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Fairfax Criminal Defense Blog

What to expect after a DUI arrest

No one wants to go through the experience of being arrested on suspicion of DUI. Naturally, we hope our readers will not have to go through this experience, but we believe that the old adage “knowledge is half the battle” holds true here. So here are some of the possible steps that may be taken after a DUI arrest.

Arraignment - After being released on bond, you will be given a court date where you will be formally arraigned. Essentially, this will be the step where you are read the criminal charges against you and you will be advised of your right to enter a plea, whether it is “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.” Your attorney will advise you of the specifics regarding what will happen in either situation. 

Why is forensic evidence often wrong?

Television crime shows have given Americans the impression that DNA evidence is nearly infallible. Recent studies indicate that not only is forensic evidence not perfect, it’s actually very prone to error.

Two major reports have examined what is wrong with forensic evidence. The first study was conducted in 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. The second study was published in 2016 by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

What to expect during the arrest process

An arrest is a serious issue and can impact the rest of your life in many ways. The arrest process can be overwhelming, especially if you have never been arrested before. The police are required to follow certain legal procedures when they arrest someone.

What can you expect if you are arrested? When the police arrest you, they are required to inform you about your Miranda rights, which protect you from self-incriminating yourself during the arrest process. You are probably familiar with the phrase that starts with “You have the right to remain silent…” It is important to understand that you do, in fact, have the right to not say anything during your arrest.

Understand what factors might impact a criminal sentence

One of the things that people who are going through the criminal justice system think about often is what sentence they will face if they are convicted. The sentences are usually determined by looking into a host of factors. Understanding these might help you to plan your defense.

One of the primary factors that determines the sentence a judge hands down is the sentencing guidelines for the charge. For example, there are specific guidelines to sentence a person who is convicted of assault and battery. Those are different from the guidelines for a conviction on identity theft.

All drunk driving and boating charges are serious matters

We recently discussed some of the indicators that police officers look for when they are determining if there is a possibility that someone is driving drunk. When the police officer pulls you over for one of those signs, they have almost certainly met the standard of reasonable suspicion that is required in these stops.

When you are facing a drunk driving charge, there are several things that you might be able to look into for your defense. These things are often complex matters that require some knowledge to handle. One of these would be calling the chain of custody into question. Another is finding out if evidence was handled properly or machines were calibrated correctly.

Indicators police look for when they suspect you're driving drunk

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be scary. As if having to spend a night in jail to sober up were not scary enough, not knowing what implications the charges are going to have on your job, ability to adequately take care of your family and handle everyday routine tasks can be even more frustrating. While there are some differences as to how states handle DUI charges, there are some generalities as well.

Any blood alcohol content (BAC) that registers at or above .08 percent can result in DUI charges in most states. The only exception to this rule is for those who have yet to reach the the legal drinking age of 21. Most states consider those individuals who have a BAC of .01 to .02 percent to be driving drunk.

Think about all the options you have for your drug case

Facing drug charges means that you are also facing possible impacts to other aspects of your life. You should consider all of the possibilities when you are trying to decide what you are going to do for your defense. We understand that this is a stressful time, but we are here to help determine what options you might have.

You may be interested in learning how the quantity and type of drugs you are accused of having might impact your case. This is an important consideration, especially if there are questions about these aspects of the case. We can answer these questions so that you can make decisions based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Know the classification of the drugs involved in your case

There are several points that determine how you are going to be charged when you are facing a drug charge. One of the points that matters is the classification of the drug. There are five schedules of drugs that the legal system uses. These are numbered from one to five, with one being the ones that are classified as having legitimate use and five being the ones that aren't considered as hardcore as the higher schedules.

Interestingly, the federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. This means that the government doesn't see any use for the drug and has completely outlawed it. Heroin is also classified in this schedule.

Know what you can do to help your child in juvenile court

We recently discussed what a status offense entails in juvenile court. These are offenses that wouldn't lead to legal troubles if an adult did the same things. Even though these might not seem significant, they can be a very big deal for your child.

No parent wants to know that their child got into trouble. When this happens, it can be a wake-up call for you that your child needs help for addiction, behavioral and/or mental health issues. You may learn about some of the services that could help your child.

Understand what a status offense is in juvenile court

Status offenses aren't as a serious as other offenses in the juvenile justice system, but this doesn't mean that you can ignore them. Instead, you need to learn about these offenses so that you can decide what to do about them if your child is facing one.

As a parent, you are probably worried about your child's future. You certainly don't want to think about your child ruining his or her life before it really gets started. This is why it is so troubling when you learn that your child is involved with the juvenile justice system.

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