When there is a car accident in Virginia, the law enforcement investigation will include checking to see if it was due to driving under the influence. If an officer does suspect that a driver was under the influence, he or she could face drunk driving charges. Even worse yet, when there are injuries and fatalities in the accident, a felony DUI charge could result. For those who are placed under arrest after an alleged DUI crash, it must be understood that there is a litany of penalties in the event of a conviction. Regardless of the situation, everyone has the right to a strong defense and it is vital to have one from the start of the case.
An alleged drunk driving crash claimed the life of an off-duty Virginia police officer recently. The accident happened around 10:40 p.m., and as the officer was crossing the street with friends, he was struck by an automobile. The officer, a three-year veteran, died at the scene of the crash. Upon investigation, the driver of the car, a 72-year-old man, was placed under arrest for intoxication manslaughter.
When a driver is charged with DUI, the defense must be taken seriously from the outset. In the state of Virginia, the penalties for a conviction on DUI charges will inevitably include jail time. This is especially true if it is tried as a felony. In addition, there could be hefty fines and a loss of driving privileges.
While it is obviously serious to be accused of driving under the influence, that does not automatically mean the driver is guilty. It is imperative to remember this regardless of the incident and if there was an injury causing accident. There could have been a reason that the driver appeared to be under the influence. The investigation might not have been done according the state-mandated protocol. Even more so, it might be possible to negotiate a plea bargain if it is indeed found that the driver was under the influence. The key is to craft a defense based on the situation.
Source: 13newsnow.com, “Off-duty officer hit, killed by vehicle in Chesapeake; driver charged,” July 24, 2017