Skilled Manchester DUI Attorneys
Trusted representation for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Driving under the influence (DUI) happens in every city every day across the country. Being able to tell if you’re intoxicated can be a difficult proposition unless you are in the habit of carrying around your own personal breathalyzer device. Contrary to belief, your size and gender have no bearing on how much you can drink before exceeding the legal limit. You may get behind the wheel of your car feeling perfectly in control, yet you could legally be drunk based on state law.
DUI is a criminal charge that comes with very serious repercussions that can stay with you for life. You need to hire a knowledgeable attorney who takes your potential loss of freedom seriously and will utilize all available resources to secure the best outcome for you. Speak with the Manchester DUI defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC today to discuss your legal options.
We know how to fight if your rights have been violated
Police know the law, and they know that the average citizen doesn’t. Even when circumstances do not provide an officer with a legitimate reason to pull you over, you still pull over once you see blue lights in your rearview mirror. Once the officer begins to speak with you, any number of things can offer up reasonable suspicion, eventually leading you into receiving a charge for DUI.
Sobriety checkpoints are legal stops in Connecticut and exist solely to catch drunk drivers. However, special rules apply for these stops to remain legal. In addition to giving notice to the press three days in advance to notify the public, checkpoints must operate under a specific plan that includes:
- Choosing a safe location for conducting stops where traffic violations and accidents have occurred
- Being on a route traveled by potential violators
- Being clearly marked and visible
- Advanced approval of the checkpoint by a senior police official
- A supervisor at the checkpoint to make decisions
- A neutral formula for stopping vehicles
- Drivers being asked the same initial questions
The good news is that if evidence can be obtained to show that the stop was unreasonable, it’s possible to suppress the evidence obtained during the stop based on being “fruit of the poisonous tree.” In essence, this legal doctrine means that any evidence obtained as a result of illegal procedure is considered tainted and cannot be used.
There are common charges that could accompany a DUI, including open container, operating under the influence, underage drinking, driving under suspension, and vehicular manslaughter. In Connecticut, if you have been arrested for a DUI, then you need a savvy criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of the law in addition to being a skilled negotiator.
Possible penalties for driving under the influence in Manchester
If you have been charged with DUI in Manchester, you could be looking at life-altering conditions should you be convicted. Harsh DUI penalties have been enacted to deter people from engaging in dangerous activity that could cause a personal injury while driving intoxicated.
Upon a conviction, you could face a stiff sentence and penalty under Connecticut law:
- Incarceration for up to six months, or a suspended sentence with probation and 100 hours of community service.
- Fine: $500 - $1,000.
- License suspension: 45 days followed by one year of driving a vehicle that must be equipped with an ignition interlock.
- Incarceration for up to two years, with a mandatory minimum of 120 consecutive days and probation with 100 hours community service.
- Fine: $1,000 - $4,000.
- License suspension*: 45 days followed by three years of driving a vehicle that must be equipped with an ignition interlock. Travel for the first year is limited to attending work, school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, or ignition interlock service center.
*License suspension for drivers under age 21: 45 days or until age 21, whichever is longer, in addition to all other second offense punishments.
- Incarceration for up to three years and probation with 100 hours community service.
- Fine: $2,000 - $8,000.
- License suspension: Revocation of your drivers license, with eligibility for reinstatement after two years. If reinstated, you may only drive interlock-equipped vehicles for life unless the requirement is lifted after 15 years for good cause.
What to do if you are pulled over for suspected DUI
Being pulled over by the police is typically a nerve racking experience for anyone. Sometimes you may not even know why you’ve been pulled over. Whether the situation appears to be a routine traffic stop, or it’s an obvious sobriety checkpoint, there are tips to follow once you become aware that you are involved in a DUI stop:
- Remain calm, cool and collected. Keep your hands on the steering wheel until the officer advises you otherwise. Pay close attention to everything that is said and done so that you can relay the details to your attorney. Small details may seem unimportant to you, but they may mean much more when forming your defense.
- Minimize conversation. You want to appear that you are being compliant with the stop but do not offer facts, circumstances, or excuses. Provide friendly but brief answers to only the questions you are asked.
- Refuse field sobriety or alcohol screening tests. There are many reasons you could fail a field sobriety test and lead an officer to believe that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Medical conditions can frequently cause a person to fail these tests despite being completely sober, making it all the more likely that you will be convicted of the charges. Under state law, refusing to take a breathalyzer test will result in your license being administratively suspended, however that penalty can be more easily resolved than a DUI charge if your test results show your BAC exceeds the legal limit.
- Use your phone call wisely. Being arrested means that you have been read your rights, are in custody, and are being interrogated. Once you have been read your rights, you should immediately invoke your right to an attorney and ask to make your phone call. Many people engage in nervous conversation after being arrested, however you should not speak to police again without your attorney present. You will unlikely say anything helpful to your situation, and may damage to your defense.
Why you need a Manchester DUI attorney
Because we maintain an office in Manchester, we are familiar with the local courts where our attorneys have gained vast experience representing clients in repeat DUIs.
In Connecticut, you are considered being under the influence if your ability to drive is affected by alcohol or drugs to an appreciable degree. For most drivers, this means that you can be arrested for DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, or if you drive a commercial truck, your limit may not exceed .04 BAC. If you are under the age of 21, it is illegal to have a BAC of .02, however drinking when you are under the age of 21 is also illegal so you could be looking at additional charges.
DUI convictions are costly. Not only do you risk losing your freedom and your job, but the fines and fees required to comply with the conditions of your sentence can be long-term and prohibitive. For interlocking device installation and monitoring alone, you could be looking at approximately $1,040 for a first offense and at least $13,000 for a third offense. You need skilled attorneys who will work hard to negotiate a reduction of your charges, or get them dismissed entirely.
We understand the nuances in the law when it comes to issues such as whether keys being in the ignition, or a field sobriety test being improperly administered after an accident will be sufficient evidence to convict you based on your particular circumstances.
Protecting the freedom of our Manchester clients is our business
Don’t jeopardize your future. Speak with one of our unparalleled criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC who will provide you an in depth assessment of your legal options. To schedule a consultation with one of our DUI defense lawyers in Manchester or Hartford, please call 860-649-4400 or reach out to us through our contact form. We’re located right off I-84 or I-384 in Manchester.