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Winchester DWI & DUI Attorney

Drunk driving causes more fatalities than any other single driving error. Roughly one third of all traffic fatalities are caused by alcohol-impaired drivers, accounting for around 10,000 deaths annually. The national increase in fatalities from 2014 to 2015, which totalled nine percent in the Virginia region according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only makes the likelihood of high penalties all that much higher for drivers arrested for DUIs and DWIs. If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI, you need immediate legal assistance to help reduce the charges or have your record cleared entirely. While statistically unlikely, some DUI and DWI charges can be erased completely, due to the proving of unreliable testing equipment or other flaws in the police work performed at the scene. Our Winchester DWI & DUI attorneys will help you beat these charges so that your driver’s license, career, and good name within your community are not in jeopardy of being lost forever.

DUI and DWI Criminal Charges

The specific charges against you vary on a wide variety of factors. Your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) must be at 0.08 percent or greater for a DUI or DWI arrest to be made, according to Virginia statutes 18.2-266. Fines and penalties that go along with a DUI vary, depending on previous convictions, the age of your passengers, and whether you caused serious injury to any other road user. However, there are other charges that go along with alcohol and alcohol and driving as well, such as having an open container in the vehicle, purchasing alcohol for an underage person, misrepresentation of age, and possession of alcohol on school property. Virginia has very strict penalties for alcohol impaired driving and other alcohol-related crimes.

Flaws in Police Work

One of the key elements to being charged with a DUI or DWI is the quality of police work done at the scene and the reliability of the tests and devices used for collecting samples. We may be able to prove that the roadside sobriety test was flawed, that the blood or breath test was inaccurate, that you were not made aware of your statutory or constitutional rights, or that other testing equipment was not up to code. Certain chemical tests must be performed within a certain time frame, state-specific forms must be adhered to, and the preservation of test and sample results must be flawless in order for the charges to stick. We may be able to have the charges dismissed before you go to trial. However, this cannot be done alone or with an inexperienced attorney. For your best chance at having penalties reduced or the charges dismissed, you need an attorney with the know-how and clout to obtain the records of your arrest and figure out if the police work and prosecution have a case against you, or if there were serious errors made along the way. Contact the experienced DUI and DWI Winchester defense attorneys of Simms Showers, LLP today.

DUI Expungement

There are a lot of things that can hold us back from finding decent employment or getting a good loan. Having a less-than-perfect GPA, minimal or no college experience, poor credit, or a history of not staying with a company for more than a few years all work against you when applying for a new job. With today’s economic climate, only one percent of resume submissions result in a call back, let alone an interview, according to Forbes. That number was 10 percent just 10 years ago. Every minor stain on your past decreases your chance of landing that perfect job. Obviously, a DUI or other criminal charge can go a long way in making up an employer’s mind before they even meet you. Many employers look at the criminal history first and never even get around to that person’s resume. Sometimes we just need a second chance. There are many other reasons to have a DUI expunged, such as a desire to adopt, getting a loan, or simply for peace of mind. Our DUI expungement attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP will help you through this technical process to better your chances of creating a clean slate.

Apply for DUI Expungement in Virginia

Virginia state statutes 9.2-392.2 allows individuals to submit a petition, along with a new set of fingerprints, to expunge their police and court records. However, there are stipulations. You must have been found not guilty, the case must have been dismissed, or the Commonwealth Attorney must have declined prosecution of your case, termed nolle prosequi disposition. The case must be brought before a judge, which is where an experienced DUI expungement attorney can greatly assist you in streamlining the process and ensuring that your chances for success are as high as possible. In addition to the necessary criteria mentioned above, your case stands a much higher chance of success if the following are met:

  • You do not have any prior convictions;
  • The offense your were charged with was a misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony;
  • The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office decides not to challenge your petition;
  • Your case for expungement is well defined and compelling; and
  • You seek expungement over pardon.

Is a Pardon the Same as Expungement?

A pardon is similar to expungement in some ways, however a simple pardon does not erase your conviction from your criminal record. A simple pardon is an “act by the Governor on behalf of the Commonwealth where official forgiveness is granted for a crime for which a person has been convicted,” according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Contact an Experienced Winchester Expungement Attorney Today

No matter your needs for expungement, the Winchester law office of Simms Showers, LLP can provide experienced assistance. We can help you successfully expunge your DUI history and get a fresh start on life. In addition to DUI offenses, we have helped our clients expunge other misdemeanors and felonies, such as trespassing, drug charges, and assault and battery. Contact the experienced Winchester DUI & DWI attorneys today.

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