Protecting Your Rights: Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Charges
You probably have a lot of questions after being charged with a DUI. Below are some general answers to the more common DUI questions. The information listed below is only intended to provide you with a basic understanding of West Virginia DUI laws and procedures. Remember that every case is different. At The Moore Law Firm, PLLC, we strongly recommend that you contact an experienced DUI lawyer immediately following your DUI charge.
What can a DUI lawyer do for you?
The Moore Law Firm will investigate your DUI case, develop a defense strategy, explain your options and answer all your questions. Our DUI defense lawyers look at every aspect of your case. We explain the evidence and the impact that it can have. A specific strategy is developed to meet your individual needs. Our attorneys discuss your options and explain the consequences. Most importantly, we are dedicated to answering all of your DUI questions. Our goal is to ensure that you are informed and kept up to date with every aspect of your case.
How can I get my DUI charge dropped?
There are different ways in which a DUI can be dropped or dismissed, including:
- Successful completion of the West Virginia DUI Deferral Program for those who qualify
- Tough negotiations by an aggressive DUI defense lawyer
- Suppression of important evidence, such as the BAC results from the Intoximeter EC/IR II machine
- An acquittal at trial
- Granting of a motion to dismiss based upon a legal technicality, failure to comply with laws or regulations, or a constitutional violation
- A plea to a lesser offense
We will look at every aspect of your DUI case from the moment you were first spotted by the police to the time you walk into the courtroom. If something wasn’t done right, we will find it and use it to your advantage.
What is the penalty for first offense DUI?
The criminal penalty for a first offense DUI with a BAC level of 0.08 to 0.15 is incarceration for up to six months and a fine of $100 to $500. If convicted, you will also be responsible for paying court costs.
The standard administrative penalty for first offense DUI with a BAC level of 0.08 to 0.15 includes having your driver’s license revoked for six months or having your driver’s license revoked for 15 days with an additional 120 days of participation on the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program.
The criminal and standard administrative penalties differ if an individual participates in the Deferral Program, which is discussed below.
What is the penalty for aggravated DUI (BAC greater than 0.15)?
The criminal penalty for an aggravated DUI is confinement in jail of two days to six months, with actual confinement of not less than 24 hours, and a fine of $200 to $2,000. If convicted, you will also be responsible for paying court costs.
The standard administrate penalty for aggravated DUI includes having your driver’s license revoked for a period of 45 days with an additional 270 days of participation in the Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program
Will I go to jail for a first offense DUI?
There are a lot of different factors that come into play in determining whether a person convicted of DUI will go to jail. At The Moore Law Firm, our goal is to absolutely avoid jail time for our clients. We have been successful in avoiding jail time for our DUI clients through the West Virginia Deferral Program, tough negotiations, and strategic and effective pretrial motion practices.
What is the penalty for a first offense DUI for a person under 21?
The criminal penalty for a first offense DUI for a person under 21 and with a BAC level of 0.02 to 0.08 is a fine of $25 to $100. A person under 21 with a BAC level of 0.02 to 0.08 may move for a continuance of the criminal proceedings so that the person can participate in the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program. Upon the successful completion of the program, the criminal charge will be dismissed and the person’s criminal record expunged.
How much does a DUI lawyer cost?
Prices for a DUI defense vary, depending on the type of DUI charge (first offense, second offense, aggravated, etc.) and where the charge is pending (Magistrate Court or Municipal Court). The Moore Law Firm offers competitive prices commensurate with our high level of service.
Do I need a lawyer for a DUI?
You should strongly consider hiring a DUI defense lawyer. An experienced DUI attorney can make a tremendous difference in your case. Whether you want to fight the DUI in court, negotiate a plea, or participate in the West Virginia DUI Deferral Program, attorney Jared T. Moore can help at every step of the way.
Will my driver’s license automatically be revoked as a result of a DUI?
After being charged with a DUI, the law enforcement officer is required to report your name and address to DMV within 48 hours. The DMV will then, in turn, mail an Official Notice – Order of Revocation to your address.
The Order of Revocation will list the effective date that your driver’s license will be revoked. The effective date is listed in bold at the top right corner of the Order of Revocation. To prevent your driver’s license from being revoked on the effective date, you must request an administrative hearing or file a written objection within 30 days of receipt of the Order of Revocation. If you do not request an administrative hearing or file a written objection, then your driver’s license will automatically be revoked on the effective date.
Further, you can complete and submit an application for the West Virginia Alcohol Test and Lock Program, which constitutes a waiver of your administrative hearing. Under certain circumstances, your license will not be revoked, but additional time will be added to the period of time in which the Interlock device is installed in your vehicle.
What is the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program?
Participants in the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program can only operate a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. These small devices, commonly known as the “blow and go” machine, are hard-wired into a car’s electrical system. The device requires a breath sample before allowing the car to start. Participants are required to appear at a service station every 30 to 60 days so that a technician can download the recorded data from the device. Also, individuals are required to complete an Alcohol Safety and Treatment Course.
How much does participation in the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program cost?
There is a $100 nonrefundable application fee, $75 installation charge, a daily rental and service fee of $3 (which amounts to approximately $90 a month), and a de-installation charge of $40.
What is the Deferral Program?
The Deferral Program is a statutorily created program that allows a person charged with a first offense DUI to defer the criminal case until the person can successfully complete the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program. One year following the successful completion of the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program, the person can file a motion with the court to have the DUI expunged from his or her criminal record.
What does the Deferral Program entail?
A person charged with first offense DUI must notify the court within 30 days after arrest that he or she is requesting to participate in the Deferral Program. The person must either plea guilty or be found guilty of DUI. The court then continues or defers the criminal proceedings and places the person on probation. The person’s driver’s license will be revoked for 15 days with an additional 165 days with the Interlock device in his or her vehicle. After the completion of the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program, a motion will be filed with the Magistrate Court to dismiss the DUI charge. One year following the successful completion of the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program, another motion will be filed to have the DUI charge expunged from the person’s criminal record.
Are there time limitations on applying to the Deferral Program?
Yes. A person charged with a first offense DUI must notify the court within 30 days of arrest that he or she wishes to participate in the Deferral Program.
If I have had a previous DUI conviction, am I eligible to participate in the Deferral Program?
No. Only those individuals who are charged with DUI for the first time are eligible for the Deferral Program. Also, only individuals with a BAC level under 0.15 are eligible for the Deferral Program.
Do I need an attorney to represent me if I choose to participate in the Deferral Program?
You have the right to represent yourself (known as pro se) in the criminal and administrative proceedings. However, we strongly recommend that you retain an attorney to protect your interests. One important aspect of the Deferral Program is that the DUI can be expunged from your criminal record after one year following the successful completion of the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program. Expunging your criminal records requires filing motions with the court. An experienced DUI attorney can easily help you through the process and help protect your interests along the way.
Where will my hearings be held?
The criminal proceedings for first and second offense DUI, including any hearings, will be held either in the magistrate court in the county where you were arrested or the municipal court in the city where you were arrested.
The administrative hearing will be held at the local DMV office.
Will my automobile insurance premium increase as a result of my DUI?
It depends on your insurance carrier. Some insurance carriers increase premiums after an insured is convicted of DUI. Other insurance carriers do not increase premiums. The more DUI and traffic citations you have, the more likely your insurance premium will increase.
Can I be charged with second offense DUI if my prior DUI conviction is from another state?
Yes. A prior conviction within the past 10 years from another state or jurisdiction can be used to charge you with second or even third offense DUI if the elements of proof for that conviction are the same as the elements of proof for a DUI in West Virginia. Generally, all states have the same required elements of proof for a DUI conviction; therefore, a conviction in another state can be used to charge a person with a second or third offense DUI in West Virginia.
Does a DUI show up on a background check?
Yes. A DUI will initially show up on a background check as a “charge” or an “arrest.” If you are convicted of DUI, then the conviction will be reflected on a background check. There are limited ways to have a DUI removed from a background check, but certainly specific steps must be taken. That is why it is important to contact an experienced DUI lawyer immediately after being charged. Attorney Jared T. Moore has helped many clients get their DUI charge removed or expunged from their criminal record.
Contact An Aggressive and Experienced DUI Defense Attorney
For more information regarding West Virginia DUI laws, please contact one of our experienced DUI attorneys through our online intake form or by calling 304-358-0318.
Appointments are scheduled at your convenience.
Off-site meetings are available upon request.