We all know that drinking and driving is a bad idea and extremely dangerous to anyone else on the road around you. But, once that alcohol kicks in, our common sense or logical thinking kicks out. Most people feel that they are perfectly okay to drive and may very well be but, if you are stopped and your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit, the fact that you can drive straight while under the influence won’t matter. You will be arrested for driving under the influence, and if convicted, will suffer the consequences of that. Depending upon whether it’s your first, second or third, you will lose your license for a period of time, be required to attend an alcohol class, required to attend a MADD panel, pay fees and fines and be placed on informal probation for three years. For multiple offenses, you are potentially looking at jail time. So, yes it would have been a good idea to call a taxi but, for those who don’t and get caught, the next step is finding a good DUI defense attorney to review your case and try to mitigate the severity of the consequences.
What may surprise you is that there are defenses to DUI’s. A good DUI attorney will charge more than an average DUI defense attorney and while you can find a cheap attorney to handle your case, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. When you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney, you are paying more for his experience and reputation for getting good outcomes.
Some DUI’s are defensible and can be won and some are not. So what determines this? Well, several things. The most common are how and why you were stopped, how the police officer conducted the investigation, proper calibration of the machines used and what you told the police officer at the time of the investigation. Equally important is having a competent attorney who will take the time necessary to investigate these things.
As I have explained in previous blogs, a police officer must have reasonable cause to pull you over. This is easy for a police officer because there are so many small excuses they can come up with. Some may go so far as to say you didn’t signal far enough ahead before you made a turn. Or, it may be that you have a decorative front license plate rather than a regular plate. Many people have these types of plates and never get pulled over but an officer can use this as reasonable cause to pull you over. However, there are situations where a police officer gets caught being less than truthful about the reason for the stop and when this happens, and it can be proven that there was no legal reason for the stop, the case will be dismissed.
Proper calibration of the machines is something that an attorney should always look at. Getting copies of the calibration logs and then reviewing them, looking for errors, may reveal a problem with the particular machine used and could result in a dismissal of the case.
What you say to the police officer during their investigation is also very important because they are building their case against you from the time they stop you until they make the arrest.
So keep all of these things in mind when choosing an attorney and don’t’ be afraid to ask questions so that you can get a feel for how competent the attorney you are considering hiring is.