A FORMER PROSECUTOR has years of experience and unmatched knowledge of the law. Their understanding of vehicle traffic law is a result of years in a courtroom, using the law to successfully convict offenders like you. There is simply no substitute for that knowledge and experience. Protect yourself and get the defense you deserve.
How much will it cost to have a Former Prosecutor defend you?
It will cost no more to have A FORMER PROSECUTOR defend you than it would any other attorney. In any DUI/DWI case your back is against the wall, no matter what the circumstances might be. The odds are never in your favor, and the potential consequences are dire. DUI/DWI cases are expensive. They are deliberately set up that way in order to discourage impaired driving. The prosecution is looking to make you pay with your time, money, and freedom. They will pull out all the stops to hit you as hard as they can. Mercy is not in their vocabulary. They want you to learn a very expensive lesson.
If you were at the jewelry store, and the salesman told you that the diamonds and the cubic zirconias were going for the same price, wouldn’t you want the diamond? The chances of you getting comparable diamond and cubic zirconias at the same price are slim to none. However, in the legal world, there are diamonds scattered everywhere, with the same price tags as the cubic zirconias. Why would you spend your hard earned money on a cubic zirconia instead? FORMER PROSECUTORS were trained by the very forces you are pitted against. They have the other teams playbook, and they know the counter to every thing that will get thrown at you. In many cases, they wrote the playbook!
Do I really need to hire a FORMER PROSECUTOR as my DUI/DWI attorney?
DUI/DWI, driving under the influence/while intoxicated is a serious offense which could result in severe repercussions. Trying to fight a DUI/DWI case without legal representation is nearly impossible to do.
A FORMER PROSECUTOR is in the best possible position to help defend your rights. They know the system, they know the law, and they know what the prosecution is going to do before they do it. After all, that was their job!
How drunk or high does someone have to be before he can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)?
Driving a vehicle while impaired due to consumption of drugs or alcohol or both is illegal in all 50 states. In order to determine the level of intoxication, authorities will administer a chemical test. This can come in the form of a breathalyzer or a blood test. A breathalyzer will instantly give police a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) measurement. A blood test may also be administered. This will give a far more accurate measurement of BAC, as well as detect the presence of any other substance that may be impairing you.
The baseline measurement for impaired driving is .08% in all 50 states. This applies to all drivers of non-commercial vehicles that are over 21. Drivers of commercial vehicles are held to a stricter standard of .04%.
There is no official federal guideline for drivers under 21. However statues generally range from zero tolerance, meaning any alcohol detected will result in a DUI/DWI, to .02% that will result in a DUI/DWI. Additionally in most states drivers measuring .08% and above will face the same penalties as an over 21 driver.
How can the police find out whether a driver is under the influence or intoxicated?
First comes the observation phase. The officer is trained to notice details in your appearance and speech that might indicate impaired driving. Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol are some examples of details an officer might notice that can encourage further investigation and testing. During this time an officer might ask to perform a field sobriety test. This is typically a series of coordinated physical actions that help the officer observe any other indications of impairment.
After observing carefully, the officer may conclude that there is sufficient proof to make a DUI/DWI arrest. Or, they may ask for additional testing, in which case a chemical test will be performed. Typically this consists of a breathalyzer. The small machine is blown into and a preliminary BAC reading can be obtained. This may also result in a blood test being performed, which is more accurate, and can also detect the presence of drugs as well.
Do I have to take a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test if I am stopped for DUI or DWI?
Every state has some form of “Implied Consent”. This is indicated as part of your license to operate a motor vehicle. However, you may refuse a chemical test. This often comes with severe penalties that are added to whatever penalties you must pay as a result of a conviction. Bear in mind that upon refusal you will be arrested, and most likely a warrant will be obtained to allow authorities to collect a blood or urine sample in order to determine your level of impairment.
A disturbing new trend in law enforcement has emerged this year that changes “right to refusal” significantly. Tennessee, and several other southern states, have begun periodically suspending “right to refusal” during traditionally high volume periods such as News Years Eve and Memorial Day.
“Right to Refusal” is being increasingly suspended, meaning your blood can be collected without a warrant, against your will.
This type of warrantless bodily invasion is exactly the kind of circumstance a FORMER PROSECUTOR was made to fight. They know the law, and they know the constitution, and they will use that to defend your rights.
Am I entitled to speak to an attorney prior to taking a chemical test during the stop?
Generally speaking, the answer is no. You always do have the right to remain silent, which of course you should exercise, however, a request for an attorney prior to a chemical test will be recorded as a refusal and you will be penalized accordingly. Remember, a simple yes or no will suffice when you are asked any questions including those regarding a chemical test.
Is a police officer allowed to ask me questions during the stop without reading me my rights?
Yes. Police can and absolutely will ask you questions at any point during a stop and/or detainment without reading Miranda rights. Most of the questioning and investigation in a DUI/DWI case occurs during the initial stop, not after an arrest is made. As an arrest cannot be made without prior questioning and investigation, reading Miranda rights is not practical. This is completely permissible and allowed by law.
I've been charged with drunk driving/driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated. Should I get a lawyer?
Absolutely. Attempting to defend yourself in court against criminal charges for any offense is foolhardy at best under any circumstances. A conviction for DUI/DWI on your record is a serious black mark that will follow you for the rest of your life. It will affect your jobs, your relationships, and almost every major facet of your life for the foreseeable future. This is not a bet you can afford to make. DUI/DWI cases are often complicated matters that involve multiple layers of criminal investigation and defense strategy.
Your conduct and character will be called into question. Police conduct will be scrutinized. Medical records will need to be produced and verified. Those are just a few of the many intricate pieces of a DUI/DWI case. In short, you need a lawyer. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not looking out for your best interest.
At DUI.Attorney we believe that you don’t just need a lawyer, you need the very best kind of defense lawyer there is. A FORMER PROSECUTOR. They spent an entire career building cases designed to foil even the toughest defense attorney. They know exactly what you’re up against, and exactly how to beat it.
I was pulled over at a DUI/DWI roadblock and asked to wait and answer a police officer's questions. Is this legal?
Yes. At a checkpoint the police have the right to ask you to pull to the side of the road should they suspect you of impaired driving. During this time you are required to wait until an officer has the opportunity to question you before you can safely leave. Attempting to leave without being questioned is a criminal offense and you will be prosecuted.
Do I need a lawyer right away?
The sooner the better. You might hear advice from other people telling you that a lawyer is not necessary, or that you should handle some things yourself. Do NOT listen to them. DUI/DWI is a very serious charge, even a first time DUI/DWI can bombard you with fines and penalties that can leave you financially ruined. You may lose your driving privileges, which can cost you your job at the very least. There is also the shame and regret you will inevitably feel. You need an experienced FORMER PROSECUTOR by your side from the start in order to lessen the massive impact that a DUI/DWI arrest can have on your life. Often the fines you can avoid by having experienced counsel on your side is alone equal to the cost of a good defense.
One aspect of a DUI/DWI case that is often forgotten is the future. Like it or not, DUI/DWI recidivism is often very high. No one wants to get a DUI/DWI, much less multiple DUI’s/DWI’s, particularly within the state look-back period. Unfortunately, this can and will happen to many, and you will be hit with a massive increase in penalties for being a repeat offender. For someone who is still working their way out from a prior DUI/DWI, or has finally gotten clear, this can be life destroying. These situations can be avoided by getting a FORMER PROSECUTOR as early as possible.
A FORMER PROSECUTOR will know how to tackle your case from the outset, and possibly get your DUI/DWI brought down to a lesser charge. You want the very best chance possible to get on with your life with as few long term repercussions as possible. Don’t gamble with your life. Find yourself a FORMER PROSECUTOR now!
Dealing with a DUI/DWI Charge
Judge vs. Jury
If your attorney chooses to fight the charges, then there will be a choice whether the case will be decided by a judge, or by a jury of your peers. There is no clear better choice. Depending on your circumstances, and the defense that will be utilized, either one could be seen as advantageous. This is where the experience of a FORMER PROSECUTOR will help immensely. They will know which situation is the most advantageous to your case, and perhaps even know some of the judges themselves!
DUI/DWI Laws in Your State
DUI/DWI laws vary based on your state. Below you will find links to the specific statutes of all 50 states. You will find the law broken down into categories detailing everything from underage DUI /DWI to aggravated charges and more. Certain states have specific programs for driver safety and drug treatment, you will find information for those as well should they apply. To get started click on any link below.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Common Areas of Defense During a DUI/DWI
DUI/DWI is a serious crime, with serious consequences. The odds are heavily stacked against you the moment you are placed under arrest. The Prosecutor is going to do everything in their power to make sure you are hit with the maximum allowable penalties. The entire justice system is at their disposal. Police will be called in to testify against you. Medical experts may be introduced to help bolster the case against you. Every effort will be made to discredit and humiliate you.
This is the reality of a DUI/DWI charge. It’s an ugly, drawn out process that will drain you on every level.
It doesn’t have to be that way. A proper defense can effectively neutralize many of the tactics that will be used against you. An experienced defense attorney can steer you through the storm you face, and a FORMER PROSECUTOR has exactly the kind of experience you need. FORMER PROSECUTORS don’t just know the law, they were the law.
Below we will discuss several important factors that your FORMER PROSECUTOR will take into account when creating the best defense you can get.
Driving and Physical Control
Contrary to popular belief, you CAN get a DUI/DWI without driving. Physical control means you were physically in or on the vehicle and you were capable of operating said vehicle. So whether you were actually driving and were pulled over, or were judged to have physical control, you will be prosecuted just the same. This is what the prosecution must prove first and foremost, that you were the driver of the vehicle or had physical control over the vehicle while you were impaired. Having an experienced defense attorney that is familiar with the many unique scenarios that can arise is crucial to your defense. You can be certain that whatever your circumstances happen to be, a FORMER PROSECUTOR has very likely seen it, and successfully prosecuted it.
Detainment and Arrest
The sequence of events that led to your DUI/DWI arrest will be a major factor in determining the outcome. Police procedure will be reviewed, and the prosecution will likely have one or more officers come in to testify against you. This is crucial for the prosecution in order to establish that proper procedure was followed during the interaction, and that there was legitimate probable cause for arrest. An experienced FORMER PROSECUTOR will quickly be able to spot any potential weak points in the prosecution’s case. They have spent their careers building cases just like the one you’re facing now, and they know how to destroy them far better than an attorney without that valuable experience and training.
Failure to establish probable cause and/or procedural error can demolish the case against you very quickly. Crucial evidence can be thrown out, testimony can be invalidated, and the accuracy of a chemical test can be successfully challenged. The tables can turn in your favor very quickly when you have a FORMER PROSECUTOR at your side.
It is almost certain that the officer who arrested you will be called in to testify against you. He will be required to provide details of the stop and arrest, and most importantly, about you. Your driving, the condition of your vehicle, and most importantly your appearance will be dissected at length. Your attitude will play a major factor as well. A belligerent attitude is very often associated with intoxication and will be noted and used against you as part of the effort to establish probable cause. Any odors of alcohol will be noted, as well as whether your eyes were bloodshot. If a field sobriety test was conducted your movement and balance will be factored in as well.
Police officers are well respected in the justice system and often their testimony will be taken at face value. There is no chance whatsoever that your version of events will be viewed as accurate versus the account the officer gives. This is where the value of having a FORMER PROSECUTOR fighting for your rights is greatest. An expert cross examination can reveal inconsistencies that can put the validity of the officer’s testimony into question. Other witnesses may also be called to testify in your favor, further bolstering your version of events. Lack of sleep, medical conditions, and environmental factors are just a few of the many circumstances that can be introduced to explain any negative observations in the officer’s testimony. A FORMER PROSECUTOR knows what questions to ask, and how to create the doubt needed to break the case against you.
Challenging A Chemical Test
At some point during a traffic stop a chemical test will be administered if impairment is suspected. Typically a breathalyzer will be the first test administered on the scene. You will be required to blow into the device which will then measure the alcohol vapors in your breath should there be any present. Readings can be obtained very quickly using this method, and should alcohol be detected you will likely be placed under arrest. These test results will also be used against you in court to support police testimony and establish probable cause.
In addition to a breath test, you may be asked to provide blood, urine or even saliva. Generally speaking you do have the right to refusal; however, chemical test refusal often carries harsh penalties aside from those you might incur as a result of conviction. Should you eventually be convicted of DUI/DWI, the test refusal will be noted and result in much higher penalties. Chemical test results are often crucial to the prosecution as it can provide direct evidence of your impairment. Does this mean a failed chemical test will automatically result in a conviction?
Absolutely not. There are many factors that can affect a chemical test reading. Faulty equipment, human error, and improperly collected samples are just some of the ways to combat the validity of the test. There are also a variety of factors that can influence the results. Mouthwashes, certain medications, and even dental work can all contribute to a false positive. A FORMER PROSECUTOR has utilized chemical test results to help prosecute offenders during their time in office. They know the strengths and weaknesses of chemical testing like no other attorney could. They may even be able to have the test results thrown out completely.
DUI/DWI Punishments and Penalties
DUI/DWI is a criminal offense and will always at least bring a misdemeanor charge with it. This may increase to a felony charge based on the circumstances of your case. In any case, the penalties involved can change drastically when looking at DUI/DWI statutes from state to state. Additionally, many states have sub-categories for DUI/DWI that carry different requirements and are labeled differently as well. Below are some of the more common penalties you may face.
A DUI/DWI can be very expensive. The amount in fines and surcharges you will end up paying can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your case, and what state it occurred in. However, be aware that you will always be hit with a fine at the very least. Surcharges can take various forms and are always in addition to any fine you are ordered to pay. These may be for monitoring, driver safety or treatment programs, or just the court fees themselves. Having a FORMER PROSECUTOR represent you is the most effective way to help reduce these fines and surcharges and minimize the heavy financial burden a DUI/DWI can lead to.
Many states have mandatory minimum prison sentences even for first time offenders. Typically these are short, usually between 48 hours and 5 days. Multiple offenses that occur within the state lookback period can change the length of these mandatory minimum sentences dramatically. This is especially true should your case have any aggravating factors attached to it, such as high BAC (blood alcohol concentration), injury or death caused, or violation of a state specific law designed to protect child passengers such as Leandra’s Law in New York.
Your case will quickly be upgraded to felony status should aggravating factors apply even on your first offense. Minimum prison time will increase dramatically, and in certain cases you may find yourself facing felony murder charges which can carry a maximum prison sentence that can stretch for decades.
Passenger/Commercial License Issues
Generally speaking, a charge of DUI/DWI will bring with it either a license suspension or revocation. Like most other penalties associated with DUI/DWI, the state you are in will dictate exactly how this particular penalty is applied to you. Revocation is generally considered the more serious of the two. In that case, you will be stripped of your license to drive indefinitely. However, after a certain period of time has passed, dictated by the terms of your sentence, you will be allowed to reapply for a new license. In more serious cases such as repeat offenders and/or where loss of life is involved, the revocation may be permanent.
A suspension is less severe, but no less inconvenient. In this case you will retain your original license, but be barred from driving for a length of time dictated by the terms of your sentence. During this time you may apply for a conditional license, or be allowed to drive sooner should you get an Ignition Interlock Device installed.
Commercial drivers are subject to much harsher penalties, and will almost always face a lifetime revocation upon committing a second offense. Administrative fees (DMV) must be paid in addition to the criminal fees in order to even have a chance at getting your driving privileges back.
Other Common Penalties
Although less common, there are other penalties that can be assigned to you that are no less serious. Community Service is often assigned in addition to prison, although sometimes in less severe cases it may be given in lieu of prison. You may also be required to attend and participate at a victim impact panel. These panels are made up of DUI/DWI victims, and family members of victims. As you can imagine, it is an emotional and draining process.
Being charged with DUI/DWI as an underage driver is a serious situation with many long term ramifications. There is no federal guideline on the limit for “zero tolerance” laws around the nation. Every state has their own definition of what constitutes underage DUI/DWI. This variance is always going to be between .01% (any alcohol detected at all), and .o2%. There are no states with an underage limit above .02%.
Most states have separate penalties for underage offenders, however, in almost all cases an offender with a BAC measuring .08% and above will be facing regular adult charges no matter their age. It is important to note that an underage DUI/DWI conviction that stays on your record will count towards a previous conviction penalty should it fall within the look-back period, the same as any regular adult DUI/DWI. A FORMER PROSECUTOR has seen his fair share of young people have their futures destroyed by a DUI/DWI conviction on their permanent record. They know what to do to help ensure that you won’t be paying for a youthful mistake for the rest of your life.
All of the above penalties are harsh enough, but they don’t begin to cover the variety of problems that will arise as a result of a DUI/DWI conviction. Your car insurance rates will certainly skyrocket. This is if you manage to find a company that will insure you at all. Civil lawsuits may be filed as a result of an accident or worse yet injuries or death that came as a result of your DUI/DWI.
You will be left with a criminal record. Should your attorney not be able to have your records expunged, this albatross will be circling above every significant facet of your life, for the rest of your life. Job background checks. Bank loans. School applications. Those are just some of the few situations that will be severely affected by having a criminal record. A FORMER PROSECUTOR is your best bet to ensure that you have the best possible chance to minimize or dodge a criminal record.
Will I have to serve jail time for my DUI/DWI?
There are many factors that will decide whether or not you will be facing prison for DUI/DWI. These range from the state you were arrested in, the circumstances of your situation, and the inclusion of any prior DUI/DWI convictions on your record. In some cases, you may be sentenced to prison, but plea down to a sentence of Community Service instead. Prison is sometimes unavoidable in certain cases, such as when a fatality or injury is involved. However, in many cases a competent attorney may be able to negotiate a deal that allows you to escape a prison sentence altogether. A FORMER PROSECUTOR has spent an entire career using the system to put people in prison. Now that same attorney who knows the system can use it to make sure you spend little to no time at all in prison.
Will I lose my license for a DUI?
Like most other DUI/DWI penalties, this will depend on which state your DUI/DWI occurred in. It is common practice in most states to issue a license suspension for a first offense DUI/DWI. However, the length of the suspension can vary greatly, often landing anywhere between 90 days and 1 year. Additionally, a chemical test refusal will also yield an automatic license suspension as well.
The matter changes significantly when multiple DUI/DWI offenses are involved. Often this will incur a license revocation with a lengthy ban on when you can reapply for a new license.
How long will a DUI/DWI charge stay on my record?
Every state has their own “lookback” period for DUI/DWI violations. These range from 5 years to lifetime. A lifetime lookback period is more rare. It is important to note that every state has at least a 5 year lookback period. It often goes higher, but never lower than 5 years.
To look up exactly how long a prior DUI/DWI stays on your record in your state check our links below:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Is my DUI/DWI a felony?
Whether you will be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depends largely on two separate factors. Your location, and the circumstances of your case. Every state is unique in the way it categorizes certain crimes, and DUI/DWI is no different. However, in most cases you will not be charged with a felony on a first time DUI/DWI. This is assuming there was not any deaths or injuries involved as that would surely lead to a felony charge regardless of whether it was your first offense or not.
The situation changes significantly in the matter of offenses committed within the state “look-back” period. In many states, a second, third, or sometimes fourth consecutive charge will result in an automatic felony charge regardless of the circumstances involved. A FORMER PROSECUTOR has worked within the justice system looking to convict you now for years and knows what defense to use for your particular set of circumstances.