DUI Frequently Asked Questions

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According to the research literature, "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most highly committed crime in the United States.

It would therefore appear to make sense that many individuals have some important and relevant questions about DUIs and DUI-related topics. As a consequence of the pervasiveness of DUI incidents as well as the serious consequences related to DUIs, we are listing some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.

What is "DUI"?

Drunk driving or "driving under the influence" (DUI) is sometimes called driving while intoxicated (DWI) and has two meanings. First, driving with a blood alcohol level over the state's maximum permissible blood alcohol limit. As of May, 2007, the limit for adults is 0.08% in all 50 states.

Second, you may also be guilty of DUI or DWI for driving when your physical and/or mental abilities are impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. In fact, according to the law, it makes absolutely no difference whether the drug is prescription or over-the-counter, legal or illegal.

If drinking alcohol and/or ingesting a drug negatively impacts your sight, hearing, reaction time, ability to judge distances or any other physical or mental ability used in driving, you may be found guilty of a drunk driving offense.

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Why should I hire a DUI Attorney?

Getting arrested for DUI can elicit feelings of embarrassment, fear, anger, and depression. Individuals from all walks of life have been arrested for drunk driving. Keep in mind that the more control you take over in your life now, including educating yourself about current DUI laws, the greater peace of mind you will probably experience after your DUI.

Due to the fact that you are in a vulnerable position, moreover, it seems to make a lot of sense for you to consult with a DUI lawyer you can trust and who will "fight" for your legal rights.

Even if you did in fact drink and drive in an unsafe manner, a DUI attorney may be able to help minimize your legal difficulties and maximize your opportunities to move forward toward a more positive future.

A DUI criminal defense attorney helps to equalize the balance of power between the defendant and the prosecution and help maintain the constitutional rights that are guaranteed to all criminal defendants.

Many if not most DUI lawyers will do everything they can to help you when it comes to your DUI arrest. To prevent you from losing your driver's license and to keep your record "clean," DUI attorneys start by believing that you shouldn't have been arrested. With this clearly in their minds, they will "fight" for you and for your legal rights.

Having a DUI defense lawyer can make the DUI experience far less stressful. What is more, a "driving under the influence" lawyer can answer your questions, prepare you for the proceedings each and every step of the way, and ensure that if there is a way to help you within the law, he or she will find this way.

A drunk driving charge usually necessitates hiring a drunk driving lawyer. That is, a DUI requires an attorney who is familiar with the analytical methods, the rules of evidence, and constitutional issues that will be faced in a drunk driving trial.

If you have been charged with DUI you really should consider getting a DUI attorney who will aggressively represent your legal rights through the complexities involved in a DUI case. DUI attorneys, finally, are able to assist you every step of the way through the criminal process and also help you find the answers you need.

Regarding a DUI arrest, how much time do I have to contact an attorney?

If you were not able to contact an attorney while you were jail you should get in touch a DUI lawyer as soon as possible after you get out of jail. Since there are some legal procedures that take place very soon after your release from jail, time can truly be of the essence.

I received a DUI. Will I have to take alcohol/drug abuse classes?

In most states, you will have to take alcohol and/or drug abuse classes if you are convicted of DUI. The "typical" requirement is 8 hours of "DUI school." Often, the higher your blood alcohol concentration was during your arrest, the more hours you will have to attend and you might also be required to get a drug and alcohol abuse evaluation or additional alcohol treatment or counseling.

Why is it so necessary for me to hire a DUI lawyer about my DUI?

A DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony criminal offense and not just an "ordinary" traffic ticket. If you are convicted of a DUI, there are mandatory legal penalties and consequences that can be substantially reduced or even dismissed when you are represented by a DUI lawyer.

Are there any additional issues for persons who hold a CDL if arrested for DUI?

Yes, in most states, an individual who has a commercial driver's license will be subject to much stricter standards than drivers who do not have a CDL. For example, if the driver with the CDL was driving a "commercial" vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, an evidentiary blood or breath alcohol test result of .04% is sufficient to convict him or her of DUI.

Furthermore, if the driver with the CDL was driving a "private" vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, on the other hand, and is subsequently convicted of DUI, in most states, the driver may lose his or her commercial driver's license for one year for a first DUI offense and for "life" for second DUI offense.

In sum, in most states, a person who has a commercial driver's license (CDL) will be subject to more stringent standards than drivers who do not possess a CDL.

Can I appeal my DUI to a circuit court?

Every individual who is convicted of a DUI in a municipal or district court has the right to appeal this lower court's conviction to the county circuit court.

Be aware, however, that in many states there is a strict 14-day time period in which the appeal needs to be filed. If the appeal is not correctly filed within the 14-day period of time, the appeal will be seen as "waived," a condition that is not open to re-filing at a later date.

How can I verify my lawyer's credentials?

You can review the "practice areas" of lawyers in the "Martindale-Hubbell" listing of lawyers in the United States. This publication is usually available in county law libraries and in public libraries.

Keep in mind, however, that several lawyers only show the date of admission to the state bar and the college and law school they attended. Perhaps the best place to verify the credentials of a DUI lawyer is by going to the following website: www.martindale.com for more information.

What are the first steps undertaken in a DUI defense?

In most instances, the DUI lawyer will initiate a comprehensive interview of the person who received the DUI before accepting the case. The lawyer will review all the written documents related to the arrest, the breath or blood test report, and the traffic ticket that was written.

The initial interview will usually take between sixty and ninety minutes. Every aspect of your DUI case and the applicable laws will be addressed and discussed. The initial interview is totally confidential and all information related to this interview will be held in strictest confidence.

If the lawyer decides to accept your case, he or she will then present you with a detailed written contract for you to review. If you agree to the terms of the contract, you will then become the attorney's client and the attorney will then start the representation process.

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When does a DUI become a felony?

There are several ways that your DUI may be charged as a felony DUI or an aggravated DUI.

  • In most states, if you are driving with any children under the age of 15 in your vehicle and you are arrested for DUI you will be charged with a felony DUI even if you have no prior DUI convictions.

  • Under certain state laws, if you have been convicted of two DUIs within the past seven years, another arrest means you will be charged with a felony DUI.

  • In most states, if you are arrested for DUI while driving on a revoked or a suspended license you may be charged with a felony (or an aggravated) DUI.

  • In most states, if you are arrested for DUI that results in severe injury or death you may be charged with an aggravated DUI or a felony DUI.

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