3640 S. PLaza Trl., Suite 202, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452
Legal Defense Center - Law Office
If you’re looking for high quality and personal service, you’ve come to the right place. At the Legal Defense Center my staff and I will give you the attention and personal service you’ll come to expect and enjoy. The Legal Defense Center has been located in Hampton Roads since 1997. Let me put my experience to work for you.
Attorney Monte Kuligowski has been practicing law since 1997 and is the founder of the Legal Defense Center in Virginia Beach. He is licensed to practice law in every court of the Commonwealth of Virginia; and in federal court, including the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Kuligowski has won cases at every judicial level of the Commonwealth, including the Supreme Court of Virginia and he has the distinction of having won DWI cases in both state and federal court.
Attorney Kuligowski's legal writings have been published in law journals at various law schools, including Duke, Virginia, Richmond, Samford and St. John's. His article on a Virginia court opinion, Gibson v. Commonwealth, was published in the Justice System Journal, a peer-edited journal sponsored by the National Center for State Courts. Mr. Kuligowski's article on Virginia DUI law, "Rethinking DUI Law in Virginia," was published in the University of Richmond Law Review. Click the image below to read the article
In Virginia there is no legal distinction between DWI and DUI. A person may be found guilty if he operated a motor vehicle while "under the influence," a term of legal art which has no concrete judicial definition. The courts use a totality of the evidence assessment when judging DUI cases. Under current Virginia law, a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08 or higher creates a "permissive inference" for the court to conclude the individual was under the influence at the time of driving. Other evidence of non-impairment may rebut the BAC inference, and naturally the higher the number the more difficult overcoming the inference will be - though certain medical disorders can cause false highs from the EC/IR II machine. And if evidence of the machine's accuracy is not produced at trial - though the "certificate of analysis" may be "admissible" per the code of Virginia - the weight the court gives to the BAC number in conjunction with other evidence of divided attention abilities, may effectively render the BAC number meaningless. The burden on the prosecution is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
No two DWI cases are exactly the same. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer to evaluate your fact-specific case, applying the law to your individual circumstances. Attorney Monte Kuligowski will review the legality of the traffic stop itself and the entire police investigation and arrest. In accident cases, officers must produce additional evidence to prove the case, including knowledge of the time the driving ended.
Though a traffic stop requires a lower standard than probable cause, the police must at least have a "reasonable articulable suspicion" that a crime is afoot or that the driver is in violation of some motor vehicle law. The initial contact with the police is an important factor which sometimes renders all subsequent police contact inadmissible in court.
The police are required to follow law, policy and procedure when investigating DUI cases. Even words spoken or omitted may have consequences. And, the manner in which the field sobriety tests are administered are consequential in determining whether the test results are reliable or even accurately attained.
There are three standardized field sobriety tests which were developed by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and adopted by all 50 states. They are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test. Each test must be administered according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's training manuals. The tests are not at all flexible and must be administered in a standardized manner and evaluated by the officer using the standardized clues for interpretation. If the officer fails to give proper instructions on each test; if the basic test conditions are compromised or if the officer interprets the suspects movements in ways that deviates from the training manuals, the test results are compromised and hence, unreliable or even inadmissible.
Atty. Kuligowski owns all 18 NHTSA officer training manuals and is well versed in DUI investigation requirements, having completed training seminars taught by a former DRE police officer who passed the highest level of law enforcement training possible as related to impairment investigation.
In Virginia, a DUI suspect has the right to a preliminary breath test prior to arrest, if a hand held alco-sensor device is available. The accused also has the right to decline the preliminary test and that decision may not be used against a defendant in court. The results of a preliminary breath test are not admissible in court for purposes of evidence for conviction.
After a valid DUI arrest in Virginia, the arrestee must submit to a chemical breath test, normally administered at the police station. If the suspect unreasonably refuses to take the test he will be charged with a separate offense of "refusal," which, if upon conviction will result in a mandatory license revocation for 12 months without the possibility of a restricted permit. A second offense refusal carries additional revocation and also carries jail time.
Prior to taking the breath test on Virginia's EC/IR II machine at the police station the suspect should be observed for a 20 minute period to ensure no burping occurs prior to taking the test. A burp can cause ethanol from the stomach to be released. Undetected gastroesophageal reflux movements may also cause the results to be skewed by mouth alcohol, resulting in a higher BAC number than should be produced.
Even in cases with heightened BAC levels which trigger mandatory jail time, factual and/or legal and constitutional defenses may apply to circumvent the imposition of an otherwise mandatory sentence.
Monte E. Kuligowski, P.C.
Legal Defense Center
3640 S. Plaza Trl.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Atty. Kuligowski has extensive experience with DUI cases, including blood draw cases, high BAC cases, refusals, second and third offense cases, felony cases, motorcycle cases, boating cases and even an operating an aircraft under the influence case.
When the power of the state is set against you, you have the right to retain an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer who knows the law and how to protect your constitutional rights.
Monte has represented almost every class of citizen, from blue collar workers and enlisted military personnel, to executives and high ranking military officers. And he has represented law enforcement officers and fellow attorneys.
To get the peace of mind you need call the office today to schedule an appointment to meet with our attorneys.
Military discounts and credit card payment is accepted.
Whether you or a loved one is charged with a first offense DUI or a second or third offense, there are many factual and legal issues which an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer can spot and which may be used in some instances to dismiss or mitigate the charge or sentence.
There is never a guarantee as to the outcome of a case. Every case is different, however, and should be evaluated by an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer.
RULE 7.1 DISCLAIMER: THE OUTCOME OF A CASE DEPENDS ON A NUMBER OF CASE-SPECIFIC FACTORS; ATTORNEY MAKES NO GUARANTEE AS TO THE OUTCOME OF ANY PARTICULAR CASE; CASE RESULTS MAY VARY.
"I value Mr. Kuligowski's professional opinion. He was very diligent in making sure that I received the best possible outcome for my case. I spoke with other attorneys prior to speaking with Mr. Kuligowski and I most definitely received the best value by retaining Mr. Kuligowski to represent me." -- D.M. Dennis
"I retained the Legal Defense Center to represent me in connection with a DUI charge in Chesapeake, VA in June of 2009. Mr. Kuligowski is exceptionally knowledgeable and well versed in DUI laws in Virginia. I received exemplary service and with Mr. Kuligowski's knowledge and skill level I was able to overcome all charges in a very, favorable disposition. I was found not guilty of DUI and was able to keep my driving privileges. I would certainly recommend the Legal Defense Center. Thank you Mr. Kuligowski." -- Rose
"I would highly recommend the legal services of Attorney Kuligowski. His staff and practice is very professional, timely and straight forward on what to expect from your case." -- Collins
"I am very pleased with the degree of service I received from the Legal Defense Center. Mr. Kuligowski went above and beyond for me in court and kept me from going to jail. If there is ever a time where I need legal services in the future, I will definitely return to the Legal Defense Center and refer others to Mr. Kuligowski as well." -- Petty Officer Burke
"Mr. Kuligowski was very confident that he could win my case and he did. I am very pleased with the results and the manner professionalism that I received and would definitely recommend the Legal Defense Center to anyone in need of legal services." -- Bernadette C.
"Mr. Kuligowski and staff were very helpful in helping me obtain successful results in my legal situation. Mr. Kuligowski's legal knowledge and experience helped me win my case and for that I am thankful. Mr. Kuligowski will receive many recommendations from me." -- K. Printz
"I received great service from Mr. Kuligowski. He went to court and got the results that I needed during such a rough period in my life. Mr. Kuligowski is an excellent attorney and I would recommend him to others." -- J. Thomas
"I live out of state and it was very easy for me to speak with Mr. Kuligowski about my case. They were very professional and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend Mr. Kuligowski to anyone." -- A. Overheul
When searching for Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach DWI lawyers be sure to inquire into their actual court experience with DWI cases. Sometimes general practitioners do not have the specific training and experience required to effectively handle complex DUI and other traffic court defense cases. It is normally in your best interest to employ a defense attorney who knows the law and is a traffic court lawyer, experienced with your specific type of case. An experienced Virginia Beach DWI lawyer will know the technicalities of DWI defense, including the validity and legality of the traffic stop, field tests and chemical analyses. You are encouraged to speak with other Virginia Beach traffic attorneys and retain the attorney you have the most confidence in after consultation.The firm offers military discounts and free phone consultations. Call the law firm today to speak with a Virginia attorney committed to helping you with your traffic court case or appeal to the circuit court.
Copyright © DWILawyerVirginiaBeach.com and Legal Defense Center. All rights reserved.
View Monte's legal profile at Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute Nothing on this site is to be construed as legal advice. The contents of this site are for informational purposes only. Please contact the above Virginia DUI lawyer to schedule a confidential, attorney-client conference from which legal advice will be provided.
If your freedom and license are on the line, call today for legal help