows: up to 3 years in jail, possible lifetime driver’s license suspension, fines up to $5000, and an ignition interlock device placed on your car should you get your license back.
As you’re staring in the face of these penalties, it’s clear that you need a DUI lawyer in your corner. Their experience and insight will ensure you get the defense you deserve. Remember, being arrested for a DUI doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. Make sure your rights are protected!
At Ticket Void, we help you find the best DUI lawyers in your community. All you have to do is select the city nearest you from the list below, and you’ll have access to the top West Virginia DUI lawyers. Get started today! TicketVoid is a FREE service to the driver.