• A Look at DUI Laws in Virginia

    Law enforcement officers in Virginia have no tolerance for drunk driving, with good reason. Drunk drivers claim the lives of thousands each year and cause countless additional injuries. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy for a person to determine when he or she has had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel. If you’re facing DUI charges, your first call should be to a criminal defense or auto accident attorney. Your criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight to uphold your legal rights.

    Defining DUI

    In most cases, a driver in Virginia can be charged with DUI for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. However, commercial drivers can be charged for a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher and individuals who are below the legal drinking age can be charged with a BAC as low as 0.02 percent.

    Refusing a Chemical Test

    Virginia is an implied consent state, which means that if you drive on roadways within the state, you are automatically presumed to have given your consent for a chemical test . If you refuse a chemical test to check your BAC, you face automatic penalties. These include the automatic suspension of your driver’s license and substantial fines. A first offense can lead to a license suspension of one year.

    Considering a Plea Bargain

    Your criminal defense attorney may negotiate for a plea bargain on your behalf. You may be able to plead guilty to a “wet reckless” offense, for example. The court is not required to offer a plea bargain, but may be more likely to do so if your alleged drunk driving did not result in an accident.

    Facing the Penalties

    If a plea bargain is not forthcoming and you are convicted on DUI charges, you can expect harsh penalties. In Virginia, a first DUI conviction results in a mandatory minimum of five days in jail, at least $250 in fines, and driver’s license suspension of one year. Additional convictions lead to harsher penalties.

    Everyone is entitled to competent legal representation. If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of DUI in the Woodbridge, VA area, contact a criminal defense attorney at (703) 670-0761. Johnson Law Firm, PC has been providing effective legal advocacy services for 10 years, including drug possession attorney services and auto accident attorney services.

  • What Injuries Are Common After a Car Accident?

    Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for a car to be traveling at very high speeds in order for a passenger to suffer from catastrophic injuries in a car accident. Even seemingly minor injuries may result in chronic and debilitating symptoms. The most effective way to ensure that you receive just compensation for your medical expenses is to contact an auto accident attorney immediately. As your case progresses, inform your car accident attorney of any changes to your health status.

    Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

    TBIs may be mild and cause temporary problems, such as nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and confusion. Or, they may involve serious damage to the brain tissue and result in permanent disability. If you have sustained a serious brain injury , your personal injury attorney may need to demand compensation for a lifetime of care. TBIs can lead to a wide range of complications, such as intellectual impairment, paralysis, loss of vision, communication impairments, degenerative brain diseases, behavioral changes, and emotional challenges.

    Bone Fractures

    Any bone in the body may be broken in a car accident. Serious fractures such as those that involve penetrating injuries will typically require surgery. Be sure to save copies of your hospital bills, pharmaceutical expenses, and other losses for your auto accident attorney. Since bone fractures can take weeks to heal, your attorney may also need to demand compensation for your lost wages.

    Soft Tissue Injuries

    Soft tissue injuries can consist of the bones or joints tearing and/or stretching. This can involve tears in ligaments, tendons and muscles. Symptoms of a soft tissue injury can range from blurry vision to neck pain to tingling in the shoulders.

    Internal Trauma

    Internal trauma is common among car accident survivors. This type of trauma may include collapsed lungs, organ damage, and internal bleeding. Because internal trauma can be difficult to detect, it’s crucial for car accident survivors to undergo an evaluation at the hospital immediately after the crash. The hospital records will also substantiate any lawsuits that may result.

    After sustaining serious injuries in a car accident, you will need a seasoned catastrophic injury attorney on your side. For exceptional legal representation from a personal injury attorney in Woodbridge, VA, contact the Johnson Law Firm at (703) 986-0560. Our legal team dedicated to helping you receive compensation you deserve.

  • Reasons to Hire a Lawyer After a DUI Charge

    After being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, your first call should be to a DUI defense attorney . DUI convictions can lead to severe penalties, including substantial fines, loss of driving privileges, and time behind bars. The best way to protect your legal rights and to facilitate a favorable outcome for your case is to connect with an auto accident attorney immediately.

    Safeguard Your Legal Rights

    It’s all too easy to inadvertently say something that jeopardizes your legal rights. Police officers are well trained in investigative techniques; you should never answer questions regarding the alleged incident or how much alcohol you allegedly drank. Instead, invoke your right to obtain legal representation from a drug possession attorney. Your lawyer will be present at all interviews to safeguard your legal rights. He or she will also review the arrest to check whether police officers followed proper procedures.

    Answer Your Questions

    Another compelling reason to hire a lawyer after a DUI arrest is that you likely have a lot of questions about your situation and what will happen next. DUI defense lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of cases. He or she can address your concerns, answer your questions, and help you understand what to expect from the legal proceedings.

    Arrange a Plea Bargain

    Not all DUI defendants stand trial. You may prefer that your DUI lawyer negotiates a plea bargain on your behalf. Your lawyer can advise you as to whether the plea deal is worth accepting or whether you should take your chances in court.

    Represent You in Court

    If the plea deal is not appealing or is not forthcoming, you must have a lawyer represent you in court. Although self-representation is often glorified in the media, it’s a recipe for disaster. Only an experienced trial lawyer will have the in-depth knowledge and command of courtroom strategies that are necessary to obtain the best possible outcome for your DUI case.

    At the Johnson Law Firm , our DUI defense attorney located in Woodbridge, VA, is committed to defending the legal rights of our clients. If you or a loved one is facing drunk driving charges, contact our car accident attorney immediately at (703) 986-0560. We offer initial consultations free of charge.

  • What Are the Potential Consequences of a DUI

    After being arrested on DUI charges, defendants are strongly encouraged to contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Not only can an auto accident attorney protect the defendant’s legal rights, he or she can help the defendant understand what to expect from the criminal justice system. The penalties for a DUI conviction vary from state to state. They also depend on whether the defendant has a prior record of drunk driving offenses. If a prior record exists, the defendant can expect much harsher penalties.

    Virginia criminal law allows judges to sentence convicted DUI offenders to jail time and to mandatory alcohol and drug counseling programs. Defendants can also expect to have their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked and to be ordered to pay substantial fines.

    At the Johnson Law Firm, our DUI defense attorney in Woodbridge, VA, is a seasoned trial lawyer who will vigorously defend your legal rights and help you obtain the best possible outcome for your DUI case. Call us at (703) 986-0560 if you are in need of an auto accident attorney or a drug possession attorney.

  • Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

    As the term implies, a personal injury case is one in which the plaintiff alleges that the defendant acted negligently or recklessly and inflicted harm on the plaintiff. There are many types of personal injury cases, including those that involve auto accidents, tractor trailer collisions, and motorcycle crashes. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you can consult an auto accident attorney to discuss your legal options. It isn’t always necessary to go to court to obtain compensation. Your auto accident attorney can negotiate a just settlement on your behalf.

    Slip and fall accidents are other types of personal injury cases. Also known as premises liability cases, these arise from injuries sustained due to hazardous conditions. For example, a person walking through the lobby of an apartment building may trip on a loose floorboard and fall, fracturing a bone. That individual may consult a personal injury attorney about obtaining compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

    At the Johnson Law Firm, our personal injury attorney serves residents of Woodbridge, VA, and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, call us at (703) 986-0560 to discuss your right to seek compensation.

  • Questions to Ask Your Injury Attorney After an Auto Accident

    A personal injury attorney can give you the help you need to move forward with your life after a serious accident. Your auto accident attorney may offer a complimentary initial consultation. This meeting is an opportunity to become acquainted with the auto accident attorney, discuss how he or she would handle your case, and ask any questions you may have.

    Should I File a Lawsuit?

    It’s commonly thought that if auto accident survivors consult an attorney, they must file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. Litigation certainly is an option; however, it is not always necessary. A catastrophic injury attorney will evaluate your case and discuss the merits of filing a lawsuit. Often, attorneys negotiate with the insurance carrier on behalf of accident victims. These negotiations may result in just compensation. If not, then you might consider taking the next step of filing a lawsuit.

    What Compensation Might I Receive?

    A personal injury lawsuit can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are calculable losses, such as medical bills accrued because of crash-related injuries. Economic damages can also include lost wages and property damage. Non-economic damages may include psychological injuries, pain and suffering, and similar intangible losses.

    Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

    Many personal injury cases are resolved through out-of-court settlements. These settlements are agreements between the plaintiff and the defendant to drop the case in exchange for a sum of money. Only you can decide whether to accept a settlement offer or not, although your attorney will provide you with all the guidance you need to make this decision. Before deciding whether to accept a settlement, consider the merits of your case, the likely outcome if it were to go to trial, and the amount of the settlement offer.

    When auto accident survivors arrive at the Johnson Law Firm, they can expect to have all of their questions and concerns thoroughly addressed and to receive the legal guidance they need to move forward from the crash. To arrange a consultation with our personal injury attorney in Woodbridge, VA, you can call (703) 986-0560. On our website, you’ll find a full list of our practice areas , which include medical malpractice, estate law, and criminal defense.