Dirk Padgett Law PLLC
Former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney / Former Military Prosecutor / Former Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney

Roanoke Criminal Defense Law Blog

What could being accused of a 2nd DUI offense mean for you?

Being pulled over by police and accused of driving drunk can be an intimidating and scary experience for any driver here in Virginia. It can generate a special set of worries though if you have a past DUI on your record. In Virginia, repeat DUI offenses can carry harsher penalties than first-time offenses.

When does a second offense lead to upped penalties?

The unforeseen consequences of drug possession in college

For many young adults, college it is time of self exploration, which often includes trying substances such as alcohol and drugs. With the outbreak of the opioid epidemic and legalization of marijuana in several states, recreational substance use is nearing record highs.

Marijuana use steadily rising

Upcoming case could redefine what is considered a legal search

People have constitutional rights that protect them from unlawful searches and seizures. Typically, the police must have a search warrant in order to search a person or their property.

A recent Supreme Court case from here in Virginia brings into question what types of searches that the Fourth Amendment permits. The court's ruling could have important ramifications when determining whether police officers are conducting legal searches going forward.

3 elements of a traffic stop that could violate your rights

Imagine you are driving home after a night out with friends. You’re tired and ready to get in bed, but suddenly you see red and blue police lights flashing in your rearview mirror. You pull over, police talk to you briefly, conduct a search of your car and find some medications for which you don’t have a prescription. Instead of crawling into bed, you are put in the back of the cop car.

For many people, this is not an imaginary scenario but an all-too real depiction of a situation leading up to an arrest on drug charges. If this sounds familiar to you, you should know that there may be elements of a traffic stop like this one that violate your rights.

What causes an incorrect breathalyzer test?

When someone is pulled over, the officer may suspect that the driver was drinking. In those instances, the officer may request the driver to submit to a sobriety test.

When determining whether a driver is sober, the officer will typically begin with a field sobriety test. The officer may also ask the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test to more precisely measure their BAC.

Defenses a lawyer can use against DUI charges

DUIs are serious. Being pulled over by a cop and suspected of drunk driving is sure to cause most people to panic or become stressed. Do not suspect the worst yet. Even if you are charged with a DUI, you can challenge the charges. There are many defenses a lawyer can use to get your charges dropped or your penalties reduced.

Students could get in monster-sized trouble from drunk driving

College students are notorious for keeping odd hours. Whether it's cramming for an exam into the wee hours of the morning or looking for an all-night restaurant after a weekend party, college-age kids seem capable of pushing their bodies to their physical limits.

Of course, sometimes this ability to stay awake for long hours can backfire. Concentration and good decision-making skills can wane if people aren't getting enough rest, no matter what age they are. And consuming lots of caffeine or other stimulants to compensate can have unintended consequences.

Contact Dirk Padgett Law PLLC

He Prosecuted Al Qaeda.
Now He's Defending You.

Throughout Mr. Padgett's career, he has worked on cases covering a wide variety of offenses, from white collar crime and larceny to war crimes and capital murder. In 2009, he served as lead prosecutor in the trial of Ibrahim al Qosi, an al Qaeda member and bodyguard to Osama bin Laden, at Guantanamo Bay Prison.

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