DUI charges are not foolproof

When someone in West Virginia is accused of DUI, it can have far-reaching consequences. In addition to the consequences of the justice system's sentencing and penalties, the individual may have to face much more significant concerns, such as reputation and future lifestyle changes.

This may be the case in a recent DUI arrest where the spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Transportation was charged with DUI. The spokesman was pulled over by the police for failure to use a turn signal, and allegedly failed subsequent breathalyzer and sobriety tests. The charge was a first offense DUI, but will no doubt have negative consequences in some area of his life.

First offenders and even subsequent offenders of DUI should be aware that all DUI charges do not have to result in the severest penalties or consequences. Charges are not always foolproof. Attorneys may not be able to directly impact the damage to a person's reputation, but with a good defense, they may be able to indirectly affect them by possibly having the charges dropped or reduced, or having a minimal or decreased penalty imposed.

Through a comprehensive research of all of the evidence, your attorney may find that an error was made during the arrest or with the procedures and steps taken by the arresting officials. Was there a possibility of evidence tampering?

Any technicality in how tests were administered or any errors in procedures could result in all charges being dropped. Were you forced to take a breathalyzer test? It is within your right to refuse a test -- although refusing will result in a year's suspension of your driver's license by the DMV. On the other hand, refusing could help you in a DUI criminal case by deflecting damaging evidence.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea. It is unsafe for both you and other individuals on the road. But if you have made this mistake, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and it is your attorney's job to protect your rights. By minimizing the consequences, your reputation may be able to remain intact as well.

Source: The Charleston Gazette, "State DOT spokesman charged with DUI" Erin Beck, Dec. 09, 2014

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