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DUI process changing in 1 Virginia city

Getting a DUI isn't ever something that someone wants to have to go through. Just seeing those flashing lights behind you is sometimes enough to scare you into never getting behind the wheel after drinking again. If you are facing DUI charges, it is always important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself against the charges. That fact is especially important now for residents of Virginia Beach because of a change that affects the way DUI cases are handled within the jurisdiction.

In the past, first-time DUI cases were handled by the police department. There wasn't a prosecutor over the case. That is now changing, according to the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Starting June 30, all DUI cases, including first-time offenses, will be handled by a prosecutor. The Commonwealth's Attorney for Virginia Beach says that this might reduce the number of drunk driving offenses seen in the area because people will have to stand against prosecutors instead of police officers.

Currently, the conviction rate for DUI charges in Virginia Beach is just over 90 percent. In 2013, Virginia Beach had the highest number of DUI cases in the state. In that year, more than 2,300 DUI cases went before the court in Virginia Beach.

This latest announcement by the Commonwealth's Attorney serves as a reminder to those who are facing DUI charges that they must be prepared to present a solid defense. Knowing the laws and potential consequences might help those facing these charges to decide how to proceed with their plea, as well as their defense if that is necessary.

Source: WVEC.com, "Va. Beach Commonwealth's Attorney to begin prosecuting all DUI charges" No author given, Jun. 18, 2014

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

criminal defense & Social security disability law

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