Background and Experience
Driving under the influence criminal charges, and the administrative action that occurs after a DUI arrest in West Virginia, are very peculiar and far different than most other states. RLB II regularly attends national conferences concerning driving under the influence charges, and from his consultation with other state’s attorneys he has learned that West Virginia has some of the harshest criminal and administrative penalties. Those penalties include mandatory minimum jail sentences, and mandatory minimum revocation times for all cases resulting in convictions. Fortunately, in the past several years several types of alternatives sentencing programs have evolved such as home confinement and day reporting, which are now alternatives to the previous mandatory jail sentences. However, there is no such thing as probation upon a DUI offense in West Virginia, nor are there temporary driving privileges or work permits which are common in other states upon a DUI revocation.
RLB II encourages all individuals charged with a DUI, or DUI revocation by the Department of Motor Vehicles, to seek counsel due to the sheer complexity of our laws in West Virginia. Quite often RLB II is contacted by individuals after they have attempted to represent themselves, and their lack of knowledge has produced an inadequate result, and must often that result cannot be overturned. For instance, once you are charged with a DUI the Department of Motor Vehicles will send to you an order of revocation by certified mail to the address on your license. If the individual refuses to sign for that certified mail, or has moved without changing his address officially with the DMV, then they will be revoked and they have no appeal rights. Thus, ignoring certified mail from the DMV is ineffective, and also does not advise the individual when they are revoked and for what period. Additionally, if the individual accepts the letter then they have 30 days to file their appeal to retain their driving privileges during that time period of challenging that order. If not filed within 30 days then that order is final and cannot be challenged. Once again, RLB II encourages anyone charged with DUI offense in which the criminal conviction or the revocation of their license will cause them serious jeopardy concerning their future, loss of job, or other benefits, to seek counsel as soon as possible, since the delay in seeking representation can quite often produce results that even an experienced practitioner can not overcome.
R. Lee Booten II
637 7th St
Huntington, WV 25701