Virginia Criminal Lawyers Thomas Soldan & Nicole Naum on DUI laws In Virginia After Verdict In Brandon Meriweather Case

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Washington Redskin pleads no contest to reduced sentence of reckless driving, receives 180 day prison sentence.

Brandon Meriweather just signed with the Washington Redskins in the offseason, but he is already getting into trouble in his new town. Meriweather was pulled over by a police officer in Arling, VA on April 26th, and after the officer detected the smell of alcohol, Meriweather was arrested for a DUI, according to CBS local.

A few months later, and the case has finally been resolved. Meriweather pled no contest to a reduced charge of reckless driving. That comes with a $300 fine and a 180 day prison sentence, which will be suspended; according to that CBS article.

Virginia criminal lawyer Thomas Soldan has more information about what you can expect in terms of jail time if you are arrested and ultimately convicted of a DUI. "You can go to jail for any Class 1 misdemeanor,” says Soldan. “In Virginia, each class of misdemeanors there's a specific punishment. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable up to $2500 fine, and 12 months in the county jail. A DUI, driving under the influence, is a Class 1 misdemeanor, thus is punishable by up to a year in jail. That year in jail serves as a guideline and a maximum punishment.”

“A judge in his discretion, or in circuit court a jury can impose a penalty, starting at no active sentence up to a year in jail. A year in jail is the maximum penalty. It's a very real possibility to think that a jail sentence could be imposed for a DUI.”

How this will affect Meriweather’s position with the Washington Redskins remains to be seen. They don’t have much depth at his position, so it seems unlikely that they will part ways with him before the season begins. But not everyone who is arrested for a DUI is as irreplaceable as an NFL player. It is possible that those who are arrested for a DUI could find their job in jeopardy, or at the very least your ability to complete that job, according to Virginia criminal attorney Nicole Naum.

“It depends on your job,” says Naum. “For those who drive or who have security clearance, they are in a very serious risk of losing their job and not being able to obtain the same job again for quite some time. Other people may be less affected by it, but if you need your driver's license for your job, it could be greatly affected.”

“If you are found guilty of a DUI in Virginia, at the very least you are losing your license for 12 months, with the possibility of a restricted license but that only gets you to your necessities like work.”

Our firm has lawyers ready to help you across the Washington D.C. Metro area, so please visit our DC DUI lawyer and Maryland DUI lawyer sites for more information about the services provided by those offices.

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Jordan Ruby
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