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The Virginia General assembly recently passed a bill requiring all people convicted of first time DUI offenses to acquire an ignition interlock device in their automobiles. Early estimates indicate that enforcement of this law will cost the Commonwealth millions of dollars. My experience with ignition interlock devices indicates that those convicted of these offenses will also have to wait for devices to become available. The result can be that those convicted of DUI may not be able to drive at all for months after their court date.
Compounding this problem is the fact that many prosecutors do not offer plea negotiations on DUI cases. I have found that in most such instances a trial is inevitable. Many courts have standard results for first-time DUI convictions. If a prosecutor offers me a result that I know will occur even if I try the case and my client is found guilty, there is little incentive to enter a plea agreement. The penalties for a first time DUI conviction are more severe than ever. As a result I think I owe it to my clients to fight for them.
First time DUI charges can be very intimidating and frightening. It is important for those so accused to find an attorney about whom they are confident. I became a trial lawyer because I wanted to try cases. If you find yourself in a situation facing charges such as this you should consider contacting a criminal defense attorney that is willing to fight your case for you.