Tag: dui

Hanover County Virginia DUI DWI for CDL Driver reduced to a minor traffic violation


Hanover County, Virginia DUI / DWI for CDL Driver reduced to a minor traffic violation

John Weiland of The Weiland Firm, PLC, Attorneys at Law, recently represented a CDL holder charged with a Driving While Intoxicated Class 1 Misdemeanor in Hanover County, Virginia.

Due to the client’s status as a CDL holder, a DUI conviction would have a serious detrimental effect on his ability to drive, thereby affecting his current job and any hopes at future employment.

Mr. Weiland prepared a strategy for the best possible outcome in the case. In court, Mr. Weiland negotiated with the police officer and prosecutor that his client deserved a reduction due to legal issues with the case.

Mr. Weiland ultimately convinced the prosecutor to reduce the DUI all the way down to a minor violation of Improper Driving which is not a serious moving violation for CDL holders.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence in Hanover, VA, contact the law office of The Weiland Firm, PLC at 804-355-8037.

DUI DWI Driving While Intoxicated in Caroline County Virginia Dismissed



DUI / DWI / Driving While Intoxicated in Caroline County, Virginia – Dismissed

Last week, John Weiland of The Weiland Firm, PLC, Attorneys at Law, represented a client charged with Driving While Intoxicated / DUI (a Class 1 Misdemeanor) in Caroline County. Mr. Weiland reviewed the prosecution’s dash camera video multiple times and determined that the case warranted a trial on the merits.

As most people know, a DUI conviction can cause tremendous negative consequences for a person’s career and life in general. Mr. Weiland prepared diligently for the case and on the morning of trial negotiated with the prosecutor to have the matter dismissed. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI / DWI in Caroline County, VA, contact the law office of The Weiland Firm, PLC at 804-355-8037.

How Does a Virginia DUI Conviction Affect My Insurance

How Does a Virginia DUI Conviction Affect My Insurance

If you are charged with a DUI in Virginia, there are many things to consider. You must consider your possibility of jail time, fines, suspension of your driving privileges in Virginia, and who to hire as your attorney, but you must also consider the consequences a conviction would have on your auto insurance. The reality is that a DUI conviction can have a very significant effect on your insurance in Virginia.

Virginia Speeding Ticket Attorneys

What is an FR44?

In Virginia, a person convicted on DUI charges is required to file an FR44, which is basically a guarantee to the Virginia DMV that “High Risk” drivers are maintaining the required auto insurance coverage. Your insurance liability limits must be equal to or greater than $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $40,000 for property damage. It also means that if you cancel your policy, the DMV is notified, your license is re-suspended, more fines are imposed, and the timing for the FR44 is reset. Virginia requires most DUI offenders to file an FR44 for three years.

How do I file an FR44?

If a Virginia court informs you that you need to file an FR44, you will need to contact your insurance provider. If you do not have insurance, you will need to buy an insurance policy before having your Virginia driving privilege reinstated. Sometimes, drivers convicted of a DUI in Virginia who need to buy a new insurance policy to file an FR44 will be required to pay for an insurance policy term in full. This is to ensure the driver meets the Virginia requirements for the term’s duration while avoiding the risk of a non-payment policy cancellation.

How will my insurance be affected by my DUI conviction and FR44 filing?

Many major insurance companies will not insure persons required to file an FR44. Most insurance carriers who will insure FR44 drivers will do so at a higher premium, possibly even 40-70% higher than other drivers.

Therefore it is critical to have an attorney who is extremely familiar with Virginia’s DUI law if you find yourself charged with a DUI. Attorneys at The Weiland Firm, PLC dedicate a great deal of our practice to defending people charged with DUI in Central Virginia.

Virginia DUI License Suspension

A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Virginia comes with numerous negative consequences to the person convicted.  One of those consequences is the revocation of the person’s privilege to drive in Virginia.  All persons convicted of DUI in Virginia will have their driving privileges revoked.  Virginia judges have no discretion as to the imposition of a license revocation after finding a person guilty of DUI.  As a result, once a Virginia judge finds a person guilty of DUI, the judge must revoke that person’s driving privileges.  There are no exceptions to this statutory mandate.

Drinking-Driving-DUI.jpg The time period for the revocation depends on the type of DUI charge under which the person is convicted.  All revocations commence on the day of conviction.  Depending on the type of DUI, the revocation will be for one year, three years, or for an indefinite time period.  A person convicted of a first offense DUI will have a one year revocation.  If that person is convicted of a second DUI within ten years of being convicted of the first DUI, then that person will have a three year revocation.  If this person has three or more DUI convictions within ten years of the first two convictions, then that person will have an indefinite revocation of their driving privileges.

Virginia judges have the ability to grant restricted driving privileges to persons whose driving privileges were revoked for a first or second DUI conviction.  Virginia judges cannot issue a restricted license for a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle. However, judges may issue restricted driving privileges in Virginia to persons who have a valid driver’s license from another state.

A person convicted of three or more DUI charges within ten years is not eligible for restricted driving privileges.  The judge may grant restricted driving privileges, after convicting a person of first offense DUI, for the entire one year revocation period.  The judge’s ability to grant restricted driving privileges is limited if the conviction is for a second offense DUI.  If the second offense is committed within five years of the first offense, then the judge is barred from granting restricted driving privileges for the first year of revocation.  If the second offense is committed within ten years from the first offense, then the judge is barred from granting restricted driving privileges for the first four months of revocation.

For a person to be eligible for restricted driving privileges, a judge must enter that person into the Virginia Alcohol Safety Awareness Program (VASAP).  The person entered into VASAP must enroll with the program within fifteen days from the date of conviction and must successfully complete the program.  Additionally, all persons granted restricted driving privileges may only operate a motor vehicle installed with an ignition interlock device.  For a first offense DUI, an ignition interlock device must be installed in the vehicle driven by the person granted restricted driving privileges.  A person revoked for a second DUI offense must have the ignition interlock device installed in all motor vehicles owned by or registered to that person.  A violation of the conditions of VASAP, including the use of alcohol as evidenced by the detection of alcohol by the ignition interlock device and driving a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device, will likely result in the loss of restricted driving privileges for the remainder of the revocation period.  Additionally, persons convicted of driving outside the scope of their restricted driving privileges will lose their restricted privileges and have their driving privileges revoked for a statutorily mandated period of time, which runs consecutively with the original revocation period.

The mandatory license revocation periods imposed on persons after a DUI conviction are complicated.  It is important to discuss the details and requirements of DUI mandatory license revocations with an attorney who handles DUI cases on a regular basis.  The attorneys at The Weiland Firm, PLC have represented numerous clients charged with DUI in Virginia.  If you have any questions, please contact our firm at (804) 355-8037.

VA Police Catch Speeders, Limit Traffic Fatalities

 Police Enforce Speeding and Reckless Driving in Virginia During the  Holiday

Virginia Speeding Ticket LawyersMotorists driving on Virginia’s highways over the Labor Day weekend may have noticed an increased police presence, as Virginia State troopers issued reckless driving and speeding tickets across the Commonwealth. Virginia State Police had 75 percent of its uniformed workforce patrolling the interstates over the holiday.

The law enforcement push was part of the Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), an annual, state program intended to reduce car crashes and injuries caused by speeding, drunk driving and the failure of drivers to use seatbelts.

Virginia saw a sharp decrease in traffic fatalities over the weekend in comparison with the last year’s Labor Day weekend enforcement effort. Six people lost their lives in traffic accidents during the 2012 weekend across the state, including one fatality in Stafford County. During the same period in 2011, 16 people were killed in traffic accidents on Virginia’s roadways.

The four-day weekend saw Virginia State Police issue a number of citations and court summons throughout the Commonwealth. Troopers issued 8,187 speeding tickets and 2,459 reckless driving tickets. They arrested 112 people for drunk driving. Additionally, police responded to a total of 715 accidents.

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, was pleased with the show of force and the reduction in traffic-related fatalities over the holiday weekend: “We asked Virginians … to make safe, responsible driving a priority … We appreciate everyone who made an effort to share the road responsibly, buckle up, comply with speed limits, avoid distractions, and drive sober.”

Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort is an annual Labor Day weekend law enforcement initiative aimed at curbing accidents caused by speeding and reckless driving in Virginia.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia speeding ticket attorneys

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Man Convicted of 12th DUI in Spotsylvania County

Pleads Guilty to Felony DWI in Spotsylvania, VA

VA DUI Spotsylvania
David Maron Apraham

A man pleaded guilty yesterday in Spotsylvania County, Virginia to his 12th DUI offense.

David Maron Apraham entered his guilty plea in the Spotsylvania Circuit Court for felony driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and refusal to take a breathalyzer test. As part of a plea agreement, the Commonwealth’s Attorney dropped a felony charge of eluding a police officer.

Apraham will be sentenced on November 6, 2012. He faces a maximum of seven years in prison for the offense.

According to the plea agreement, Mr. Apraham was first convicted of drunk driving in Mississippi in 1990. He has been convicted of DUI in Mississippi six times as well as three times in Alabama. He was also convicted twice in Virginia: once in Williamsburg in 2008 and again in Colonial Heights in February 2012. Furthermore, he is wanted in the states of Alaska, Mississippi, North Carolina and Washington for DUI-related crimes.

The felony incident occurred in November 2011 when a Spotsylvania County deputy saw Apraham stumbling around a BMW dealership late at night. Apraham got into a pickup truck and drove off. The deputy saw the pickup truck swerve over the double-yellow line three times. When the officer turned on his emergency lights and siren, Apraham proceeded to speed up before turning into a parking lot.

The suspect was handcuffed after he fell while walking towards the officer. Apraham admitted having five beers some five hours early, but he smelled strongly of alcohol. He refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Apraham is being held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail. He will be sentenced on November 6, 2012 for felony DUI in Spotsylvania, VA.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia DUI Lawyers

Call 804.355.8037 for a free consultation

How Virginia Assesses Points on Your Driving Record

Speeding in Virginia? How many points is that?

Upon receiving a speeding ticket in Virginia, most drivers want to know how many points will be placed on their driving record. Virginia’s Uniform Demerit Point System can be a bit confusing. It is important for both in-state and out-of-state drivers to understand Virginia’s Uniform Demerit Point System.

All Virginia-licensed drivers and residents are subject to Virginia’s Uniform Demerit Point System. The Commonwealth’s demerit point system does not apply to out of state drivers. For example, a person, licensed in North Carolina, convicted of reckless driving eighty-eight (88) miles per hour in a sixty-five (65) mile-per-hour zone in Henrico County General District Court would be subject to North Carolina’s demerit point system, not Virginia’s. As a result, it is important for out-of-state drivers to contact their state’s department of motor vehicles to determine the applicable demerit points associated with their specific charge.

All Virginia drivers start with zero points on their driving records. Virginia licensed drivers receive one positive (+1) point for every year of good driving. In-state drivers may receive positive five (+5) points by voluntarily completing a defensive driving school. However, this can only be done once every two years. Five points are the maximum positive points permitted by law in the state. As a result, the best driver point balance in Virginia is +5 points.

There are three categories of negative point violations: three demerit point violations, four demerit point violations, and six demerit point violations. Examples of six demerit point violations are DUI, reckless driving by speed, speeding in excess of eighty miles per hour, speeding in excess of twenty miles per hour, and driving on a suspended license. For instance, a Virginia licensed driver or resident convicted of DUI would receive six negative points on their driving record. If a person is convicted of more than one demerit point violation with the same offense date, then that person is assessed demerit points for the highest demerit point violation. For example, a person convicted of DUI and speeding seventy-nine miles per hour in a seventy mile per hour zone in Chesterfield County General District Court would be assessed six negative demerit points for the DUI conviction. No demerit points would be assessed for the speeding conviction.

VA speeding ticket lawyers points drivers license

Click here for a full list of Virginia traffic violations and their corresponding demerit points. 

There is no limit to the number of negative points a person may accumulate. A person who accumulates negative twelve demerit points in a twelve consecutive month period or negative twenty-four demerit points in an eighteen consecutive month period will be placed on probation. This probationary period lasts for six months. Any person convicted of a demerit point violation during the probationary period will have their license suspended for ninety days (six demerit point violations), sixty days (four demerit point violations), or forty-five days (three demerit point violations). For example, a person convicted of reckless driving by speed, who is on probation, will have their driver’s license suspended for ninety days because reckless driving by speed is a six demerit point violation. However, people suspended while on probation may be eligible to petition the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles for a restricted driver’s license.

A person who successfully makes it through the probationary period with no demerit point violations will, then, be placed on an eighteen month control period. A person who receives a demerit point violation during the control period will be placed back on a six month probationary period. Additionally, a person who violates probation will have their probation extended for an additional six months.

The best advice is to try to avoid being placed on probation. You should take even minor traffic infractions seriously because demerit points tend to sneak up on people. For example, a person with zero points who pays off three speeding tickets they received within the same year may be placed on probation. Experienced traffic attorneys, like the lawyers at The Weiland Firm, PLC, know how to advise their clients to avoid the accumulation of demerit points from reckless driving and speeding tickets in Virginia.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia Speeding Ticket Lawyers

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation