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Drunk driving is a serious offense. Unfortunately, it’s also an all-too-common one. According to the nonprofit group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), more than 300,000 people drive drunk every day, but less than 4,000 of them will be arrested.

Like all states, Virginia takes drunk driving very seriously. The only surefire way to avoid the penalties and lasting repercussions of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is to avoid getting behind the wheel while you are intoxicated. However, if you find yourself facing drunk driving charges, experienced DUI attorneys in Harrisonburg VA may be able to help you make the best argument for your case.

And there’s a lot at stake. In some cases, defendants can have their charges dropped or plea to a lesser charge. In other cases, DUI suspects can end up serving a long jail sentence.

In most situations, you will be required to make several appearance in court for a DUI charge. Some people think that they can avoid lawyer’s fees by arguing their own case or simply pleading guilty to any and all charges placed before them. However, this unwise decision may actually prove more costly in the long run. Even first-time DUI offenders could be subject to license suspension, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record.

A DUI attorney, on the other hand, can help you with plea deals and sentence bargaining.

There are many different types of plea deals that can help lessen the severity of your charges. Instead of fighting a DUI charge, for instance, you may opt to plead guilty to a count of reckless driving, a less serious offense. On the other hand, you may plead guilty to one charge in order to have another dismissed entirely. Or you may choose to agree to sentence terms with less severe charges in lieu of a lengthy trial. In any case, you will most likely require the assistance of a DUI lawyer who can both analyze your options and present your case to the court.

Sentence bargaining is also useful, especially in instances of aggravated DUI with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level or in cases where other people or properties have been injured or damaged. There may be additional criminal charges that carry extra jail time, large fees, and driver’s license revocation, which makes it essential to have a lawyer by your side when you face the judge.

One bad decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking could have a serious impact on the rest of your life. When you need legal help, don’t leave your future up to chance. Hire a DUI attorney in Harrisonburg VA to help you make the best out of a bad situation.