Virginia already has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country. For those facing an arrest for DUI, the ordeal could be about to get even tougher.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office recently announced that starting at the end of June, a prosecutor will be assigned to every DUI case in Virginia Beach. This is a significant change because previously, some first offense DUI cases were handled by law enforcement officers without the aid of a prosecutor.
Some are worried that this change in policy could mean a courthouse backlog for DUI cases. But, one entire courtroom will be dedicated just to DUI cases starting June 30, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office believes prosecutors will be able to keep up with the flow of cases.
What does this change mean for you if you have been arrested for drunk driving in Virginia Beach? A prosecutor can argue the law in court in a way that police officers handling a DUI case on their own cannot. Having a prosecutor assigned to your case does mean that you could have a tougher time defending against a DUI charge.
But, it does not mean that you cannot successfully defeat a DUI charge if you stage a strong legal defense. An experienced Virginia Beach defense lawyer can employ a variety of strategies to help get charges dropped or reduced, such as calling into question the validity of the stop and arrest or exposing issues in the administration of field sobriety and chemical tests.
Source: WAVY-TV, "VB CA’s Office to prosecute all DUI cases," Stephanie Harris, Rachel West, June 18, 2014