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Connecticut DUI Attorney

March 16th, 2022

Connecticut DUI Law

In Connecticut, it is against the law to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can be called DUI, DWI, or simply drunk driving. While these may seem like simple terms to understand, the DUI laws are actually very complex and difficult for someone who is not a legal professional to truly understand. If you have been arrested for a DUI offense, it is imperative that you contact a Connecticut DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. A qualified Connecticut DUI lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and put together the best possible defense.

Connecticut DUI Law

In Connecticut, there are two types of prosecution for DUI offenses. One is based on the accused being impaired while operating a motor vehicle. Prosecuting under this theory requires that it be proven that the accused was too impaired to safely and reasonably operate a motor vehicle at the time of arrest. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors can show this simply by demonstrating that the defendant was impaired in any way. Failure to complete sobriety tests successfully, the smell of alcohol on the defendant, a disheveled appearance of the defendant, or bad driving habits such as excessive braking, driving too slowly, speeding, or weaving and swerving. No blood alcohol concentration level needs to be proven for this type of prosecution. The second is based on blood chemistry; specifically that the defendant had a blood alcohol concentration level that exceeded the legal limit of 0.08%. The actual level of impairment of the defendant does not matter under this theory. The prosecution simply has to show that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration level was over the legal limit. Contacting a Connecticut DUI attorney immediately following your arrest will allow you the opportunity to put together the best defense possible.

Connecticut DMV Penalties

When you’re arrested for driving under the influence, you not only face criminal charges and penalties, you also face administrative penalties through the Department of Motor Vehicles. When you are arrested for a DUI offense, the clock starts running on the day you are arrested. You will be notified that your driver’s license will be suspended on the thirty-first day following your offense and given the opportunity to request a hearing. You will only be given 87 days to request the hearing, so it is important that you check your mail regularly and respond to all correspondence. Saying you did not get the notice does not mean that you will be given an extension or that your license suspension will not take effect. Make every effort to contact the DMV to request a hearing the day of your arrest or the day after your arrest if it took place at night. By contacting the DMV on the first day following your arrest, you’ll give yourself a cushion of time in case the person you need to speak with is out of the office or you have trouble getting connected to the right department. If you wait until the last minute and experience any of these difficulties, you may miss the deadline to request a hearing. Hiring a Connecticut DUI lawyer immediately after your arrest means that your attorney can represent you in both the DMV proceedings and during your criminal case. A skilled Connecticut DUI attorney can help you to save your license while you await your criminal trial. The penalties imposed by the DMV depend on the level of offense and whether you refused to take a chemical test. Refusal to take a chemical test carries a 6 month suspension for one refusal, one year suspension for two refusals, and three year suspension for three refusals. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or greater while under the legal drinking age of 21 will result in suspensions of 90 days for the first offense, 9 months for the second offense, and two years for the third offense. Adults who have submitted to a chemical test are grouped by blood alcohol content levels for penalty determination. Offenders with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% to 0.16% face a 90 day suspension for the first offense, 9 month suspension for the second offense, and a two year suspension for the third offense. Offenders with blood alcohol levels of 0.16% or higher face 120 days of suspension for the first offense, 10 months for the second offense, and two and a half years for a third offense.

How to Hire a DUI Attorney in Connecticut

March 16th, 2022

Many people charged with DUI want to know what a DUI attorney can do for them. It’s a very direct question, which some attorneys have a hard time answering. It’s a good question because it is so direct and to the point. The person would like to hire an attorney and wants to know how the attorney can help. The potential client wants to know if the attorney has magical skills to make their case disappear. They want someone to guide them through the process, to be there for them, to reassure them, explain the tortured procedures and be their rock throughout this DUI ordeal. They want an attorney who can feel their pain and anxiety.

So, how do you hire a DUI attorney in Connecticut?

Get the names of the attorneys practicing DUI law only. Some criminal attorneys also have large DUI practices. There are not many of them. Ask friends, family and other associates if they know any of them and garner their opinions. Do some homework. Go on the web for DUI attorneys in your area. Many of these attorneys advertise in many ways.

Some attorneys claim to have a heavy emphasis of DUI cases. What does that mean? What is the attorney’s DUI caseload like? Is he busy? Does he handle 200 or more DUI cases a year? How many DMV cases does he handle? Being a busy practitioner insures familiarity with the process and a greater knowledge of the law. If he’s busy, that means clients think highly of his expertise. It’s like anything else, the more you do, the more you learn and the more varied the cases usually are. All of this translates into “knowledge” in the area of DUI law. The more the attorney knows, the better off you are!

Make an appointment with the DUI attorney. They usually offer a free initial consultation. Feel the attorney out. Ask yourself “Do I feel comfortable with the attorney?” Ask him if he is trained in the operation of a breath test machine and certified with regard to the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.

You need to know what the attorney charges. Is it a flat fee or does he charge by the hour? You want the fixed, flat fee. It makes sense. If expert witnesses are needed, who pays for them? Is the cost of a trial extra? How much extra? Ask yourself if you can afford this guy? Understand that fees for a DUI specialist are high, but those fees pale in comparison to what it could cost if you hire someone that’s inexperienced. Fees are high for a reason and you should ask what those reasons are. Does the DUI lawyer offer a payment plan?

You may ask “Why do you need a DUI lawyer at all?” The answer is there are many things a conviction affects such as your job, various licenses, i.e. securities licenses, nursing license, license to practice law, commercial driver’s license, a medical license and life in general. Also, the penalties are different if you are under 21 or under 18. Abe Lincoln said it best that “A person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Remember, you will have a corresponding DMV case and only the DUI attorney will know how to practice in this maze of confusion.