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No driver wants to see those blue flashing lights pop up in their rearview mirror. Traffic stops are always stressful. Being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving is especially nerve-racking. At this time, you need to know how to protect your rights during the traffic stop and beyond. Notably, if you were arrested for a DUI in Stamford, CT, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Your driving privileges, your freedom, and your reputation could all be on the line. You are entitled to strong legal representation.

Do Not Try to Talk Your Way Out of a DUI

At a traffic stop, you should always remain polite and you should cooperate with the reasonable requests of the responding law enforcement officers. That being said, defendants have a legal right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any invasive questions. If you are suspected of a DUI, you should use this right. One of the biggest mistakes you can make at a drunk driving stop is trying to talk your way out of an arrest. You are far more likely to talk your way into an arrest or to inadvertently provide statements that will be used in a future prosecution.

Know the Rules on Field Sobriety Testing

As explained by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the state has an implied consent law on the books. Drivers in Connecticut have pre-consented to chemical alcohol tests — such as blood tests and breath tests. The failure to submit to one types of chemical tests could result in a DUI refusal charge. However, drivers have not consented to perform other, less reliable field sobriety types of tests. You are not legally required to do the walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, or to recite the alphabet backwards.

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Texas DUI lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is considered a serious crime in Connecticut and even a first time offense can result in jail time, a hefty fine, and a 45 day license suspension. Fortunately, there are programs available to first time offenders that can help them avoid these types of harsh penalties, so if you were arrested for driving under the influence, you should consider speaking with an experienced Fairfield DUI attorney who can explain your legal options.

The Alcohol Education Program

In Connecticut, some first time DUI offenders qualify for admittance into the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a state diversionary program that requires participants to:

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI lawyerFor many families utilizing the school system whether it be at a college or a preschool level, each year is more prominently separated by the academic year and vacation times. While school is in session, there is a schedule to which to adhere, which demands most of the daylight hours during the shorter days. During the summer the days are much longer, and routine has a tendency of being pushed by the wayside. It is also interesting to note that crime levels rise during the months in which students are out of school. One crime that is no exception is driving under the influence (DUI).

The Spike Is Not a Myth

If you obtain your information from individuals on the street, you hear different answers for any topic asked. The same holds true for the spike in crime. According to the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, Criminal charges spike as much as 12 percent during the warmer summer months. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most unsafe month in which to drive on the road is August when it comes to traffic-related fatalities. Consider these statistics:

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyDriving under the influence of any intoxicating substance is against the law in Connecticut. A drugged driving charge will likely include any punishment applicable in the case of a normal DUI penalties — drivers will be charged with driving under the influence. Any prior conviction of DUI, whether the prior charge was for drugs or alcohol, will be considered as a previous offense of DUI and the driver will likely face more severe punishments as such.

While DUI laws pertaining to alcohol prohibit any person from driving if he or she has a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more, there is no threshold standard for the amount of drugs that a person must have in his or her body to be charged with drugged driving. Any amount of drugs in the person’s system means that he or she is eligible to be charged with DUI. Prosecutors need only prove that the driver’s physical or mental processes were at the time affected by the substance and affecting his or her ability to control and operate a vehicle.

Although Connecticut does not have blood tests that it administers in the event of suspected drugged driving, the laws circumscribing the offense are the same as those involving alcohol. Any time a person gets behind the wheel in Connecticut, he or she is operating under the law of implied consent. This means that he or she submits to any required testing if requested by law enforcement. If the person refuses, the officer can immediately revoke and take possession of a person’s driver’s license — even before the case goes to court. A person is legally allowed the opportunity to call an attorney, however, before he or she submits to testing. This is particularly important. If you are pulled over and asked to take a blood, breath, or urine test for suspected drugged driving, it is a good idea to first contact an attorney. The earlier you involve a professional in the situation, the more likely it is that the incident will be resolved without long-lasting implications.

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense lawyerIf you have recently gotten your first DUI in Connecticut, you likely have many questions and you need to act quickly in order to get the optimal results in your case. Depending on the facts of your case, it is usually helpful to retain a DUI attorney as soon as possible.

There are two different “cases” within a DUI charge. One is administrative where your driver’s license is at stake. The other is criminal, which will affect your criminal record. For most first offense DUIs, the charges are considered to be misdemeanors.

The Administrative Case

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyIf you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Connecticut and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08, you may have many questions. You may question your future, the punishments, and the impacts. Although Connecticut legislature has harsh penalties for those convicted of first-time DUI, there is a second chance option that may be available given the right circumstances. The program is not a right, and therefore no one is guaranteed admittance, however the chances of being accepted increase with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to help you through the application process.

Pretrial Diversion Program

If it is your first time with a DUI, or you have not had one in more than 10 years, you may be eligible to apply for this program before your case goes to trial. Consider AEP, a Connecticut “second chance” for those who made a mistake. The Alcohol Education Program meets weekly for one-hour classes for up to 15 weeks. The length of time is dependent on the results of an alcohol evaluation test done before the program begins. There are no exams or testing, nor are there any alcohol or drug tests. Simply arrive on time, every week, and stay for the entire class. After successful completion of the program and attending the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel, your case may be dismissed and erased from your record.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI attorneyBeing convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol is life-altering under any circumstances. The offense can have a substantial impact on your driving privileges and can also negatively affect sentencing for future non-related crimes. As if these penalties were not prerogative enough to dispute any allegation of DUI, if you are a CDL license holder, your career may be put jeopardy.

Different Laws to Follow

The career of a commercial driver license (CDL) holder revolves around the ability to safely operate a vehicle. In most situations, the trucks they are responsible for maneuvering are many times larger than the average car on the road. If they were to collide, significant, potentially catastrophic injuries and even death are possible. For these reasons, the standards set for CDL drivers to uphold are higher. Regulations pertaining to operating a commercial vehicle are as follows:

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OUI, DUI, Connecticut DUI defense lawyerChances are you have heard about the alarming OUI (operating under the influence) statistics across the state and the nation, and you might even know someone personally who has been involved with a DUI crime at one point or another. The statistics and the stories you hear at work, in your neighborhood, and around your community are plentiful for a reason: driving under the influence is, sadly, a common crime. The fact that it is so common does not make it acceptable, though; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious criminal offense and is treated as such by Connecticut State law.

How the Offense Is Determined

The state of Connecticut considers driving to be a privilege that one must earn and keep. The state’s Implied Consent Law says that any driver who operates a vehicle is considered to automatically give their consent for alcohol testing the moment they get behind the wheel. In short, if you drive, you are technically--by law--agreeing to be tested for alcohol consumption, should you be pulled over. The state retains its right to prosecute with or without direct evidence of your BAC level. This prosecution is determined by your ability to drive. If you are found to be impaired and your driving ability is affected, the state has the right to prosecute.

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lack of DUI evidence, Stamford CT criminal lawyerFacing DUI charges is an extremely frightening experience. Defendants may lose their license, pay steep fines, and even face prison sentences. In cases that involve a fatal car accident, the outcome can affect the rest of a person’s life.

In these instances, it is especially important to consult an experienced criminal attorney who understands how to use the law to a client’s favor. In many cases, charges can be reduced or even dropped. Although no lawyer can guarantee an outcome, professional legal guidance can help a person avoid costly mistakes that may reduce the likelihood of a positive case outcome.

When there is a lack of evidence in a case, or if law enforcement did not follow certain regulations, the prosecution may offer a plea deal. A recently settled case that took place in Stamford exemplifies this fact.

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drug charge sentence alternative, Stamford criminal lawyerIf a Connecticut defendant is a substance abuser, there are options available for seeking treatment in addition to or in lieu of being prosecuted and sentenced for a criminal offense. These options include the Drug Intervention Program and the treatment of drug or alcohol dependent offenders instead of prosecution.

The Drug Intervention Program is available to nonviolent, drug-dependent defendants in different types of cases in which substance abuse is a major issue. The goals of the program are to reduce criminal behavior and reduce substance abuse. The program uses treatment, including detoxification, inpatient or outpatient treatment; services such as vocational and educational training; supervision; regular drug testing; and court monitoring over the course of 12 to 15 months. Defendants are required to report to the court regularly and must receive orders, sanctions, and incentives ordered by the judge. Defendants can be referred to the program by the judge, defense counsel, state’s attorneys, or court officers. Successful completion of the program can result in a favorable outcome for the defendant.

Alternatively, if a defendant is dependent on drugs or alcohol the court may order treatment instead of prosecution or incarceration.  It is available for defendants charged with drug sale and possession crimes, but is not available for defendants charged with driving under the influence, second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, or a felony. Defendants who have participated in this or a predecessor program twice already cannot participate unless permitted by the court.

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