Stamford Felony DUI Lawyer
A DUI charge can be elevated to a felony offense when a prosecutor files enhanced charges against a person, which occurs after their first conviction.
If the person already has a DUI conviction in Stamford and they are arrested for a second DUI after that conviction, then the person is looking at a felony.
If you are facing such a charge, it is imperative to consult with a Stamford felony DUI lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced DUI attorney in Stamford can build a defense to help minimize any potential consequences you may be facing.
The case process is generally the same during a felony DUI charge, but the result is different. A person will still be speaking to the same prosecutors and going through the same court process, but they are looking at a mandatory minimum jail time of at least 120 days and up to a year in jail.
The negotiation process gets a little bit different, but the actual process in the courts is the same. Such processes can be best explained using a felony DUI lawyer in Stamford.
Steps to Take
The first step a Stamford felony DUI attorney would take when preparing a defense is to request the records from the police. They will request that all the evidence be preserved in the case, to get copies of any camera recording that the police took during the person’s arrest and field sobriety tests, and to figure out what happened from the client.
A felony DUI lawyer in Stamford will also look to gather information from the report and the video to make sure that they are going out with their best foot forward. They will want to make sure that they understand all the aspects of the person’s case.
Difficulty in Defending the Charge
Felony DUI charges are more difficult to defend than other charges because if a person is charged with a felony DUI in Connecticut, they already have a conviction for DUI.
The prosecutor and the court already see the person as someone who has a continuing problem that they are not addressing. Therefore, it gets harder to convince the court and prosecutor that the individual is someone that just made a mistake that needs a second chance.
Common Constitutional Issues
The most common constitutional issues that arise in Stamford felony DUI cases are Fourth Amendment issues dealing with search and seizure, as well as Fifth Amendment issues and Miranda Rights.
If the police search a person’s car, if the stop was illegal, or if they did not read the person their rights before they asked them questions, a lawyer may claim that an individual’s constitutional issues were violated. Those are the most common constitutional issues.
For the search to be constitutional, law enforcement needs to show probable cause for the search. A police officer cannot pull someone over for no reason at all and then search the person’s car.
The police officer needs a warrant or needs to have probable cause that a crime is being committed. If the officer pulls a person over and sees an open bottle of liquor in the car, that would give them a reason to search the rest of the car for more liquor, for example.
Fourth Amendment Rights
The Fourth Amendment grants a person protection from unreasonable search and seizure without a warrant. The police officers need a warrant before they search the person or seize property, although there are some exceptions.
If there is an emergency or if law enforcement sees a crime being committed right in front of them, they do not need to get a warrant. The Fourth Amendment states they need probable cause and they need to have a warrant.
For a first felony DUI, the penalty is two years in jail, 120 days of which the person has to serve as the mandatory minimum.
An individual will also face 100 hours of community service and a $1,000 to a $4,000 fine. For all the felonies after that, an individual will face three years in jail, one year of which is a mandatory minimum, and a fine of $2,000 to $8,000. Such penalties can attempt to be argued down with the assistance of a Stamford felony DUI lawyer.
Benefit of a Lawyer
A local felony DUI lawyer in Stamford is incredibly valuable. They know all the DUI lawyers, the system, the players in the system, and how to properly investigate these cases. They will be able to defend the person’s rights to the best of their ability.