You can never be fully prepared for a DUI arrest. Many clients our Lexington DUI lawyer has helped find themselves in new territory after their arrest. Fear and uncertainty are hard to manage on the side of the road.
No one wants to face jail time, the thought of having a criminal record, driver’s license suspension, court fines, or embarrassment. However, the reality is that no matter what your circumstances, being arrested for DUI comes with consequences.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you probably have dozens of questions for a DUI defense lawyer:
- What’s going to happen when I go to court?
- Will I go to jail?
- How much is this going to cost me?
- How am I supposed to get to school or work if my license is suspended?
- Does the machine that I blew into always provide accurate results?
- How is my case different if I took a blood test?
- Is there any video evidence available?
These are just a few of the questions that may be swirling around in your mind. Talking with a Lexington DUI attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged is the only way to ensure that you have the best defense and the most legal options.
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF A DUI
Before and after being accused of a DUI, respectfully decline to answer the officer’s questions because you have a constitutional right not to incriminate yourself. Tell the officer you need to speak with your attorney before answering any questions. Refuse to take tests to measure your blood alcohol content. This should make a DUI conviction more difficult though your driver’s license will be suspended. Remain calm while protecting your rights, and don’t be belligerent.
WHY YOU NEED A LEXINGTON DUI LAWYER
There’s a lot at stake when you’re facing a criminal charge. You may be risking your personal freedom, ability to keep a job and get a future one, financial losses, and personal and professional relationships. Being arrested and charged with a crime doesn’t mean you’ll be found guilty. Unless you know criminal and constitutional law, you may miss mistakes that were made by the police or prosecution in the handling of your case. These mistakes can be the basis for your DUI defense, and they may allow you to obtain a favorable plea bargain agreement or result in charges being dropped.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IN A DUI CASE?
You have many rights under state and federal laws and constitutions. Those rights include remaining silent and not having to answer questions by police unless an attorney is present. You have the right to confront witnesses against you and to have a public, speedy jury trial. You have a right to receive adequate representation by an attorney. You also have a right not be tried twice for the same offense (known as “double jeopardy”).
PROSECUTING STRATEGY OF OUR LEXINGTON DUI ATTORNEY
The prosecution strategy is to tell a story through evidence and witness testimony that will convince a fact finder that the defendant is guilty. It can include making the defendant look very dangerous and dishonest and portraying the crime victims as unfairly suffering through something they didn’t deserve.
DUI DEFENSE STRATEGY
The defense is trying to tell its own story, one where at the end of the trial the fact finder will decide that the client is not guilty (or is guilty of lesser charges and he or she will receive a lighter sentence). Through evidence and witness testimony, the DUI defense may show there’s an alibi or that the defendant lacked the desire or opportunity to commit the crime. Our Lexington DUI defense attorney makes the prosecution and its witnesses appear not credible by showing inconsistencies and contradictions in its side of the story.
However, in examining a DUI arrest, there is oftentimes more than meets the eye. From what happened when the police officer first noticed you in the vehicle to the time you were booked at the jail, you may have one or more defenses available to you. Police officers are required to follow rules and regulations, and it is important to have an attorney that understands exactly what they are supposed to do – and can catch it when they don’t. Acting quickly is the best way to protect your rights.
As a Lexington KY DUI attorney, Dan Carman is ready to provide you with the strongest defense possible, starting with an evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the appropriateness of the traffic stop. He has helped countless people charged with driving under the influence get their lives back on track. To get started, contact our office by calling (859) 251-6562 or by filling out our online form.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DUI ATTORNEY?
A good attorney is one you’re comfortable working with on a matter that could result in life-altering changes. He or she is an attorney you’re confident in, who you feel understands you and who has the experience and skills to put you in the best possible position when it comes to the outcome of your case. A good DUI defense attorney is one who’s skilled at negotiating a fair plea bargain, making legal arguments to a judge, explaining your side of the story to a jury and one who treats you with respect.
SHOULD I GET A PUBLIC DEFENDER OR USE A DUI DEFENSE LAWYER?
Public defenders are skilled, motivated attorneys who care about their clients, but their resources are limited. If you can’t afford a private attorney and qualify for a public defender, you’ll be in much better shape than trying to represent yourself. If you have the resources, obtain the services of a private defense attorney. Being charged with a crime can change your life. With the help of the right private attorney you might be able to avoid all or most of the negative consequences of a conviction.
REPRESENTING YOURSELF IN A DUI CASE
Don’t represent yourself in a criminal matter. You won’t know what to do; you lack the knowledge needed to fully defend yourself; and you lack the skills needed to negotiate a fair plea bargain agreement or represent yourself at trial. This lack of knowledge, experience and skills could result in your spending a long time in prison and paying a heavy fine. Would you treat yourself for cancer? Criminal charges are the legal equivalent of a potentially fatal disease.
KY STATE LAWS FOR DUI/DWI
Kentucky makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle when the driver has a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), is impaired by the use of drugs, or is intoxicated because of use of both substances. The allowable BAC is lower for minors and commercial vehicle drivers. The crime of DUI with aggravated circumstances has harsher penalties. These circumstances include transporting a child under the age of 12, driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit, driving in the wrong direction, causing an accident while impaired and committing other traffic infractions.
DETERMINING INTOXICATION IN KY
Just in our state in the year 2012, more than 23,000 arrests for driving under the influence were made. Once a motorist has been stopped, law enforcement officials have a number of ways of determining whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The most well-known method is the Breathalyzer test. The driver is asked to breathe into a device that determines blood alcohol content (BAC). A person is legally intoxicated if their BAC is more than 0.08. Under Kentucky’s implied consent law, you provide consent to a consent of your breath or blood by operating a vehicle on Kentucky highways. However, as a practical matter, you can refuse to take such test. There are consequences of a refusal though, such as a pretrial license suspension beginning the at your arraignment, and if on a charge of DUI 2nd or greater offense, double the mandatory minimum jail time if convicted.
FIRST OFFENSE DUI
If you are convicted of DUI 1st offense in Kentucky, you will receive a fine ranging from $200 to $500, your license will be suspended from 30 to 120 days, and you will be referred to complete an alcohol-driver education program before you are allowed to get your license back. You will also spend up to 30 days in jail, although jail is not mandatory unless the case is considered an “aggravated” case. The penalties are stricter if there were any such aggravating factors — for example, if you were driving more than 26 miles over the posted speed, you caused an accident that resulted in serious injury, you had a BAC of 0.15 or above, or you had passengers that were under the age of 12, or (especially in DUI 2nd or greater offense cases), you refused the chemical test requested of you by the police.
HOW DOES THE COURT SYSTEM WORK?
The court system doesn’t always work smoothly. It doesn’t have enough qualified personnel or sufficient resources to do all it should do. The court system functions, but not well; and criminal defendants need to fully understand it and, when possible, use it to their advantage. Police, if they don’t witness an alleged crime first hand, respond to a complaint and perform an investigation. If there’s probable cause, there’ll be an arrest. It’s up to the prosecution to decide if there’s enough evidence to file criminal charges. There may be bail hearings, legal arguments that criminal charges should be dropped or prosecution evidence should be limited or excluded. A trial can be with a judge or jury deciding the facts of the case and whether or not the defendant is guilty. At any part of the trial process, the defendant may agree to a plea bargain, which normally means that, in exchange for a guilty plea (possibly to lesser charges), the uncertainty of a trial is removed and the defendant serves a lesser sentence.
What Is a Felony?
A felony could be punished by a year or more in prison. Fines can be from $1,000 to $10,000. A felony is also one that may result in the death penalty.
What Is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor could be punishable by 90 days to a year in prison and fines of up to $250 or $500.
CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION
As a result of a conviction, you may need to serve time in jail, pay a fine and make restitution. You may lose your job, your ability to drive, the ability to join the military or obtain life insurance. You may be prevented from working certain jobs or with certain employers. You may also be prevented from obtaining a license for a profession or lose one if you already have one. Your standing within your family, friends and community may also suffer because of a conviction.
GET HELP FROM A LEXINGTON DUI LAWYER
Whatever the situation, Lexington, KY DUI lawyer Dan Carman can help. While serving in the armed forces, Dan was a Judge Advocate “JAG” (defense lawyer and prosecuting attorney) for Marine Corps and Navy personnel charged with felonies. This experience gives him distinctive insight into both sides of the legal process, which can be very advantageous to those charged with criminal offenses. He knows how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and will work closely with you every step of the way.
Based in Lexington, he represents clients throughout Kentucky who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Let him work with you to plan the aggressive defense that you will need.