DUI Lawyer in Lexington, KY
Our Lexington DUI Lawyer Gets Results
SECURING THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOMES FOR OUR CLIENTS
No matter what your circumstances, being arrested for DUI comes with consequences, bringing emotional and social costs as well as financial ones. If you are convicted of a DUI in Kentucky, in addition to the cost of fines and increased insurance payments, you may face jail time and wind up with a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life, affecting your prospects for education, job opportunities, government benefits, and social relationships.
A DUI charge is taken seriously in Kentucky, and is not something you want to fight on your own. The Lexington DUI attorneys at Dan Carman, PLLC are available to fight for your rights and your freedom. We know Kentucky prosecutors, courts and the system, and have helped many clients over the years, and we are fully prepared to do the same for you.
Why Choose Our Lexington DUI Defense Lawyer
There are many attorneys in Kentucky, and it’s important for you to find one that you feel comfortable with and who has the necessary knowledge and experience to help you get the best results possible. Here are some reasons why we think Dan Carman, PLLC is your best choice:
- We are experienced and bilingual. Attorney Dan Carman speaks Spanish and has many years of experience representing clients accused of DUIs, as well as rape, possession and distribution of drugs, possession of child pornography, larceny, hazing, obstruction of justice, and many other crimes. Mr. Carman also worked as a prosecutor and as a legal assistance attorney, during which time he assisted hundreds of clients with their legal needs.
- We understand what you are going through and that you may feel vulnerable and confused, so we do everything possible to make you feel safe, listened to and understood.
- We are recognized in our field. Dan Carman is a member of various local and national Bar Associations has previously been named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers.
- We are available 24/7 for client emergencies.
- We have many satisfied clients, and have won an award for the 10 Best attorneys in client satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.
At Dan Carman, PLLC we know how to gather and examine evidence such as the police reports, recordings, and testing logs. We know your rights and the rules and regulations police officers must follow for a DUI, and how to use mistakes they make to build your case. We are prepared to find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, negotiate to get you the best deal possible, and take your case to trial if necessary.
How Our DUI Lawyer in Kentucky Works for You
Every person who works at Dan Carman, PLLC — lawyers and support staff — shares our commitment to our clients. When you have our team on your side, we will:
- Meet with you to discuss how your DUI happened and determine the best way to build a solid defense.
- Prevent you from saying or doing anything that would hurt your case and prepare you for all hearings and court appearances.
- Scrutinize the actions of the law enforcement officials to assess whether the laws pertaining to DUI arrests were fully met. Mistakes made in determining DUI or evidence found to be inadmissible due to being unlawfully obtained can greatly enhance the possibility that you will be found not guilty.
- Examine other circumstances surrounding the case to make sure your rights were not violated.
- Negotiate with prosecutors and look for ways to have your charges dismissed or lessened.
- Take your case to court to defend you if necessary.
DUI Lawyer Knows DUI Charges and Punishments
What is a DWI / DUI?
In Kentucky, the abbreviations DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) refer to an individual driving under the influence of alcohol or any substance(s) which impair driving ability. Other substances can include illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and/or inhalants such as glue, gasoline, spray paint, etc. The law prohibits operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of or above 0.08, (above 0.02 if you are under 21.)
Punishments for a DWI/DUI
As of July 1, 2020, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will administer a static suspension time based on the type of conviction. Punishments and suspension times are as follows:
1st Offense Within a 10-Year Period
- 90 Days of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program
- 6-month License Suspension
2nd Offense Within a 10-Year Period
- One (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
- 18-Month License Suspension
3rd Offense Within a 10-Year Period
- One (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
- 36-Month License Suspension
4th Offense Within a 10-Year Period
- One (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
- 60-Month License Suspension
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Any commercial driver convicted of a DUI in any motor vehicle will be suspended for one (1) year, pay a $50.00 reinstatement fee, and pass the written and vision tests before starting over with a permit. After holding a valid commercial learner’s permit for fourteen (14) days, the driver will be required to pass all applicable skills tests before obtaining a commercial license.
License Suspension for Refusal to Take Alcohol or Subsequent Tests
If you refuse to submit to testing, your driver’s license will be suspended for the period of time the license would have been suspended upon conviction.
DUI Attorney Knows What to do After Your DUI Charge
Before and after being accused of a DUI, you should 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. Get help from a DUI lawyer as soon as possible to avoid making mistakes.
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. Fortunately, 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.
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 a DUI attorney. You also have a right not to be tried twice for the same offense (known as “double jeopardy”). Lexington DUI Lawyer Dan Carman can help ensure all your rights are protected and the best outcome possible is secured.
DUI LAWYERS UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE UP AGAINST
The prosecutor has a gameplan. The prosecution’s 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.
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 their side of the story.
CONTACT A DUI LAWYER IN LEXINGTON, KY
Time is of the essence when you have been arrested for a DUI. If you have been placed under arrest, the first and only thing you should do is request to call an attorney. We encourage you to make that call to Dan Carman. Dan is a very responsive DUI lawyer who has years of experience handling these types of cases. Dan and his team will get to work immediately on your behalf to look for every opportunity to build your defense and protect your rights.
LEGAL REPRESENTATION BY A DUI LAWYER
A good DUI defense lawyer 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 strong DUI defense attorney is one who’s skilled at negotiating a fair plea bargain, making legal arguments to a judge and explaining your side of the story to a jury, and they will treat 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 they have large caseloads and 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, you should obtain the services of a private defense attorney. Being charged with a crime can change your life. With the help of the right private DUI defense lawyer, 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. Consider the fact that even the most skilled criminal defense attorneys would never choose to represent themselves in a criminal matter. Anyone who represents themselves will likely lack credibility in the eyes of the court.
Kentucky DUI / DWI Laws
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE DUI LEGAL PROCESS
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, by operating a vehicle on Kentucky highways you provide consent to a test of your breath or blood. 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 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.
The penalties are much stricter for every subsequent time you are arrested and convicted of DUI.
HOW DOES THE COURT SYSTEM WORK IN KENTUCKY?
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 will be an arrest. It’s up to the prosecution to decide whether 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 A DUI 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.
DUI Attorney Answers Questions
Many clients our DUI lawyer has helped have found themselves in new territory after their arrest. Fear and uncertainty are hard to manage on the side of the road. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you probably have dozens of questions for a Lexington DUI lawyer, and we will address some of them here:
- Will I go to jail?
If this is your first offense, the judge can order you to spend 48 hours to 30 days in jail. However, jail time is not necessarily a given. Jail time can be replaced with an equivalent amount of community service, if the judge so orders. A second offense DUI could lead to up to six months in jail, and a third offense could lead to up to one year in jail.
- How much is this going to cost me?
A first offense DUI can result in $200 to $500 in fines. Second offenses can lead to $350 to $500 in fines. Third offenses can result in fines of $500 to $1,000. These fines are rarely the only costs someone will face after being charged with a DUI. There are also hidden costs, such as those involving your insurance or bail.
- How am I supposed to get to school or work if my license is suspended?
In some cases, you might be able to obtain a temporary restricted license so you can drive to work, school or substance abuse treatment programs. To get that license, you might need to prove you are seeking help for substance abuse problems.
- What’s going to happen when I go to court?
You will go before a judge, who will verify your identity and the charges against you. The judge will ask you whether you plead guilty or not guilty. The judge will then go over the conditions of your bail to make sure you understand. Court appearances are essential for someone arrested on a DUI. Make sure you arrive early for court, dress appropriately and be respectful to the judge. Your attorney can help you through the process.
- Does the machine that I blew into always provide accurate results?
The accuracy of breathalyzers is a topic of some dispute. There are several different brands of breathalyzers, and it’s possible that some of these varieties might give slightly different results. Those small differences could potentially mean the difference between a drunk driving charge and no charge at all. Whether or not the results of a breathalyzer test administered by an arresting officer should be disputed should be left up to an experienced DUI lawyer.
- How is my case different if I took a blood test?
While breathalyzer tests are given on-site, blood tests generally are not. Instead, they are administered once the suspected drunk driver is taken to the police station. Thus, it is possible that the results of a blood test would differ from an on-site breathalyzer test. If a blood test shows that your BAC exceeds the legal limit, you will be subject to the same processes as you would with a positive breathalyzer test.
- Is there any video evidence available?
Many police departments in Kentucky use relatively high quality dashcams, so it is possible that there is video evidence available. Whether the footage will be helpful in your case is a determination best left up to your DWI lawyer.
These are just a few of the questions that may be swirling around in your mind. Talking with a Lexington DUI lawyer 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.
Get Help from Lexington DUI Lawyer Dan Carman
DUI Attorney Knows Available DUI Defenses
When examining a DUI arrest, there is often 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.
Whatever the situation, Lexington 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, Dan 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. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your loved ones. We want to help.
For a free initial consultation and a conversation about your situation, call today at (859) 685-1055