A DUI charge can have a major impact on your life. Even in minor cases for first-time offenders, Kansas state laws may require a driver’s license suspension, which could have detrimental effects on your employment as most people depend on driving to get to work. If you’ve been given a citation or have been arrested for a DUI, you may be frantically searching for “DUI lawyers near me.” Here’s what your DUI lawyer needs to know.
What Information Should You Share With Your DUI Lawyer?
What DUI Lawyers Near Me Need to Know About the Case
DUI lawyers can help you to avoid the worst consequences of a DUI citation or arrest. However, in order for your lawyer to give you the best chance of success in fighting your DUI charge, they will need a lot of information from you. You should always be honest when speaking with your lawyer. Lawyers have confidentiality privileges with clients, which means that what you say to your lawyer doesn’t leave their office.
Your lawyer will want to know about the events leading up to the DUI charge. In addition, your background information will be helpful. Furthermore, your lawyer may ask additional questions about the actions of law enforcement officers to ensure that you were treated appropriately according to the law. Do your best to recall the events accurately, and if you are unsure about your answers, let your lawyer know.
What Were You Doing Before Driving?
Your actions prior to your DUI charge will be questioned if you plead not guilty in court. However, you may be able to use some of those circumstances to your advantage. For instance, what if you only had one or two drinks over a long period of time, yet still got a blood-alcohol reading above the legal limit? This may seem impossible to you, but there may be other circumstances you have not considered.
Certain medications can affect the way the body metabolizes alcohol, potentially raising your BAC levels despite your moderation while drinking. In fact, a study in Spain found that even using asthma inhalers can lead to temporary spikes in BAC, which could be enough to trigger a false positive result. If the events leading up to your DUI charge don’t add up with the charges, your lawyer can try to insist that you were innocent.
What Happened That Resulted in an Interaction With a Police Officer?
In order to receive a DUI charge, you must have had an interaction with a police officer. In most cases, a police officer pulls over your vehicle, believes you may be impaired, and orders you to take a test to determine your blood-alcohol content. However, an accident or mechanical failure could also cause an officer to appear on the scene. It’s important for your lawyer to understand how you came into contact with law enforcement.
This matters because police cannot simply pull you over for no reason at all. This was clearly established in a 1979 court case where the defendant was given a citation for marijuana possession. However, the citation arose from an illegal stop; the police officer stopped the defendant’s car for no reason, making the evidence inadmissible in court and freeing the defendant of their charges. If the traffic stop itself was illegal, your lawyer may get the case thrown out.
Your Actions During the Citation or Arrest
Once you came into contact with law enforcement, how did you react? Your behavior during this interaction will be called into question. You should be sure to tell your lawyer exactly what happened, including everything that you said. Remember, as the Miranda Rights script goes, anything you say can and will be used against you. If you admitted to driving under the influence, it could make the case more difficult to defend.
However, if you were cooperative, respectful, and showed no signs of inebriation, the police officer’s version of events may seem less credible. In contrast, hostile or disrespectful interactions make your case more complex. Be transparent and tell your lawyer how the events unfolded so that they can analyze the case clearly and seek the best possible outcome.
What Did Law Enforcement Do?
Law enforcement officers are required to follow certain rules when performing field sobriety tests. As we’ve mentioned, pulling over a car requires probable cause. There are also rules for what happens next. For example, a police officer cannot force you to perform field sobriety tests or take a roadside breath test. You have the right to refuse these tests. If you tried to refuse, but the police officer tried to intimidate you or force you, tell your lawyer.
Using force or threats is illegal. However, the police are allowed to lie to people and often do. If you believe this happened to you, let your lawyer know. Those actions by law enforcement could undermine the case and make a jury more likely to side with you, should your case proceed to trial. Your lawyer can show that you were treated improperly, reducing the credibility of law enforcement in court.
Your Criminal History
It’s also important to share your criminal history with your lawyer. This is especially important if you have previously had a DUI charge. Second-time offenses bring stronger penalties. For example, the typical 30-day license suspension can go up to a full year on a second offense. Other offenses related to controlled substances, like public intoxication or drug possession, could also be brought up to discredit you in court. Mention even minor things like traffic tickets.
Conversely, if you have a sterling record, your lawyer can use that fact to defend you. First-time offenders with an otherwise pristine record could get their sentence reduced to little more than community service or a fine. Your clean record could help you avoid jail time or a license suspension.
What to Bring to Your First Meeting With a DUI Lawyer
Once you’ve finished your search for DUI lawyers near me and scheduled a meeting with a lawyer, you will need to bring some items to your first meeting to make it easier for your lawyer to analyze your case.
Evidence to Support Your Version of Events
Any evidence you can bring to support your version of events will be helpful. Your lawyer will try to establish a timeline of events using any proof you can provide. For example, phone records, including location data, can confirm where you were before you started driving. Dashcam footage can show whether you broke any traffic laws prior to being stopped by an officer. Witness testimony can also prove beneficial to confirm your story.
Citations or Documents Related to Your Arrest
Bring any papers related to traffic citations or your arrest so that your lawyer can review them carefully. Your lawyer can also request documents directly from law enforcement, such as a complete copy of the police report that was filed when you were charged. With these documents and your testimony, your lawyer can make recommendations as to how to proceed.
Don’t let a DUI derail your life. You may be able to fight the charges and reduce them or get them removed entirely with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. Contact Henderson Legal Defense, LLC in Overland Park, KS to speak to a DUI attorney.