Fairfield DUI Lawyer
The top Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyers and attorneys are well aware that an arrest for DUI / DWI in Fairfield Connecticut under CGS 14-227a will require you to actually fight two cases: your criminal charges and your license suspension. First time DUI / DWI offenders in Fairfield Connecticut and those facing charges as a second time or repeat offender need to contest their misdemeanor or felony arrests in the Bridgeport Superior Court. At the same time, your Connecticut driver’s license will be suspended and you must appeal that suspension at a Bridgeport DMV “per se” hearing.
To add insult to injury, the Fairfield Connecticut police department, in their effort to deter future drunk drivers, will shame and embarrass you by releasing your DUI / DWI arrest report to the websites of local news outlets such as the Connecticut Post, Fairfield Citizen and Fairfield Patch. Fortunately, some of the best criminal law firms in Fairfield Connecticut are able to not only get your case dismissed, but they can also erase your DUI / DWI arrest in Fairfield off the internet. So if you are arrested for in Fairfield Connecticut for DUI / DWI, then contact a top Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyer attorney to assist in getting your Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest dismissed, and to get your Connecticut driver’s license and online reputation restored as quickly as possible.
The Breath Test for Your Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrest – Do You Take It or Refuse?
The best Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI / OUI criminal lawyers are often asked by clients whether they should consent to a breath test during a DUI / DWI arrest. On July 1, 2015, Connecticut DUI / DWI breath test and refusal laws changed dramatically. Now, if you fail or refuse a breath test, then most first time and repeat DUI / DWI offenders in Fairfield Connecticut are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (called an “IID”) in their vehicles. Under these new Connecticut laws (explained here in further detail), first time Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI offenders will have their license suspended for 45 days, followed by a 6 month IID requirement for a failed breath, blood or urine test. This 6 month IID installation mandate increases to a full year for first time offenders who refuse a breath test during their Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest. The top DUI / DWI / OUI lawyers in Fairfield Connecticut will also be able to explain how you may qualify for a work permit while your driver’s license is suspended. Based on additional factors such as prior DUIs / DWIs on your record and the severity of your accident, including property damage and injuries, the best Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI lawyers will be able to advise you as to whether you should take or refuse a breath test. So be sure to demand to speak with one of the top Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI law firms before you make a decision to take or refuse a breath or urine test.
Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrests — What Happens at the First Court Date?
As the best Bridgeport Connecticut criminal lawyers would advise, all Fairfield Connecticut DUI and DWI cases are required to report to Bridgeport Superior Court at 172 Golden Hill Street (Fairfield Connecticut does not have its own criminal courthouse). We see people who get arrested for DUI / DWI in Fairfield Connecticut under CGS 14-227a who believe they can go to court on their own and quickly get their Fairfield DUI / DWI arrest dismissed or reduced. Here’s the problem, however. The State of Connecticut has invested millions of dollars in DUI / DWI enforcement and is not content to just give slaps on the wrist to even first time DUI / DWI offenders in Fairfield. The leading Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI attorneys can explain that, in many cases, Connecticut prosecutors want convictions, especially in cases involving high BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels, serious personal injury, or property damage. In the Fairfield Connecticut state prosecutor’s eyes, such cases indicate a high risk of repeat offenders and they will seek a guilty DUI / DWI plea with probation of 18 months to 2 years.
So do not go it alone. Having one of Fairfield Connecticut’s best DUI / DWI / OUI lawyers by your side at the first court date for your Fairfield DUI / DWI arrest helps shape your defense and increase the possibility of mitigation and leniency. The best Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI attorneys can quickly identify errors in the police reports, hone in on police mistakes in the administration of breath and Field Sobriety Tests, and leverage those mistakes and errors to your advantage during pre-trial negotiations with prosecutors. So contact any of the top Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI law firms before your first court date to gain a critical advantage over the prosecution from the start of your case.
Don’t Let Field Sobriety Tests Hurt Your Fairfield Connecticut DUI Case
Many people do not realize they can refuse to take the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (“SFSTs”) during a traffic stop for a DUI / DWI arrest in Fairfield Connecticut. Understandably, people tend to comply with a police officer when under the threat of arrest. And the police do not offer you the option of refusal of the Field Sobriety Tests. But this is your right and should be exercised under certain circumstances. During a Fairfield Connecticut traffic stop, you are required to provide your driver’s license, contact information, registration and insurance paperwork but you are not required to perform any of the three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. These include the Walk-and-Turn test, the One-Legged Stand Test and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. A Fairfield police officer may be aggravated by your refusal but by declining, you may be depriving them of evidence needed to arrest you, and often will be gaining an advantage when fighting a first time or repeat DUI / DWI offender charge in Fairfield Connecticut.
First Time Offender Strategies for DUI / DWI Arrests in Fairfield Connecticut
There are usually 3 options for fighting first time offender DUI / DWI arrests in Fairfield Connecticut under CGS 14-227a: (1) contest your Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest and face a trial, (2) enter a guilty plea, lose your Connecticut driver’s license and face possible time in jail, or (3) bypass the prosecutor and ask the judge to suspend prosecution, allow you to attend a basic Alcohol Education Program, and have your case dismissed and removed from your record. Each of these choices has its pros and cons, but, in consideration of their families, jobs and financial resources, many people go for Option 3 and apply for Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program (called the “AEP” in court). As the best Fairfield Connecticut criminal law firms understand, this one-year Connecticut program requires attendance at 10 or 15 weekly alcohol education classes and, if completed successfully, without incurring any new arrests during that time period, will result in the court dismissing and expunging your first time offender Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest.
Unfortunately, getting your Fairfield Connecticut Alcohol Education Program application is not always so easy — especially if Fairfield Connecticut prosecutors object to your application due to a high Breath Alcohol Content (“BAC”) reading on your breath test, serious physical injury or property damage in your DUI accident, or the reduction of a previous New York State DUI / DWI arrest to a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) or previous out-of-state DUI / DWI. If you are a first time Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI offender and are considering applying for the Alcohol Education Program, then contact a top DUI / DWI criminal attorney in Fairfield Connecticut to help you prepare the strongest possible application for the Alcohol Education Program. DUI / DWI offenders are only afforded one opportunity to apply, so put your best foot forward and follow this link to learn more about first time Fairfield Connecticut DUI /DWI offender programs.
Risks for a Second Time & Repeat Offender DUI / DWI Arrest in Fairfield Connecticut
Far more serious than a first time DUI / DWI arrest under C.G.S. 14-227a in Fairfield Connecticut is a second or repeat offender arrest. In essence, Connecticut criminal law applies a 3 strikes law for repeat DUI / DWI offenders. The best Fairfield Connecticut criminal law firms know that you are eligible for the first time offender Alcohol Education Program after your first DUI / DWI arrest in Connecticut. After a second arrest for DUI / DWI in Fairfield, however, you will face a misdemeanor conviction, probation, a suspension of your Connecticut driver’s license for one year, and, quite possibly jail time. It gets much worse after your third Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest in Fairfield Connecticut. Prosecutors will then seek a felony conviction, including up to 2 years in jail and a lifetime suspension of your Connecticut driver’s license. Home confinement for a Fairfield DUI / DWI conviction is a possibility, but not always guaranteed.
So if you are have been arrested as a second time Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI offender, third time offender, or other repeat offender arrest, you should immediately call one of Fairfield Connecticut’s top DUI / DWI / OUI criminal law firms who will help you decide whether to take your case to trial or negotiate a plea that would possibly result in a reduction of your Fairfield DUI / DWI charge and avoid jail. As the best Bridgeport DUI / DWI criminal attorneys and lawyers know, Fairfield Connecticut prosecutors may elect to reduce a second time offender case to that of a first time offender, thereby allowing you to avoid a felony conviction and jail time. So don’t be afraid to contest your charges with the help of a top Connecticut criminal law firm and be sure to get an honest assessment of your Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest before pleading to a second time or repeat offender arrest.
Fighting Your Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI / OUI Arrest for 14-227a
Fighting an arrest for DUI / DWI in Fairfield Connecticut takes expertise, experience and a thorough understanding of the Bridgeport Connecticut criminal court process. That’s why it is never advisable to hire an attorney who primarily handles divorce cases or real estate closings to contest your DUI / DWI arrest in Fairfield Connecticut. Rather, have a top Bridgeport Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyer analyze all relevant witness statements, police reports and footage from police and third party surveillance cameras. A top Fairfield and Bridgeport criminal lawyer attorney will also consider filing motions for preservation of evidence at your initial court date to ensure that police don’t erase exculpatory electronic and digital evidence — including 911 audio recordings and police bodycam, dashboard and booking cam footage — which may demonstrate to a jury or judge that you were not as intoxicated as police reports indicate. Additionally, the best Bridgeport and Fairfield Connecticut criminal lawyers attorneys know how to analyze the administration of your Miranda rights to determine whether you were provided a fair chance to call a top Fairfield Connecticut lawyer before taking or refusing a breath test or being questioned by police. Regrettably, arresting police officers often step on these fundamental rights with the assumption that you won’t complain about it in court. However, the best DUI / DWI criminal law firms in Fairfield Connecticut will aggressively file motions to suppress or preserve evidence and fight back against unreasonable offers made by prosecutors in Fairfield seeking a quick, harsh plea bargain. So consider having a leading Fairfield Connecticut DUI attorney examine your arrest reports closely before advising on how you should proceed in your case.
Taking Your Fairfield Connecticut DUI / DWI Online Arrest Report Off the Internet
When you’re arrested for a DUI / DWI / OUI in Fairfield Connecticut, the Fairfield police will quickly release a report of your arrest to the local news media, particularly the online websites of the Connecticut Post, Fairfield Citizen, Fairfield Sun, Cablevision News 12, and the Fairfield Patch. These websites generate a lot of advertising revenue on their police blotter / arrest report pages because they are some of the sites’ most frequently visited pages. As a result, online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing rapidly pick up the report of your Fairfield arrest for DUI / DWI under CGS 14-227a, causing permanent damage to your reputation. Fortunately, a few Fairfield Connecticut criminal law firms have established online internet scrubbing practices that assist their clients in the removal of Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest reports from the internet. Leveraging their deep understanding of criminal law and Connecticut libel and slander law, many of the best Fairfield Connecticut criminal law firms can have the online report of your Fairfield DUI / DWI arrest taken down off the internet. Following that, these firms will aggressively go after online search engines such as Google and Yahoo to ensure that the internet search footprint of your arrest report is also erased. The process can be lengthy, but when your online reputation is cleansed after a DUI / DWI arrest in Fairfield Connecticut under CGS 14-227a, it is absolutely worth the time and expense. (Note of caution: think twice before approaching these online websites on your own—rather than remove your arrest story, they will instead update your story which will only give your Fairfield arrest report more online visibility).
Fairfield Connecticut Arrests for Marijuana & Prescription Drug DUIs / DWIs
Many top Bridgeport and Fairfield Connecticut criminal law firms are seeing an increase in DUI / DWI arrests for marijuana and prescription drugs in Fairfield Connecticut. If the Fairfield police conclude that you are under a narcotic influence — even if it has been illegally prescribed — then you may be arrested in Fairfield for DUI / DWI under Connecticut General Statute 14-227a. The fact that a doctor may have indicated you could drive while taking this medication is not an acceptable defense. The decision as to whether you are too impaired by your prescription drugs to drive is left to the sole discretion of the Fairfield police officer conducting your traffic stop. Should you pass a breath test or refuse a urine test, but fail the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) coupled with an officer’s determination that your driving was erratic, can still result in your arrest. Arrests for a “Marijuana DUI / DWI” under CGS 14-227a occur despite Connecticut’s recent decriminalization of marijuana and without regard to whether you possesses a medical marijuana license. These Fairfield Connecticut marijuana DUI arrests are treated like alcohol DUIs, but usually with the additional burden of court-ordered random drug testing. The best DUI / DWI criminal lawyers in Fairfield Connecticut may be able to successfully quash such an order. Follow this link to learn more about Connecticut Prescription Drug DUIs / DWIs.
Contact a DUI / DWI Lawyer in Fairfield Connecticut at Mark Sherman Law
Do not waste precious time at the outset of your case attempting to sort out your DUI / DWI arrest in Fairfield Connecticut without proper legal assistance. Connecticut DUI / DWI cases are complex and require immediate evidence preservation action to give you the best opportunity to achieve the best possible result based on the specifics of your case. This includes ensuring your right to an appeal hearing of your driver’s license suspension, filing motions in Bridgeport Superior Court to preserve critical evidence, and quickly getting reports of your arrest from the Fairfield Police Department. It’s also important to get a comprehensive and truthful assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your DUI / DWI case from an experienced Fairfield criminal lawyer, allowing you and your family to best decide how to proceed. The DUI / DWI / OUI attorneys at Mark Sherman Law are prepared to help you through this challenging process at rates that are fair and competitive. The online Avvo-certified reviews of our clients are telling — so call a Fairfield DUI / DWI lawyer at Mark Sherman Law. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.