Driving Under the Influence can be classified as a misdemeanor crime or as a felony depending on a person’s specific circumstances. If a person is a first-time offender and they don’t have any other charges associated with their DUI, they will most likely only be charged as a misdemeanor crime. However, if they have previous charges or they caused harm to others during their drunk driving episode they can be charged with a felony DUI.
In order to be charged with a felony a driver must have fulfilled one or more of the following conditions:
- The driver must have had a previous DUI conviction within the last 10 years
- The driver must have killed or seriously harmed someone while DUI
- The driver must have had a child under 15 years of age in their vehicle while DUI
If any of the above scenarios apply to a person’s case their crime will most probably be bumped up from a misdemeanor to a felony which will consequently intensify their penalties. It is important to note that if a person was drunk and they were driving with their child in the car their case will become a lot more complicated as the police officers will be required to contact Child Protective Services in order to report the incident. In order to protect oneself and their family from serious legal repercussions, a person should call a DUI lawyer in Poughkeepsie, NY.
What defenses can a DUI lawyer use to defend me in court?
DUI cases are generally very black and white when it comes to deciding whether the driver was drunk or not. If their BAC is above .08% it can be difficult to argue that a person was not drunk. However, in order to clear a person’s name, a DUI lawyer might question the method through which the BAC test was administered. Sometimes, if an officer’s device was not working properly it can give a higher reading then actuality. An attorney will be able to launch an investigation into the device to figure out if it was working in proper order or not.
If the instruments the officer used were not certified, then their results can possibly be nullified in court. Also, if the officer was guilty of abusing the driver while arresting them then they may have their arrest disregarded as well. A person has more chances of winning their case if they were compliant with the officer and they did not put up a fight while they were being arrested. No matter what happens a person should refrain from lashing out on the officer as this can result in them being convicted of battery on an officer which is a serious crime and won’t do anything to help their case.
Also, if a lawyer can prove that the officer did not arrest a person based on probable cause and they simply did it due to racial profiling or another similar bias, the defendant can potentially have their accusations lifted.