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The Three Most Important Steps to Take After Being Arrested for DUI in West Virginia

The consequences of a DUI arrest can be hard to rationalize after suffering through a night in jail.  Most would agree that the aftermath of a DUI arrest can be quite overwhelming.  I recommend taking the following steps to ensure that your life is not permanently altered by one bad decision. You only have twenty days to request a jury trial and only thirty days to seek entry into a Deferral Program. Failure to act in a timely fashion can result in your rights being waived.  The legal team at Zerbe & Pence PLLC can guide you through this process to ensure the clock does not expire without the appropriate steps being taken on your behalf. Because the DMV no longer mails an Order of Revocation to drivers accused of DUI, it is important to ensure you receive all notices from the court. The number of defendants who fail to

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Changes To The West Virginia DUI Law

Effective July 1, 2020, The West Virginia Legislature enacted Senate Bill 130 which drastically altered the laws  governing DUI in West Virginia. The most significant change to the laws governing DUI in West Virginia was the elimination of the Office of Administrative Hearings. Drivers in West Virginia charged with DUI will no longer receive an Order of Revocation following their arrest from the West Virginia DMV. Instead, drivers can expect to receive a hearing notice from the local municipal or magistrate court shortly after their arrest. The West Virginia DMV will no longer take action against an individual’s driver’s license unless the driver enters a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” or is found guilty by a judge or jury. If you have been charged with a DUI in West Virginia, it is critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney familiar with the new legislation regarding driving under the

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Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Even the most dedicated, hardworking people require help when something unexpected happens. This is especially true when an unexpected medical condition prevents full-time work. If you suffer from a severe medical impairment, you may wonder if you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits. First, you must prove that you suffer from a severe medical condition which is expected to last for at least one year and prevents you from working. Short term disabilities typically do not qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits. Second, you must have either accumulated enough credits through FICA taxes for the last five to ten years or met the Social Security Administration’s need-based requirements. There are a few exceptions to this requirement, and if you are not sure if you meet one of those exceptions, please call our office for a free consultation at (800) 303-3030. Third, you must contact the Social Security Administration and file

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I Have Been Arrested for DUI – Now What?

An arrest for driving under the influence in West Virginia can trigger a confusing and complicated series of events that often results in more questions than answers. Most drivers are arraigned by video and released within 24 hours of their arrest. At the arraignment, the Magistrate typically informs drivers of their many rights, including the right to a jury trial and the right to secure counsel. Once released from jail, the question becomes – what next? In a nutshell, a driver arrested for DUI in West Virginia has twenty days to request a jury trial in writing at the magistrate court. Likewise, the deadline for requesting entry into the Deferral Program is only thirty days post-arrest. These are just a few of the many deadlines which typically come and go long before the first court date. Moreover, a driver can expect a certified letter from the West Virginia Division of

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Should I Refuse a Breath Test During a DUI Arrest?

I am often asked whether refusing to provide a breath sample during a DUI investigation is a good idea. In answering this question, it is important to distinguish between the preliminary breath test and the secondary breath test in West Virginia. Both tests carry different evidentiary value in a court of law and can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case in West Virginia. The preliminary breath test is the breath test administered on the roadside by an investigating officer using a hand held device. The result of that test cannot be used for enhancement purposes. Also, refusing that test in West Virginia does not trigger an administrative license revocation. Unlike the preliminary breath test, the secondary breath test is administered at the police station using a larger, stationary machine which requires the input of a driver’s information prior to testing. This device is often referred to

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