Throughout your Virginia DUI arrest and processing, the most important thing you can do to help yourself is to pay attention to what is happening. Police have to follow very strict procedures when they arrest you in order for the prosecutor to successfully convict you at trial. Your Virginia DUI defense lawyer won't be with you when you arrive at the police station - so you have to do your best to protect your rights until a lawyer can arrive and start helping you.
Here are some of the parts of your DUI arrest you should observe closely:
- Your rights. Listen to exactly what police officials say to you when they advise you of your rights.
- Procedures. Make mental notes of exactly what you were instructed to do and the timeline of when everything took place.
- Testing. Take note of all the details of any blood alcohol tests which were conducted - including how long they took and what time they were done.
- Threats. Pay close attention to any threats, coercion, or even abuse at any time during your stay at the police station.
When you eventually talk to your Virginia DUI attorney, they will listen to your recollection of the events and ask you specific questions about what happened. If you thoroughly paid attention, they may be able to find a procedural error that could significantly affect your case's outcome.
Securing Your Release
After your processing is complete, the police will contact a judge who will determine when you will be released. Depending on the jurisdiction and the time of day when you were arrested, this could occur within a few hours or you may be required to stay overnight in jail.
When a judge does become available, they will be faced with 3 choices:
- to release you without bail ("on your own recognizance")
- to set a bail amount which must be paid before your release
- to hold you without bail
In most cases, you will be released without bail with the promise to return for your DUI trial. The date and location of the trial court will be provided to you.
If the judge sets bail, you will be allowed to call a bail bondsman, family members, or friends to help you post the bail and obtain your release. After you are released, talk to your DUI attorney about getting the bail lowered or eliminated altogether.
If you are held without bail, you must be allowed to appear before the judge on the next regular court date - which will usually be within 48 hours of your arrest. At that hearing, the judge may still decide to set bail or release you on your own recognizance. But other factors may also be considered, including:
- your prior arrest record or probation status
- whether the judge feels you will flee the jurisdiction or not show up for your trial
- your employment
- your living conditions and family considerations
Virginia DUI attorney Bob Battle aggressively defends those charged with a Virginia DUI. For proven legal help with your Virginia DUI case, contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.