Every year, thousands of drivers across Connecticut are charged with DUI, and one-half to one-third of them are convicted, resulting in administrative and criminal penalties such as:
- License revocation or suspension
- Up to six months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines for a first offender
- Probation and community service
Depending on your case, you may have a good chance of getting your DUI charges reduced or dismissed. The first step is to call a DUI lawyer in CT who can challenge the evidence against you.
How Can a CT DUI Lawyer Help Your Case?
Most people arrested for DUI in Connecticut assume the evidence against them is insurmountable. The truth is that these cases are rarely hopeless, regardless of what you may have been told. In fact, out of the 6,609 DUI arrests that occurred in this state in 2020, 4,263 cases had the charges dismissed and nearly 400 weren’t even prosecuted.
How does this happen? It’s simple.
- Police officers make mistakes during roadside investigations.
- Errors can occur with breathalyzers and blood tests.
- Certain medical conditions can result in a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
Attorneys who specialize in DUI defense use these factors to win cases.
Police Error in DUI Cases
One of the main reasons why DUI charges are dismissed is that the police officer did not have probable cause to stop you. In Connecticut, law enforcement needs a good reason for a traffic stop unless it’s at a roadblock where every motor vehicle is stopped. If the officer who arrested you cannot provide a valid reason for doing so at your DUI hearing, the charge can be dismissed.
Other police actions that can be challenged by an experienced DUI lawyer are:
- Failure to read you your Miranda rights. In some instances, this can result in an immediate dismissal.
- You were tested by a faulty breath test machine.
- You are arrested even after performing well on the sobriety tests.
- The officer unlawfully stopped you and kept you without reasonable justification.
In the event that the police officer fails to appear for the hearing, your case can be immediately dismissed or rescheduled. If they don’t appear even after an extension, your attorney will push for a dismissal.
From DUI to Wet Reckless
Even if a dismissal isn’t possible in your case, an experienced CT DUI attorney can talk to the prosecution about getting the charge reduced to wet reckless. This may happen if:
- You are a first-time offender
- After testing, your BAC is at or near the legal limit
- The legality of the traffic stop resulting in your arrest is in question
- Your field sobriety test results are problematic
- There are other weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
Wet reckless means that you are convicted for reckless driving involving alcohol. A reckless driving conviction has the advantage of resulting in less severe penalties than a DUI. As an unclassified misdemeanor, reckless driving is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a maximum fine of $300, and a 30 day license suspension. Compared to a DUI conviction, these penalties are much less severe.
A CT DUI Lawyer Can Make a Difference in Your Case
It’s highly unlikely that you can get your own DUI charges reduced or dismissed. You can’t expect the judge to readily reduce your DUI charges even if it’s your first offense. Like most states, Connecticut is tough on drunk driving and the prosecution will be highly motivated to seek a conviction. A Connecticut DUI lawyer will fight to prevent that outcome by:
- Investigating Your Arrest. A DUI lawyer will verify whether the officer followed the law properly. Your case can be dismissed if you are improperly pulled over or the officer didn’t follow the proper procedure for arresting you.
- Checking Tests for Errors. Your lawyer will examine the results of any breath or blood tests that were conducted at the time of your arrest. When a breathalyzer is faulty or proper procedures aren’t followed at the lab, your test results may not be admitted into evidence. If you have a medical condition that can result in a false positive on a breathalyzer, such as diabetes or acid reflux, your attorney will present that information to the court.
An experienced and aggressive DUI attorney will be able to find the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, which will make the latter more amenable to a plea deal or, ideally, a complete dropping of all charges.
Contact the Sills Law Firm for Help With Your DUI Case
DUI convictions have long-term consequences, including a permanent criminal record and a poor driving record. The Sills Firm provides Connecticut DUI defense attorneys that give you the best chance of avoiding both. If you are fighting a DUI case, we invite you to meet with us to discuss your options. To learn more, call (860) 524-8118 or contact us online.