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Traffic Defense

Traffic Defense

The interaction that most people have with the criminal court system is for traffic violations and Driving Under the Influence.

These cases are treated by some lawyers as minor or unimportant, we understand that these are very significant events in your life. Reckless Driving can be charged 14 different ways in Virginia.  The most common three are speeding twenty (20) Miles per hour over the speed limit, driving in excess of eighty (80) miles per hour, or passing a school bus illegally.  There are many defenses available to these charges, and things you can do to put yourself in a better position, and we would be happy to review the details of your case and advise you as to the next steps you should undertake and what defenses you may have.  On average, a reckless driving conviction can raise your insurance by more than 20%, it is a criminal conviction that can haunt you for the rest of your life in some circumstances, impact your ability to keep or find employment, lead to the suspension of your license, fines of $2,500 plus court costs, and up to a year in jail. Call us today to put yourself in the best position possible if you are charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia. Mr. Pettrey successfully handles hundreds of these cases a year.

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Suspended License

Driving on a Suspended License is a criminal offense which can result in up to a year in jail, $2,500 in fines plus court costs, and further suspension of your license. If you have been convicted previously of Driving on a Suspended License then you may face mandatory jail time. There are very particular requirements the government must meet to convict you of this offense. Often, a review of DMV documents can give an experienced attorney the needed defense to beat your charge. Mr. Pettrey has won countless of these cases throughout Virginia.

Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence has become one of the most serious charges in Virginia. Mandatory fines, potential serious jail time, ignition interlock requirement, suspension of your license, increased insurance costs, and a social stigma unlike nearly anything else in today’s world result from a conviction of DUI.

Glass with alcohol and car keys on a table

If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated, you face some of the harshest consequences in the criminal justice system for driving offenses

Not only may you face mandatory time in jail, but you also face heavy fines, license suspension, probation and alcohol treatment requirements, and ignition interlock.  Do not face these charges alone.  Having been inducted into the National College For DUI Defense, Mr. Pettrey understands the intricacies of DUI defense and has handled many of these cases throughout Hampton Roads. DUI cases are some of the most science heavy cases in the courts, and without an attorney who understands the science you are already at a disadvantage. 
There are many different ways to challenge a DUI.  The questions below are some of the initial points that Mr. Pettrey reviews in preparing your defense, and each of these has multiple sub-parts and can lead to many other questions that could result in you being found not guilty. 

  1. Did the officer have reasonable articulable suspicion that you were committing a crime when he or she stopped you?
  2. Did the officer develop either reasonable articulable suspicion or probable cause during his or her interaction with you during the stop that you were under the influence?
  3. How did you perform on the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), such as the one-leg stand, walk and turn, Alphabet, or other tests, and are there alternate explanations for those results?
  4. Did you take the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) at the scene of the traffic stop, and if so what was the result?
  5. Did you make any statements to the officer about consuming alcohol and/or drugs, including marijuana or prescriptions?
  6. Were you taken to the police station or magistrate’s office and required to give another breath or blood sample, if so what was the result?
  7. Were you charged with refusing to provide a breath or blood sample?
  8. Have you ever been convicted of a DUI before, if so when?

 Refusal:  If you are charged with Refusal to Provide a Breath or Blood Sample, then that means that you either did not blow into the machine at the police station or magistrate’s office or you tried but there was a deficient sample.  There are defenses to both of these situations, because the Code of Virginia requires that the refusal be “unreasonable.”  If convicted of Refusal, it is a civil, not criminal, violation for a first offense.  However, even a first offense carries a mandatory license suspension for one year with no possibility of a restricted license.  There are ways to combine the Refusal with the DUI itself, to keep you driving to work, school, church, doctor’s appointments, etc.”