May 18, 2023 | DUI
Criminal defense lawyers help people facing crimes and traffic offenses and frequently represent clients charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – or DUI/OVI. This crime is taken very seriously in the United States, as it poses a significant danger to public safety.
Here are the basics of drunk driving laws in the US and the crime of driving under the influence:
Elements of the Crime of Operating a Vehicle While Impaired
To be convicted of driving under the influence, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that their normal faculties were impaired. In most states, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%, and if a driver’s BAC is above this level, they are presumed to be impaired.
However, even if a driver’s BAC is below 0.08%, they can still be charged with DUI if other evidence suggests that they were impaired. For example, if a driver fails field sobriety tests or exhibits other signs of impairment, such as slurred speech or bloodshot eyes, they may still be convicted of DUI.
Potential Penalties for a DUI Conviction
The potential penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending on the state, but they typically include fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory attendance at alcohol or drug education programs. In addition, a DUI conviction can have serious long-term consequences, such as increased insurance rates, difficulty obtaining employment, and damage to one’s reputation.
For a first-time offender, the penalties for a DUI conviction can range from a few hundred dollars in fines and a brief license suspension to several years in prison for a more serious offense. Repeat offenders face increasingly severe penalties, including mandatory prison sentences and permanent license revocation.
Ways a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Defend Someone Charged With DUI
If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can assist you in a number of ways, including:
Contesting the Evidence
One of the most effective defenses against DUI charges is to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution. This may involve questioning the accuracy of field sobriety tests or challenging the reliability of breathalyzer or blood tests.
Negotiating a Favorable Plea Bargain
In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. This may involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge or agreeing to a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
Arguing Constitutional Violations
Another potential defense against DUI charges is to argue that your constitutional rights were violated during the arrest process. For example, if the police did not have probable cause to pull you over or failed to read you your Miranda rights, your charges may be dismissed.
Presenting Mitigating Factors
Finally, your attorney can work to present mitigating factors that may help reduce your sentence. This may include evidence of a good driving record, completion of an alcohol education program, or testimony from character witnesses.
A Dayton DUI Defense Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights – Call Today for a Free Consultation
Driving under the influence is a serious crime that can have significant consequences. If you have been charged with DUI/OVI, seek the help of an experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney who can assist you in contesting the evidence, negotiating a plea bargain, arguing constitutional violations, or presenting mitigating factors to the court. With the right legal representation, you may be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402