Norwalk DUI Lawyer
As any of the top Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal law firms will tell you, a DUI / DWI arrest in Norwalk Connecticut under CGS 14-227a needs to be fought in Norwalk Superior Court as well as the Bridgeport Department of Motor Vehicles. And depending on whether you are charged in Norwalk as a first time DUI / DWI offender, or a Connecticut second time or repeat DUI / DWI offender, you will face misdemeanor or felony charges can carry up to 3 years in jail. And in addition to facing stiff jail sentences, you will also be forced to fight the suspension of your Connecticut driver’s license at an appeal hearing held at the DMV in Bridgeport.
But the penalties and punishments for a Norwalk DUI / DWI arrest doesn’t stop there. In an attempt to deter drunk driving, the Norwalk Police Department shamelessly releases your Norwalk DUI / DWI arrest reports to local online media such as the Norwalk Hour and Norwalk Patch, causing you shame and embarrassment, both personally and professionally. Luckily, a handful of the top Norwalk Connecticut criminal law firms have experience in removing your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest from the internet. So if you are arrested in Norwalk Connecticut for drunk driving / DWI / DUI, then call a top Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI lawyer to start fighting for a dismissal of your criminal case, restoring your driver’s license, and taking back your online and offline professional reputations.
Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrests — Should I Take the Breath Test?
Time and again, the top Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI / OUI criminal attorneys are asked by clients whether they should take the breath test during a Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest. Starting on July 1, 2015, anyone arrested in Norwalk Connecticut for DUI / DWI—even alleged first time and repeat offenders—are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their automobiles, even if they were not convicted or pled guilty. The best Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyers know that first time DUI / DWI offenders in Norwalk Connecticut who fail a breath, blood or urine test will now have their Connecticut driver’s license suspended for 45 days, followed by a 6 month IID installation requirement under the new laws (explained in additional detail here). First time offenders who outright refuse the breath test during their Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest will see the IID installation requirement increase to a full year. Also know that in limited circumstances, the best Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI / OUI criminal law firms can advise you how to get a work permit for your DUI / DWI arrest in Norwalk Connecticut.
In advising you on whether to take the test, your top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney will factor in considerations such as your prior DUI / DWI record, the severity of the Norwalk DUI / DWI accident, and your apparent level of intoxication over the phone. Connecticut law allows you to speak with a top Norwalk DUI / DWI attorney in private so be sure to insist on getting a phone call through to any of the best Norwalk Connecticut criminal law firms—even if it’s late at night. Don’t call a Norwalk divorce or personal injury lawyer who doesn’t have experience in DUI / DWI arrest. And remember…even if you can’t through on the first call, you’re entitled to a reasonable amount of time to contact a top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney so be sure to speak up so you can make an informed decision about taking the breath test during your Norwalk DUI / DWI arrest.
Be Careful Taking the Field Sobriety Tests During Your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrest
People who have never been arrested for DUI / DWI in Norwalk Connecticut do not know they have the right to also refuse the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (also called the “SFSTs”) during traffic stops for DUI / DWI. Understandably, many people who are pulled over and are facing the possibility of a Norwalk DUI / DWI arrest will feel pressured to comply with instructions of the Norwalk police officer standing over them. And typically, as the best Norwalk Connecticut criminal defense attorneys know, these Norwalk Police officers will not give you the option to refuse these tests (even though you are permitted to). While you are legally required to provide your contact information, your driver’s license, and your vehicle registration and insurance paperwork to the Norwalk police officer, you are not required to submit to any of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. There are 3 of Field Sobriety tests that are administered in Norwalk Connecticut: the One-Legged Stand Test, the Walk-and-Turn test, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. It is during your roadside traffic stop that you must stand up for your right to say no. While you will likely aggravate the Norwalk Police officer, you should realize you may be significantly helping your defense, especially if you are at risk for being arrested in Norwalk Connecticut as a second time or third time DUI offender. Finally, if you are suffering from any medical conditions or have any vision issues, then you should immediately notify the Norwalk Police Officer conducting the Field Sobriety Tests, and ask them to make a note of your medical disclosures in the police reports.
What Happens at Your First Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrest Court Date?
People arrested in Norwalk Connecticut on DUI / DWI charges under CGS 14-227a frequently feel they can go to court alone and have their DUI / DWI charges reduced or dismissed. What these people don’t appreciate is that Connecticut spends millions of dollars on DUI / DWI enforcement and state prosecutors are aggressively seeking guilty pleas and convictions in certain Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI cases. As the best Norwalk Connecticut criminal attorneys and lawyers know all too well, this is especially true in Norwalk DUI / DWI cases involving serious physical injury, property damage, or a high BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level.
Filing Critical Evidentiary Motions at Your First Norwalk DUI / DWI Court Date
In the eyes of a Norwalk Connecticut state prosecutor, the risk of repeat offense for DUI / DWI is high and as a result, prosecutors want a guilty plea that includes putting you on probation for a period of 18 months to 2 years. The importance of having one of Norwalk Connecticut’s best DUI / DWI / OUI attorneys by your side at your first Norwalk court date cannot be underestimated. They will establish the tone of your case, lay the groundwork for your defense and any mitigation, and they will present your case’s individual circumstances in the best light possible, from both a legal and leniency perspective. The top Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyers and attorneys can expertly examine your police reports, identifying constitutional errors, omissions and defects with respect to the administration of breath tests and Field Sobriety Tests, and then capitalize on those mistakes during pre-trial talks with Norwalk Connecticut prosecutors. This analysis is especially relevant in getting your Norwalk arrest dismissed as a result of not being properly advised of your Miranda rights (follow this link for a more detailed discussion on this defense). And most importantly, the best Norwalk Connecticut criminal law firms can file motions that preserve electronic and digital surveillance evidence of your arrest and booking process, which can often be a huge advantage in refusal cases, especially if you don’t present as intoxicated on video. So be sure to contact any the best Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyers and attorneys in advance of your first court date to gain a crucial advantage in your defense from the very outset of your case.
Strategies for Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI First Time Offenders
First time offenders arrested in Norwalk Connecticut for a DUI / DWI / OUI under CGS 14-227a usually have 3 alternatives in fighting their case. The first option is to contest your DUI / DWI charge and go to trial in Norwalk Superior Court. The second option is to plead guilty, agree to a suspension of your Connecticut driver’s license, and face the possibility of going to jail. The third option is to bypass the prosecutor, and go directly to the judge and ask him or her to suspend the prosecution of your Norwalk DUI / DWI, grant your application into the Alcohol Education Program, and then dismiss your case and have it expunged permanently from your record. Each of these choices has its advantages and disadvantages, but many people with jobs, families and financial sensitivities will opt for Option 3 and apply for Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program.
Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program for First Time Offenders
Requirements of this program include attendance at 10 or 15 weekly alcohol education classes within a one-year period in Connecticut. However, getting admitted into the Alcohol Education Program for a first time Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI offender is not so easy — especially if you had a high BAC reading on your breath test, caused serious property damage or personal injury, or have a previous New York State DUI / DWI arrest that was reduced to a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). Since you only get one chance to apply, make sure you submit the strongest possible application package for the Alcohol Education Program with the help of a top Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyer attorney. You can also follow this link for more on first time DUI / DWI offenders in Connecticut.
Second Time & Repeat Offender DUI / DWI Arrests in Norwalk Connecticut
Under Connecticut statute 14-227a, DUI / DWI arrests of second time, third time and subsequent offenders in Norwalk Connecticut are far more serious than those of first time offenders. Essentially, Connecticut criminal law applies a 3 strikes law for DUI / DWI repeat offenders. After a second arrest for DUI / DWI in Norwalk, you will face a misdemeanor, probation, a one year suspension of your driver’s license and the possibility of up to 30 days in jail. After a third DUI / DWI conviction, Norwalk Connecticut prosecutors will want a felony, including a mandatory minimum 1-year jail sentence and the suspension of your Connecticut driver’s license for life. As the top criminal lawyers and attorneys in Norwalk Connecticut know from experience, second and third time offender DUI / DWI charges can sometimes be reduced to first time offender status, thereby allowing you to avoid a felony conviction and possible mandatory jail time. So don’t hesitate to contact one of Norwalk Connecticut’s best criminal lawyers to fight your second and repeat offender Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI charges. At the least, make sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI case before agreeing to a quick plea bargain as a second or repeat DUI / DWI offender.
Fighting Your Norwalk Connecticut Drunk Driving Arrest
Successfully fighting your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest requires experience, expertise and a deep knowledge of the ins and outs of the Norwalk criminal court system. It would therefore be ill-advised to have a divorce or real estate lawyer who dabbles in criminal law to fight your arrest for DUI / DWI in Norwalk Connecticut. Instead, make sure a top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney carefully reviews all of your police reports, witness statements, and surveillance camera footage. At your first court date, the best Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyers will usually file motions to preserve exculpatory audio and video evidence such as 911 recordings and footage from police bodycams, dashboard cameras and booking cameras, if available. The best Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI lawyers will also analyze (1) whether you were advised of your Miranda rights in a proper and timely manner (click here for more on this issue ), and (2) whether you were provided a reasonable opportunity to contact one of Norwalk Connecticut’s top criminal law firms before being questioned or deciding to take or refuse a breath test. With all of these issues and motions needing immediate attention, be sure that a top Norwalk criminal lawyer analyzes your arrest reports before taking any course of action in fighting your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest under C.G.S. 14-227a.
Getting Your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrest Report Removed From the Internet
If you’ve been arrested in Norwalk Connecticut for DUI / DWI / OUI, then you’ll quickly discover that the Norwalk Police Department issued your arrest report to various local news media outlets, in particular the websites of The Hour, the Norwalk Daily Voice, Cablevision News 12, and the Norwalk Patch. The effect of these online arrest reports to your reputation can be immediate and devastating. The police blotter / arrest report pages of these online sites are heavily trafficked, generating a lot of revenue for these websites and causing online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing to quickly pick up and publish the report of your Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI arrest, further compounding the damage to your good name. In response, some of the best Connecticut criminal law firms have developed practice areas which assist in removing online reports of DUI / DWI arrests in Connecticut from the internet. Applying extensive knowledge of slander and libel law in Connecticut, combined with years of experience in Connecticut criminal law, these firms may be able to get your online DUI / DWI Norwalk Connecticut arrest report removed off the internet. Such procedures often involve lengthy negotiations and legal wrangling, but, after a DUI /DWI arrest in Norwalk Connecticut, the reward of a clean reputation online more than justifies the time and expense. You can follow this link to learn more about the Mark Sherman Law Firm’s pioneering efforts and successes in this emerging area of internet scrubbing law.
Prescription Drug & Marijuana DUI / DWI Arrests in Norwalk Connecticut
Many of the best Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys are witnessing an ever-increasing number of DUI / DWI arrests in Norwalk Connecticut involving marijuana and prescription drugs rather than alcohol. Should a police officer in Norwalk decide you are under the influence of marijuana or another prescription drug or narcotic — even those legally prescribed by your doctor — you can be arrested under CGS 14-227a for a DUI / DWI. Be warned here: your doctor’s permission to drive while using this legally prescribed medication or narcotic is not going to prevent you from being arrested for a Norwalk Connecticut Prescription Drug DUI / DWI. The Norwalk police officer conducting the traffic stop has the sole discretion to determine whether you are, in his or her opinion, too impaired by the drug’s effects to drive. While you can always refuse a urine test and pass a breath alcohol test while under prescription drugs, if you fail the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (“SFSTs”) and the Norwalk police officer feels your driving was somehow erratic, then you can still be arrested in Norwalk Connecticut for DUI / DWI under 14-227a.
It Doesn’t Matter If You Have a Medical Marijuana ID Card
Additionally, the fact that marijuana was decriminalized in the State of Connecticut, and that you may be licensed for medical marijuana use, has no bearing whatsoever on whether you may be arrested for a “Connecticut Marijuana DUI / DWI.” These arrests are treated by Norwalk Superior Court prosecutor like alcohol DUIs. And be further aware that marijuana DUI / DWI arrests in Norwalk Superior Court come with an added condition of random drug testing during the case. So unless you have a top Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyer who can quash the judge’s drug testing order by your side, you will likely face the inconvenience and hassle of random drug testing throughout your case. See our blog article for more information on how you can fight a Marijuana or Prescription Drug DUI /DWI in Norwalk Connecticut.
Speak with a Norwalk Connecticut DUI / DWI Attorney at Mark Sherman Law Today
An arrest in Norwalk Connecticut for DUI / DWI demands quick, intelligent action. Time is of the essence. Your right to a DMV appeal hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license must be preserved, motions to protect surveillance and electronic evidence must be swiftly filed in Norwalk Superior Court, and police reports must be quickly gathered from Norwalk Connecticut prosecutors. Give yourself the greatest opportunity of achieving the best result possible for your specific case circumstances by getting a straightforward and comprehensive appraisal of your case from a Norwalk DUI / DWI attorney at Mark Sherman Law today. We will sit with you and help you and your family make the most informed decision on how to proceed with your case. The experienced DUI / DWI lawyers at Mark Sherman Law will assist you every step of the way at competitive, equitable rates. Our clients recommend us with enthusiasm — so call a Norwalk DUI / DWI criminal attorney at Mark Sherman Law now. We are available to speak with you, 24/7, at (203) 358-4700.