Greenwich DUI Arrest Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI and the trial process is overwhelming you, reach out to a Greenwich DUI arrest lawyer. With so much on the line, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced legal advocate that knows how to protect your DMV appeal hearing rights and could preserve all relevant and necessary evidence. A skilled DUI attorney could also scrutinize all police reports, and use their experience to give you an honest assessment of your case. Consult a Greenwich DUI arrest attorney today and know that you are in capable hands.
Necessity of Taking Field Sobriety Tests
As soon as someone is pulled over for suspicion of DUI / DWI in Greenwich Connecticut, they will be ordered to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (the “SFSTs”). What many people do not realize is that they can actually refuse to take field sobriety tests. The three SFSTs that are used most often are the walk-and-turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and the one-legged stand. Most police officers will not voluntarily tell individuals that they have that choice, and most drivers want to comply with whatever the officer tells them because they are overwhelmed and do not want to make an already nerve-wracking situation worse. Refusing to take those tests may frustrate the officer, but it also deprives the prosecution of less evidence to use against an individual in court. With that being said, it is important to keep in mind that under all circumstances, people are still required to provide the officer with their license, insurance, registration and contact information, during a DUI stop, or else they could be charged with a separate, additional offense.
Consenting to Breath Tests
Greenwich DUI arrest lawyers are often asked about whether people should consent to breath tests or not. Notably, the penalties for refusing to take that breath test have changed dramatically. As of July 1, 2015, the Connecticut DMV now requires almost anyone arrested for a DUI / DWI in Connecticut to install an Ignition Interlock Device (known as an IID) in any car they drive and own.
If someone is a first-offender, they will face a 45-day driver’s license suspension, regardless of whether they fail the breath test or refuse to take it. If someone takes the test and they fail it, the first time offender will face a 6 month IID requirement once the 45-day suspension is up. However, if they refuse to take the breath test as a first time DUI / DWI offender in Greenwich Connecticut, then a 1-year IID requirement will follow the 45-day license suspension.
Receiving Medical Attention Following a DUI Arrest
When someone is arrested for a DUI, they can receive medical attention if it is required. Based on their experience and training, the officer could evaluate the situation and determine if a person needs medical attention, or the person can ask for medical attention. Usually, the officer asks the person if they need medical attention and the person can accept or decline. It does not necessarily hurt or help a person if they seek medical attention. It just makes the police officer’s job a little more complicated. A person can refuse medical attention, but it is not recommended. If an individual receives medical attention, is important for a Greenwich DUI arrest lawyer to begin taking steps, preserve the evidence. Steps to preserve evidence include: identifying witnesses such as the EMTs, police officers, and anyone on the scene, and determining if there was any medical attention given or blood drawn. Steps must be taken to preserve that evidence.
Options for First-Time DUI Offenders
If an individual has been arrested for a DUI offense under C.G.S. § 14-227a for the first time, then they will usually have three options in court. Option one is to fight the DUI arrest, possibly all the way to a trial. The second choice is to plead guilty via plea bargain to avoid jail, which would leave that person facing another license suspension, a permanent criminal record, stiff fines and probation. The third option is to refuse to plead guilty, refuse to make any kind of deal or plea bargain with the prosecutor, and to go directly to the judge and apply for the Alcohol Education Program, which – if granted by the judge – would allow the individual to attend court-ordered alcohol education classes and then earn a complete dismissal and erasure of their arrest.
Alcohol education programs are often the best avenue towards the dismissal of a DUI arrest. Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program is a one-year program, created by the Connecticut legislature that requires individuals to attend 10 to 15 alcohol education classes. If an individual has scheduling conflicts, a Greenwich DUI arrest lawyer could attempt to get permission for them to attend the New Hampshire-based “Amethyst” DWI program so they can complete the program in one weekend. However, individuals should keep in mind that admittance into an alcohol education program is not guaranteed.
Penalties for Repeat Offenders
If someone faces DUI charges but they already have a CGS 14-227a arrest or conviction on their record, then the penalties can be much more severe. According to DWI repeat offender laws, an individual essentially has three strikes before they go to jail (and two strikes before they get a criminal conviction). A second-time DUI arrest can result in a misdemeanor conviction, a period of probation, an additional license suspension, and possibly some time in jail. A third time arrest for a DUI can expose someone to a felony DUI conviction, up to two years in jail, including a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail, which cannot be suspended, and potential permanent revocation of their driver’s license. A Greenwich DUI arrest lawyer could attempt to negotiate for the mitigation of the charges and penalties that an individual may face.
How a Greenwich DUI Arrest Attorney Could Help
A Greenwich DUI arrest lawyer could help build your case by carefully scrutinizing all witness statements and police reports. An experienced legal advocate could also file motions to preserve evidence in your case such as recordings from police audio and video systems, 911 recordings, dashboard cams, booking videos, or other police camera footage. All of these can be potentially helpful in proving to the court and to the prosecutor that you were not as intoxicated as the police initially reported, and can also preserve compelling evidence of any police brutality or unwarranted aggression. An attorney could also ensure that your constitutional rights were protected throughout the booking and arrest process, by making sure that you were advised of your rights and properly Mirandized. Speak with a qualified DUI lawyer that could fight tirelessly in your defense.