DUI/DWI – Criminal and DMV Cases in West Virginia
If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in West Virginia, you are subject to two legal cases for which you will need representation.
Attorney Sean Thomas Logue of Mountaineer Criminal Law Group devotes a majority of his practice to DUI defense. He can listen to your concerns and work to keep your driving privileges and to have your charges dropped. You may reach him at 304-584-DUI1.
One State, Two Defenses: Why You Need a West Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer
The most obvious of these two legal cases is the criminal court case, for which a conviction can result in jail, fines, driver’s license suspension, required treatment and educational programs, and other penalties, such as a mandatory ignition interlock – a device into which you must breathe a “clean” breath sample before your vehicle will start.
The second case takes place before the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It is separate from your criminal court case, but can dramatically affect your ability to drive. Once you receive notification of your license suspension, you have 30 days to request, in writing, a hearing to defend your driving privileges.
Due to the complexity of West Virginia DUI laws and hearing procedures, it is advised that you hire a skilled West Virginia defense lawyer to represent you at the hearing.
Implied Consent: Circumstantial Evidence
West Virginia’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a chemical test if requested by an officer during his or her investigation. Although refusal is not a criminal offense, you will lose your driving privileges unless you prevail at a DMV hearing. Further, you can be convicted on circumstantial evidence, without evidence provided by a chemical test.
What Are the West Virginia DUI Penalties?
A DUI conviction can seriously impair your ability to acquire and maintain auto, health, life and disability insurance. Insurers can and do raise premiums and cancel policies in response to DUI convictions.
Penalties for drinking and driving in West Virginia vary widely, depending on your number of prior convictions, level of intoxication and other factors. Please read our Driver’s License Penalties page for more information on penalties specific to a West Virginia DUI.
First-Time Offender Program – New Law, New Options
In 2009, West Virginia created a new DUI deferral program for first-time offenders. A new law makes it possible for DUI offenders, except for those whose actions injured or killed another person, to have their DUI charge dismissed if they meet certain conditions.
These conditions include attending safety and treatment classes, completing 165 days on an ignition interlock program, and a 15-day driver’s license suspension. The offense can be expunged from the driver’s record after one year, provided there are no further offenses.
To learn if the first-time offender program is a good fit for you, consult with our experienced West Virginia defense lawyer who is knowledgeable about DUI Law.
DUI and Drugs Defense
Even if you have a prior DUI conviction, you may still be able to win your case. As your lawyer, I can check out police reports and other records for evidence to prove your innocence. When possible, I will petition to have your charges dropped or, at least, work to limit your penalties as much as possible.
West Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer – Morgantown Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
Whether you are a West Virginia resident or from another state, Attorney Sean Thomas Logue of Mountaineer Criminal Law Group can defend you against a DUI charge involving alleged drugs or alcohol, and he will work to preserve your driving privileges. It is important, however, that you act quickly. For a free consultation, call us at 304-584-DUI1 today.