Have You Been Charged With Drunk Driving?
Once you’ve been pulled over on a suspicion of driving under the influence, it can be difficult to assert your rights even if you feel you’ve done nothing wrong. If the authorities believe you’ve failed a sobriety test, challenging them might seem futile. However, no matter what the circumstances might indicate, several potential defenses exist.
At Johnson Bowman Branco, LLP, in Frankfort, we aggressively defend Kentucky motorists who are accused of driving while intoxicated. Even a first conviction might land you in jail and trigger other penalties such as fines and license suspension. To help avoid unfair punishment, our experienced defense attorneys look to uncover flaws in the law enforcement process and work to negotiate sentence reductions when appropriate.
Experienced Lawyers Working To Reduce Or Eliminate DWI Penalties
Unlike some other states, Kentucky uses both DUI and DWI interchangeably when referring to a driver who is impaired by alcohol, drugs or some other mind-altering substance, such as inhaled substances. For most drivers, a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher qualifies someone as legally intoxicated.
However, a motorist under the age of 21 is subject to criminal liability if the reading is .02% or above. Each case is unique, and it’s important to know what factors affect your case before determining how to deal with it. Our accomplished criminal defense attorneys can explain each aspect of potential drunk driving penalties, including:
- Test refusal – If you refuse a breath or blood test, your driver’s license can be suspended even if you are ultimately not convicted of DUI. Should you be convicted despite the refusal, your sentence might be more severe.
- Aggravating circumstances – Under Kentucky law, various aggravating circumstances increase the penalty associated with a drunk driving conviction, such as a blood alcohol concentration of at least .15%, excessive speeding and an accident causing injury. You can also face harsher punishment if a child under 12 was in the car.
- Multiple offenses – With each DWI conviction within a 10-year period, the potential penalties get tougher and can include jail time. A fourth conviction is classified as a felony.
- Incarceration – Even a first offender could face jail time running between 48 hours and 30 days. However, our firm presses to have incarceration replaced by community labor so that our client can remain at home.
- License suspension and use of ignition interlock devices – Losing driving privileges can prevent someone from going to work or taking proper care of their children. With this in mind, we look to reduce the impact of a suspension by pursuing restricted licenses that allow an individual to use their vehicle for certain functions. Ignition interlock devices, which prevent an inebriated motorist from starting a car, also help keep people on the road.
- Treatment program – Convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs require the defendant to complete a substance abuse treatment program.
If an accident occurred as a result of impaired driving, a civil action for damages might be initiated as well. Attorney William E. Johnson is a former Franklin County prosecutor. He and our other proven attorneys can outline the potential legal consequences of your DWI arrest and create a strategy to help reduce your sentence or have your charges dismissed.
Presenting Strong Defenses For Motorists Accused Of DWI
Just because you failed a field, blood or breath test does not necessarily mean that the result can be used against you in court. Police officers must be able to state why they had a reasonable suspicion that you were operating a vehicle illegally before making the stop. If you were arrested, the prosecution has to show that the facts at the scene created probable cause that a crime was committed.
Any statements you made while in police custody must have been preceded by a Miranda warning to be introduced as evidence. We’ll closely examine the facts in your case to see if the stop, search and sobriety tests were admitted properly. Even a delay in administering a sobriety test could taint the case against you.
Contact Our DUI Defense Lawyers
Johnson Bowman Branco, LLP, in Frankfort, assists Kentucky motorists who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To schedule a consultation at our office regarding your case, please call 502-605-6100 or contact us online.