There are several stages involved in every DUI arrest, and police in Virginia routinely make mistakes during one or more of them. When these mistakes are made, a skilled DUI attorney can challenge the arrest or raise other technical defenses and have the charge of DUI dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
The penalties for DUI in Virginia are too severe to permit courts to ‘look the other way’ when officers make errors. However, there is one certainty at a DUI trial- the DUI defendant cannot prevail on an issue his lawyer fails to recognize and raise! Virginia DUI Lawyer Bob Battle has the experience and ability to help his clients use these errors to mount a successful DUI defense. In each DUI case, Bob carefully examines and aggressively attacks all parts of the prosecutor’s case, including:
Don't Let One Night of Drinking Leave You With a "Hangover" For Life!
In an instant, your whole future can change for the worst. One minute you are out partying- celebrating a birthday, anniversary, special occasion or just enjoying a night out- and the next thing you know you are in jail, your car has been towed and you are suddenly a criminal defendant! Just as shocking as it was to see that jail door slam shut with you inside, a DUI conviction will close doors of opportunity immediately.
Considering a career as a commercial pilot, driver, ship captain or law enforcement officer? Forget it with a DUI conviction. You could lose your security clearance or ability to get to work. You can't drive to your children's Little League games, the mall, or even to the grocery store. Your work and family life are thrown into instant turmoil. If you have been arrested for DUI, there is no time to waste! Use our DUI Intake Form to relay to Bob the specifics of your case.
Bob is the only lawyer in Virginia to offer a guarantee that could be worth thousands of dollars in free legal representation. Under Virginia law, if you are convicted of DUI in the General District Court, you have a right to appeal and get a new trial in the Circuit Court. Bob Battle guarantees that, if you wish to appeal your case and you want a Circuit Court judge to try your case, he will represent you on appeal to the Circuit Court for free!
DUI Law is Extremely Complex
The aggressive defense of a DUI charge can give rise to more potential legal defenses and technical defenses than most murder trials. The Virginia DUI law section of the Virginia Code is over 40 pages long. Furthermore, the law is constantly changing- increasing penalties and making it easier for the prosecutor to convict those charged with DUI. Trial courts and appellate courts are regularly issuing opinions on a wide variety of DUI issues. Left to its own devices, Virginia’s justice system applies little or no discretion in imposing punishment upon a defendant charged with a DUI offense. Ensuring that you obtain a different outcome in your case requires an attorney who understands the obstacles facing DUI defendants and is willing to fight the legal obstacles for his clients. In Virginia, that attorney’s name is Bob Battle.
In over two 26 years as a trial lawyer, Bob Battle has become well known in Virginia for his DUI defense practice. Bob has been asked to teach DUI defense to other lawyers at Continuing Legal Education programs. Bob Battle's peers- fellow lawyers and judges- have given him the highest rating a lawyer can get for legal ability and ethical standards. This prestigious AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell means that Bob’s legal ability was ranked “Preeminent." In addition to hundreds of Virginia residents, Bob has represented several professional athletes and celebrities, as well as lawyers and other professionals. Bob Battle has also developed a niche in representing individuals who are employed in establishments that serve alcohol- employees and owners of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Don’t Let Virginia’s “Rocket Dockets” Take You on a Ride to Jail!
The Virginia court system has gained national notoriety for the incredible speed that cases go through the court system from start to finish. Every trial lawyer in America knows that the "Rocket Docket" refers to federal cases in the eastern part of Virginia (including the federal courts in Alexandria and Richmond.) Whenever a crime is alleged, the legal system always prefers submissive defendants who quickly confess their crimes. This makes meting out justice more efficient, and efficiency is a must in today’s criminal justice system. One glance at a typical court’s daily docket will tell you that the justice system is overwhelmed with proceedings. The sheer number of DUI cases would make it impossible to try every DUI case within the due processes of justice. Therefore, the courts have a very real logistical interest in promoting the public perception of “guilty until proven innocent” for the crime of DUI, and pushing a case through to a speedy admission of guilt.
Particularly in DUI cases, judges and prosecutors prefer to keep cases going through the system in this “Rocket Docket” fashion. Everyone gets home on time for dinner if the docket is filled with cases that can be resolved in less than ten minutes of court time and at minimum expense to the legal system. Considering that fines for first-time offenders are as much as $2,500 in Virginia, this makes rapid DUI proceedings not just efficient, but even lucrative for the state.
Such a system might make life simpler for judges and prosecutors, but it is hardly fair for people who have been charged with DUI and must live with the impact it has on their liberty and economic status. If you have been arrested for DUI, there is no time to waste. Hiring Bob Battle for your case will ensure that your case receives the respect it is due, and that every available defense is used to strive to have your DUI charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
The Politics of DUI: The System Is against You
In a DUI trial, the deck is heavily stacked against the defendant. The politicians who pass DUI laws are against you. Being perceived as "tough on drunk drivers" is a must for all politicians. To demonstrate their toughness, the legal BAC limit keeps getting lower and lower, while mandatory minimum jail sentences and license suspensions keep getting higher and higher.
The police and prosecutors are also against you with their almost unlimited resources. Most judges are against you- no judges fail to be re-appointed by the legislature because they are perceived as being too tough on drunk drivers; however, many judges have been booted off the bench because they were labeled as soft on drunk drivers. Every judge in Virginia is well aware of these facts. You can imagine the tremendous pressure it puts on even the most fair-minded of judges to find all DUI defendants guilty.
In the face of this tremendously stacked deck, you get to pick one person to be on your side- your lawyer. This decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Bob Battle relishes and thrives in his role of "going to battle" for the legal underdog.
Stages of a DUI Arrest
The arresting officer must be able to testify to facts that he had a "reasonable suspicion" of a crime or traffic violation. A hunch is not enough. For example, even if the officer observes the motorist change lanes without signaling, there are many instances when such driving behavior is not a traffic violation. Ultimately, in any case in which the court rules that there was not a "reasonable suspicion" for the traffic stop, then the charge is dismissed.
An officer must have "probable cause" to arrest someone for driving under the influence. This is a lesser standard than proof beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. However, this is the same standard of proof as in a civil trial. In response to many prosecutors’ arguments that the standard is “only” probable cause, Bob Battle has successfully persuaded courts that the arresting officer did not possess sufficient probable cause to make the arrest.
While not as difficult to prove as cases requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt, evidence of probable cause is a significant burden to meet. Again, if there is no probable cause for the arrest, the charge must be dismissed.
Field Sobriety Tests
The field sobriety tests offered by the officer, even the 3 tests "approved" by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA"), are also areas open to attack by a skillful and experienced defense attorney. In fact, Bob Battle was asked to lecture at a seminar to other lawyers on how to successfully attack these field tests.(“Strategies in Defending DWI and DUI Cases in Virginia.”)
It took Bob Battle several hours to lecture to attorneys on all the ways to attack these tests, so he will not attempt to do so on this web site! Suffice it to say that Bob Battle has had a great deal of experience in excluding certain tests and minimizing the weight that judges give to other tests that the police officer asks the motorist to perform at the roadside.
The Virginia General Assembly changed the prior law giving the accused a choice of a blood or breath test to measure blood alcohol. The breath test is now required unless it is not readily available or practical. Since one of the ways of proving DUI looks at nothing but whether the breath test result is a .08 or above, the breath test results are a critical area to attack if the attorney wishes to defeat a DUI charge for his client.
The attorney must obtain all documentary evidence such as records of the breath test results, machine maintenance records, and the qualifications of the breath test operator.
Did You Refuse to Take a Breath Exam? Then You Need Help, Too.
By driving on a "highway" in Virginia, the Virginia Implied Consent law states that you are "consenting" to having samples of your blood or breath (or both) taken if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. For the results of these tests to be admissible at trial, specific procedures must be followed in conducting them. For example, the arrest must occur within 3 hours of the driving behavior.
If you refuse to submit to a blood or breath test, the officer will read a statement to you concerning your rights and the consequences of refusing to take the test. You will be required to sign a refusal form. If a judge decides that your refusal was unreasonable, your license will be suspended for an additional one year with no hope of getting even a restricted license to go to work. A second conviction of refusal is now a criminal offense which carries possible jail time and a 3 year suspension of your driver's license- again, with no hope of a restricted license. In addition, you can still be found guilty of the DUI charge based on testimony from the arresting officer. Thus, those charged with a 2nd DUI within 10 years of a prior DUI and Refusal are looking at a 6 year driver's license suspension!
Bob Battle has helped many drivers in Virginia who have refused to submit to blood or breath tests after being pulled over. If you need help with this type of case, contact Bob Battle today.
Costs of a DUI attorney
The most experienced attorneys are those attorneys who have either been prosecutors in the past or have had an extensive amount of experience defending people of DUI. Those attorneys who have been asked to lecture at seminars to train other lawyers on a particular area are those who have been recognized for their expertise in that particular area. As one can see from above, an attorney who is dedicated to aggressively representing his client in court must undertake a great deal of work well before the actual court date. Each law firm sets their own fees-and they vary widely. The range seems to be between $500 and $6,000 for first offense cases. Generally, as in everything else, as the demand for a firm’s services increase, so does the fee.
As Virginia Personal Injury lawyer Ben Glass stated in an unsolicted post on his law blog detailing why he feels Bob Battle is Virginia’s premier DUI defense attorney, “A word of warning: if you are looking for the cheapest DUI attorney in Virginia, and are shopping on price--don't waste your time. Frankly, hiring a DUI lawyer based on price is only one step more stupid than representing yourself in these cases.” Read Ben Glass’s full testimonial about Bob Battle.