While Richmond Hill DUI lawyers can help you if you find yourself facing an impaired driving charge, the best way to keep yourself out of legal trouble is to take steps to make sure you don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated in the first place. This becomes especially true if you have a previous impaired driving charge on your record, as a second or third offence means more trouble in the future. To avoid a DUI charge, consider the following tools and tips.
If you find yourself in trouble with a DUI charge, one of the first things that your Kitchener DUI lawyer may ask is what the results of your breathalyzer tests at the police station were. This is because using a breathalyzer test is one of the most effective ways to determine the level of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. With this in mind, you can help prevent a DUI before it happens by investing in a portable breathalyzer. Many outlets in both the United States and Canada offer these devices. While they are not permissible as evidence in court, they serve as a good way to judge whether you are too intoxicated to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Select a Designated Driver
Without investing in new equipment and fancy technology, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by selecting a designated driver before you go out to a social event where there will be alcohol served. Most social groups who drink regularly institute a rotating system where the designated driver changes with each new event. This allows everybody to enjoy an event with alcohol while also remaining safe. If you don’t think you can get a designated driver, remember that public transportation can benefit you. In the Toronto area, public transportation is more robust than in many other parts of Canada and can thus help keep you from behind the wheel of a car if you have too much to drink.
Ignition Interlock Device
If you have multiple DUI charges, the court may require you to fit your vehicle with an ignition interlock device. This device requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before the vehicle can be driven. This provides an extra layer of security to make sure that nobody can drive the vehicle unless they would pass a sobriety test should they get pulled over. While you are no longer required to keep an ignition interlock device in your vehicle after you finish your court-mandated term, It isn’t always a bad idea to have one handy just in case. Some people find the device to be embarrassing, but it is a worthwhile safety measure for those who demonstrate repeated risky behavior.
There are many tools available to people who ardently want to avoid getting a DUI charge. If you have faced impaired driving problems in the past, your DUI lawyer may even recommend some of these ways to keep you on the straight and narrow going forward.
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If you’ve been hit with a DUI, it is easy to feel like your life is over. You made a mistake. Perhaps it was a choice that you made a single time, or maybe you drive after drinking often, and this was the one time that you happened to get caught. In either case, you need to make some changes in your life, but first, you need to deal with the situation that has come to pass. But how do you find top DUI lawyers? Here are five ways that you can feel secure in making a choice.
Look at their History
You don’t want somebody representing you in a case like this that is just out of law school. Regardless of what property damage was caused, whether anyone was injured, or any of the other details of what happened, this is a serious matter in the eyes of the law, and you need someone backing you up who knows what they are doing. If the lawyer or law office that you selected has a long history of success in cases like this, then you can feel confident about that going forward.
You might also speak to friends, family members, and colleagues to see if they have any recommendations. Maybe one of them was once in a similar situation, or they know someone else who was. If you hear from a person you know that a lawyer is trustworthy, it’s got to be better than picking one at random.
Cost of Services
The reality is that not all lawyers charge the same amount, and you probably don’t have unlimited financial resources. There might be a lawyer who you feel is an excellent choice for you, but when you ask them what they’re going to charge to represent you, it’s more than you can afford. If that’s the case, you don’t have much choice but to look for someone else who is more suited to your financial situation.
Look at their Website
You should look at the website of any DUI lawyer who you are considering. That website is the way they present themselves to the world, and if it is poorly constructed, with an outdated theme, misspellings, an inappropriate font, and links that go nowhere, then you should take that as a bad sign. A lawyer should take pride in every aspect of their practice, and that includes their website.
Assess their Offices
It is for the same reason that you should go to their offices and take a look around. If the building out of which they work is dirty, in a crime-ridden section of town, or if they have a tiny office and no receptionist, then you’re probably going to want to look elsewhere. Appearances matter, and if your lawyer can’t afford or doesn’t care about a nice office, they’re probably wrong for you.
A DUI is not the end of your life, and it is something from which you can recover. You need a trustworthy lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the law, though. Be careful with your selection, and choose someone with whom you feel comfortable. A lot is riding on the outcome of your case.
There are many offences one can commit on the road. The truth is that some of these incidences can lead to accidents which in turn will lead to death. Depending on how critical the accident is, one can survive with injuries or can pass on. Due to the increase of such cases, every country had to come with laws that will govern its citizens on the road. Some of these laws include obeying the traffic lights and that a driver shall not drive any vehicle when he or she is under the influence, this is according to dmv.org. These are common and reckless behaviours that can get you behind bars. However, there are lawyers whose duty is to represent you when it comes to such cases. Such cases have been classified under DUI (driving under the influence) OR DWI (driving while intoxicated). These lawyers have specialised in such cases and they are aware of what needs to be done. You should be very keen when hiring such lawyers because traffic rules vary from state to state. At least get yourself an attorney who understands the law of your state. When you have such a lawyer by your side, you will enjoy the following benefits;
The common penalty an individual gets when he or she is convicted with traffic related crimes is either being jailed or suspension of their driving license. What next for you when any of this penalties are given? You will need a lawyer with experience to come and defend you and ensure that your penalty is reduced. For instance, if you transport goods from one place to another for a living, what will happen to you? Will your family go for days hungry until you are able to drive again? That shouldn’t be the case when you have a DWI Lawyer Nassau County by your side. DWI attorneys will help plead with the court so that you get a fair judgement.
Have you ever been to a new place? Do you notice how complicated it gets to ask for directions? Now imagine hiring someone who doesn’t know what they are supposed to do when you are convicted for driving while intoxicated crimes? You need to be smart and understand that law requires someone with experience. An attorney who has handled driving while intoxicated crimes before knows how the court functions. Basically he or she knows the system. They know how to look for loopholes and also argue out evidence presented in court. Don’t forget that when you hire someone who has more knowledge about something you become more confident and also you get to trust the process.
Legal protection and guidance
The major reason why you should always hire a DWI attorney is so that he can defend you. Defending you doesn’t mean arguing evidence alone, the attorney should also ensure that your rights aren’t violated at any given time. Whether you are guilty or not guilty, you have rights that need to be upheld until the court issues a ruling. However, your rights can’t be upheld if you don’t know how to handle yourself through the whole process. This is why you need the attorneys’ guidance. They will ensure you don’t commit any other mistake. Any attorney will tell you how important it is to respect the rule of law even when you are being convicted.
Drinking and driving costs Americans more than $44 billion dollars a year, or $500 per adult American every year. In 2014, more than one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of something.
If you’ve just had your first DUI, know you are not alone, and that this is not the end of the world. Find out what to do after you’ve gotten your first DUI, and take control of the situation immediately.
Consequences of Your First DUI
Once someone is arrested or charged with a DUI, there are a number of steps encountered in the legal system. Every state is different when it comes to those steps, and every case is different as well.
But generally speaking, the first DUI starts with a police officer pulling someone over for any reason at all. It could be that the officer believes the driver is on the road erratically. But a DUI can also be the result of a standard traffic stop for anything from not having the right tags on your car, to a broken tail light or seat belt oversight.
In many cases, a roadside sobriety test will ensue, and the driver is often asked to take a Breathalyzer. You have the right to refuse this, but upon this refusal, you may also immediately have your license suspended and face a DUI charge right away.
The officer may say something like, “You can do it now or at the station, it is entirely up to you.”
In many cases, a DUI charge will lead to some jail time at first. This will entirely depend on the situation, how intoxicated the officer believes the driver is, and also in many cases, the willingness of the driver to cooperate with the police.
A first DUI an officer may be more lenient if the laws in the state allow for that, but that is not likely to be the case for consequent DUIs.
In addition to possible jail time, fines, a lengthy legal battle, and car insurance rate spikes are other consequences to a DUI. As well, you may lose your car, and have your license suspended.
Your First DUI Is Not the End of the World
It is never a good day to be charged with a criminal offense. But at the same time, it may feel like the end, but your world won’t come crashing down if the offense is a standard DUI.
In most states, a first DUI is a misdemeanor. This aspect would change if there are other problems involved in the case such as drug possession, theft of vehicles, or an accident that causes bodily harm or death.
Even so, in states like Texas, multiple DUIs could mean between two and 10 years jail time. So it’s a misdemeanor you need to take seriously.
Additionally, if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is excessively high, some states do consider that a felony.
If you are not released right away, you are booked and have your mugshot taken, and your fingerprints taken as well. You may have to stay in jail until you are sober, or in some states, a minimum number of hours.
You will also likely have your blood drawn or take a Breathalyzer if you have not already done so.
An arraignment or hearing will take place then that will determine your bail and next steps. A DMV hearing is likely to take place, and if you don’t request one, you are likely to experience an immediate suspension of your license.
Although it may be just a misdemeanor charge, the charge will stay on your record. This could lead to job problems, or even more serious consequences if you are charged with other substance-related crimes in the future.
It is not going to be the end of your world. But it is a serious problem still, and taking charge of the situation early will help you to take back control of your life so that it is not determined by the system.
You Can Get Your Driver’s License Back
When you are charged with a DUI, you should expect to lose your license, at least temporarily. For some states that is mandatory, and you could lose your license for up to two years or even more, depending on the individual case.
But in many states, you are given a temporary license by the police officer in question until your DMV hearing or criminal justice hearing is resolved. These are all questions you can ask at the time of the charge, and law enforcement will spell it out for you clearly as well.
But generally speaking, the most common form of getting your driver’s license back is a show of good faith to the system that you will not make the mistake again. This includes a form of therapy or treatment course.
Most individuals can search for “DUI classes near me” to find the kind of program that your state will accept. If you have a lawyer, your DUI lawyer will also know exactly what classes or education program will produce the best result for your situation.
It’s possible that you may retain some driving privileges for hardship purposes, such as to access work or your children’s school. Some states require an Ignition Interlock Device installed on your vehicle.
This device will keep you from starting your vehicle if your BAC is high. Some states have bracelet monitoring as well that monitors alcohol level in your sweat.
You Are Not Alone
In the year 2013, more than 28 million people admitted to driving while under the influence of something. That is about the same number of people that currently live in Texas.
If it happens to you, it can feel like the end of the world, and it can feel like an extremely isolating experience. But it doesn’t have to be.
Get help and support with your first DUI with a lawyer. Discover the top 5 reasons to hire a DWI lawyer and immediately start feeling better about how to get your life back on track.
Being accused of DUI can have a profound impact on your life, and not in a good way. For this reason, you should not allow yourself to give up without fighting as fervently as possible. In case you are having difficulty trying to figure out how to dig your way out from beneath this legal mess, here are several ideas that will increase your chances of having a positive outcome.
When you are stopped by law enforcement officers, it is essential that they provide a valid reason for this to occur. Having a hunch is not a legal defense and it can mean the difference between walking away with your freedom and ending up on the wrong side of a jail cell. Even if you were actually inebriated during the traffic stop, the case will be tossed out if there is no testimony and compelling evidence that proves you were stopped with cause.
High Crime Settings
There are some cases where officers stop and detain people more often than not. If you are driving through a high crime area and you are pulled over by the police, you should certainly mention this when you have your day in court. While it may seem logical for police to approach people more frequently when they are in areas where crime is rampant, it is a form of discrimination and your lawyer should bring this up and stress how this may have had a bearing when it comes to the DUI charges you are facing.
Sleeping Motorist Laws
Since many city and state laws forbid people from living in their vehicles while parked in certain places, many mistakenly believe that taking a nap in the car is illegal as well. The idea of having a motorist on the road when they are not in any condition to safely operate a vehicle is troublesome, and this is why most locales allow people to pull over in a safe place and have some rest.
If you were sleeping in your vehicle and you were approached by officers, there may be a chance that they were actually in the wrong. Instead of acknowledging any wrongdoing, you should have your legal representative argue about the legality of the stop in question. There is a possible chance that things were not done in the most legal manner and you case may be dismissed.
Extended Investigation Time
If there is probable cause for a stop and you are asked to exit your vehicle, the investigation into your current state needs to be completed in a reasonable time frame. For instance, if you are pulled over and the officer decides to call in for backup and have they tested your sobriety, the wait should not be longer than necessary. It is perfectly legal for them to have you wait until additional officers are at the scene, but not if it encroaches on your rights. Be sure to verify the time of the stop and the moment when the investigation began. If it is a particularly large gap between the two, the pendulum may definitely begin to swing in your favor.
You Were Arrested At Home
In the event that you are allowed to leave the scene and you return home, the police are not allowed to arrest you there. Basically, if you are suspected of DUI, is their responsibility to decide which action should be taken while you are still on the scene. The only way they can approach and detain someone while in their residence is if one of the following factors is in play:
- There is a chance that the driver may cause danger to someone in the home.
- It is clear that this is the only way to prevent someone from escaping.
- The person in question entered the home in an attempt to destroy evidence.
- The suspect fled the scene and led the officers on a chase.
These are the only instances when entering a home to arrest someone accused of DUI is permitted. If none of these apply to you, it is likely any evidence will be suppressed, which means the prosecution’s case will be weaker than ever.
Miranda Rights Were Not Read
Whether you believe it or not, there are officers all over that are so involved with arresting DUI suspects that they fail to read them their Miranda rights. This may seem like a defense that only works on crime drama shows on television, but that is not the case at all. If you are arrested and interrogated and there was no mention of your rights, anything that was mentioned cannot be used as evidence against you. Even if you admitted to the arresting officers that you had many drinks and were indeed impaired, the case will be dismissed if there is proof that you were never informed of your rights.
You Were Physically Exhausted
There have been numerous studies that show sleep deprivation can have similar effects on the human body as consuming large amounts of alcohol. If the only evidence the police have that you have had a drink is the fact that you seemed to be impaired when operating your vehicle, you can argue that this only occurred because you were tired from not having enough sleep. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to risk your safety and that of others by driving when you are sleepy. With that said, it is not legal to arrest someone for this. A verbal warning is usually how this is handled.
It can be unnerving and stressful to be accused of DUI. This is the case whether the person being accused is guilty or not. If you are in this unfortunate situation and you are looking for a way out of it, you should consider all you have read here. It will place you that much closer to having your case dismissed and walking away without tarnishing your criminal record and being given some type of punishment.
If you have recently been arrested for a DUI in Texas there are some very important things you should know. Such as laws, facts, and penalties. One little-known fact is the Texas DPS Surcharge which is added on top of any other court fines and fees you’ll be assessed during your trial or hearing.
The law states in Texas that a DUI is driving while having a BAC (Blood Alchohol Concentration) level of 0.08% or greater. This is under Texas Penal Code Title 10 Chapter 49. However, you are also considered intoxicated under the law if you do not have the normal use of your mental and physical capabilities while under the influence of alcohol. Also if you are under the age of 21 and driving a vehicle you cannot have any detectable alcohol in your system. On another token, if you are a commercial driver then a BAC of 0.04 or higher will get you arrested.
Facts and or what evidence will the officer use?
Police officers are trained to assess your intoxication levels by judging your speech, movements, and all around behavior. They will administer field sobriety tests to you such as standing on one leg and counting backward from 30. It probably goes without saying this test, in particular, is there to make you fail.
Penalties are harsh these days when it comes to DUI’s and the same is true when it comes to Texas. You can rest assured it will put a dent in your wallet as well. Below is a list of offenses, fines, and penalties.
First DUI Offense
Misdemeanor Class B. Up to a $2,000 fine. 72-180 days in jail. Suspended license for 90 days up to one year.
Second DUI Offense
Misdemeanor Class A. Up to a $4,000 fine. 30-365 days in jail. Suspended license for 180 days to two years.
3rd DUI Offense
3rd Degree Felony. Up to a $10,000 fine. 2 to 10 years in the TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice). Suspended license for 180 days to two years.
DUI with Blood Alchohol Concentration at or above 0.15
Misdemeanor Class A. Up to a $4,000 fine. 72 hours to 1 year in county jail. Suspended license for 90 days to one year.
DUI that results in serious bodily injury (Intoxication Assualt)
3rd Degree Felony. Up to a $10,000 fine. 2 -10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. A suspended license of 180 days up to two years.
Also, remember what was mentioned above about the DPS (Department of Public Safety) Surcharge now being added onto any and all other court fees and fines administered.
These are the basic laws, facts, and penalties you need to know if you are arrested for DUI in the state of Texas.
You should never drink and drive especially in this day and age with Lyft and Uber rampantly available at your fingertips. However, if you do make the mistake of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or even just a little buzzed then you’ll want to know some things before it happens. Things that can make or break your case. These things can protect you throughout the incident as well. You should practice these before you need to call Tyler Flood & Associates to help your defense.
Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights is always important in any place or situation. Knowing them when you have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Texas is paramount. So, what are these rights?
- You have every right to remain silent.
- You have the right to be free from wrongful search and seizure.
- Although it may count against you, you have the right to refuse any field sobriety tests such as a breathalyzer.
- You have the right to contact an attorney as well as being presented a copy of the police report in your case.
Check Your Behavior
From the second the police officer approaches your car he begins assessing your behavior. He is looking for any little sign you may be intoxicated. Signs such as louder than usual speech, clumsy hands, slurring, eyes glazed over. He will also check if you can maintain your balance if you are asked to step out of the car. It should be noted that any physical impairments you have should be mentioned to the officer. He may misconstrue an impairment as intoxication if you don’t make him aware of whatever condition you have.
Watch Your Mouth
Anything and everything you say will be highly scrutinized and probably used against you when you are stopped for DUI in the state of Texas. There have been cases where people were arrested for DUI when their Breath Alchohol Content (BAC) was below the legal limit which is 0.08% in Texas. Those cases came about because the person being pulled over was testy and or belligerent with the arresting officer and therefore rendered intoxicated.
Do Not admit to having a drink at any point during your conversation with the officer. He will automatically give you the field sobriety tests and probably the breathalyzer as well. Keep in mind the field sobriety tests such as walking a straight line and balancing on one foot are set up to make you fail. So you don’t want to open the door for anything like that if you can help it. The best thing to do is not divulge too much information while being very polite.
If things go wrong and you end up getting arrested for DUI in Texas, then you’ll want to call the best board certified attorney you can find to defend your rights and possibly ease the situation.
Getting pulled over in any circumstance is a drag. Getting pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving flat out sucks. Whether you’ve been drinking or not to have the police stop you, escort you out of your car, and then basically make you act like a gibbon monkey with tests that most sober people won’t pass is flat out awful. However, it’s good to know if you are arrested for DWI you can call DWI Lawyer Houston to help your case.
Before we get to calling a lawyer here’s what to expect when you are asked to take a field sobriety test in the state of Texas.
The Walk and Turn
The Walk and Turn field sobriety test which is where you are asked to walk heel to for nine steps and then turn and take the same nine steps back to your starting point. The test has eight points to it and you can only miss one point or risk being given the breathalyzer test. The eight points are as follows.
- Starting Too Soon
- Wrong Number of Steps
- Step Off the Line
- Miss Heel to Toe by More Than 1 Inch
- Rising Arms More Than 6 Inches from Your Side
- Stopping Before the Ninth Step
- Turning Wrong
Stand on One Leg
This is a tough one for many people while sober. Whether you have injuries or you are simply just not super coordinated you may have trouble with this part of the field sobriety test. What you have to do is stand on one foot with your toe pointed out six inches from the ground with your other leg straightened. Then you have to count until the police officer tells you to stop. This typically lasts around 30 seconds. Reasons for failure are if you drop your foot at all or sway back and forth any. You are also not allowed to raise your arms more than six inches or hop on your foot at all. You are only allowed to fail one of these points as well.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
This particular test analyzes your eyes and reactions from light stimulation. The officer will shine a small light in your eye (either flashlight or light from a pen). The officer will then tell you to follow the light with your eyes while not moving your head at all. If your eyes “jerk” then you fail or have a point deducted. They use six clues in this test to see if you fail or not. However, those points aren’t really talked about except for the jerking of your eyes and head movement. Let’s face it no one wants a light flashing in their eyes at any time of the day or night whether you are inebriated or not.
So this is what you can expect if you are pulled over for DWI in Texas. Frankly, if the officer asks you out of the car for the above field sobriety tests you can pretty much rest assured you will be blowing into the breathalyzer shorty thereafter. So don’t drink and drive and you’ll be alright.
OK, you got caught, arrested, sandbagged, pinched, maybe even trapped; now what? You got pulled over and arrested for DWI. What should you do? The best thing you can do is hire a DWI lawyer.
Hiring a competent and knowledgeable DWI attorney could be the only good thing to come out of your getting arrested for a DWI, and here are the reasons why.
Depending on your previous record and or circumstances you may be facing jail after your DWI arrest. This might even be true if it’s your first offense, although unlikely it’s still best to hire a DWI attorney who knows specific DWI laws in your state or the state of your arrest to keep you out of jail. If it’s your second or third offense, or there are other extenuating circumstances then it is even more important for you to hire a good DWI lawyer.
Room to Negotiate
If you don’t hire a DWI lawyer you will not have any room for negotiation with the District Attorney and or Judge. However, when you hire a DWI attorney they provide you with the opportunity to possibly negotiate a better deal. They can get some fines reduced or perhaps spare you from spending time in jail if they have the right clout with the D.A. and Judge. They can also keep you out of community service or negate extended probation times.
The Road Less Traveled
When you hire a DWI attorney they may be able to see a defense for your case that is not quite obvious. Remember it’s a lawyer’s job to know and find loopholes in laws or flat out holes in the prosecution’s case. A good DWI attorney will be on top of this and if there is any way to present a different take or different type of defense than the standard one, they will.
Back to School
Another way a good DWI lawyer could help your case is by advising which if any is the best educational program for you to take before your court appearance. Some courts look positively upon this type of proactiveness and some don’t. Your lawyer should know the answer to this if they are competent. The educational programs consist of alcohol or drunk driving awareness classes and or A.A. meetings.
It can be beneficial to have written character references to present to the judge presiding over your case. However, many people do this without getting much credit for it. This happens because the judge doesn’t put much emphasis on the references since they are often written poorly or incorrectly. Hiring the right DWI attorney will explain to you what kind of references are needed and the best way to go about presenting them.
It is an awful experience getting a DWI, however, if it ever does happen to you then these tips will help your cause and bring a little jump back in your step.
Let’s face it, being pulled over anywhere at any time sucks. There is really no other way to put it. It flat out sucks. Even if it’s a simple traffic stop. Even if you have done nothing wrong. No matter what city or state you are in. Now, let’s say you are pulled over for DWI; and it happens in the state of Texas. What should you do?
There are some steps you should take even before you hire a Houston DWI attorney.
Be Nice – Don’t be an Jerk
This may seem like a funny statement, but it’s not. Being a jerk or even belligerent to the police officer who pulled you over will not get you anywhere. In fact, it will only speed up the process of landing you in jail. It may also add to an already shitty situation you have gotten yourself into. Remember, cops can pretty much do whatever they want, and in some states, they have more power than others. Texas is one of those states, so be very careful, and tread lightly.
There is one instance I know of where a driver was arrested for DWI, but since he was a complete gentleman to the arresting officers, they pulled his car off to the side of the street and parked it in a safe spot. They did this in lieu of calling a tow truck. This not only saved him the headache of going to the tow yard after a night of sleeping in a jail cell, it also saved him a ton of money.
Know Your Rights
In any walk of life or situation it is always important know know what your rights are. This will get you out of a lot of trouble and save you from misery on many occasions. It’s never more important to know your rights than when you are pulled over by the police, and even more so when you are pulled over for DWI. So let’s break down the Texas law in this case.
When it comes to field sobriety tests, just say no. You are not required by Texas law to comply with a field sobriety test. They are set up for you to fail. Trust me. Also, when they try and make you take the breathalyzer test, again say no. You are still not required to admit to adhere to this test either.
What to do Next?
The officer or officers have since arrested you and are berating you into a chemical test. Which consists of urine, blood, or breath. This is the time for you to demand to speak to your attorney. Tell them you will not submit to any tests without your attorney present. In accordance with Texas law, you are allowed a private chemical test with your attorney present within two hours of your arrest. This will help your case in the long run and let the authorities know they can’t pull any B.S with you, which they will if you let them.
So take heed of these 3 important steps and in the meantime, don’t drive drunk.