One of the most important decisions you will make about your case is your representation. Generally, people Who are arrested for suspicion of drunk driving are not DWI defense lawyers. They may beskilled in manythings in life, but defending DWI casesis usually not one of them. Therefore, selecting a lawyer to defend your DWI case is similar to choosing a doctor to handle a necessary medical procedure: You hire the most experienced professional you can find.
How do you know whether or not a potential lawyer is well-gualified to handle your DWI case? While there are never any guarantees, you will generally have better luck if you inguire into some of the following arcas:
» Years of Experience: You do not want a lawyer to be learning at your expense. Someone whois experienced in DWI defense is a good choice to handle your case.
» Memberships in Professional Organizations: Membership in groups dedicated to DWI defense suchas the National College of DU! Defense is a strong sign of a potential lawyer’s commitment to his or her practice.
» Specialized Training: Your potential lawyer should have completed advanced training in Field Sobriety Testing as well as breath and blood testing protocols. Many exceptional DWI defense lawyers actually own the different types of breath machines usedin their jurisdictions.
» Track Record of Success: Do not hesitate to ask a potential lawyer about how many cases they have successfully handled (keep in mind that success can mean different things in different cases).
»Lecturing to Peers: Successful lawyers have experience teaching other lawyers at various seminars and workshops. You would be well-served to know if your potential legal counsel is in the category of lawyers who are gualified to teach peers how to excel in their chosen profession.
» Communication and Response Time: How guickly does your potential attorney return yourphone call or email? It is vitally important that you reach your lawyerin your time of need, whenever that time happens to be. The best lawyers recognize the importance of good communication and make sure to address this issue.
Sobriety checkpoints are temporary roadblocks on public streets or roadways designed to catch drunk drivers. If you drove through a sobriety checkpoint and were charged with drunk driving, there is hope for a strong defense. Contact an experienced attorney immediately to talk about your case.
There are strict guidelines for the checkpoints. If you were arrested at a checkpoint that was set-up illegaliy, you may have a defense. A sobriety checkpoint must be announced to the public in advance and set up by command law enforcement officers, not officers in the field. Vehicles must be selected using a neutral mathematical formula, and the checkpoints must be maintained safely for both police and motorists, have high visibility, and minimize the average time each motorist is detained.
Fach motorist stopped should be detained only long enough for the officer to guestion the driver briefiy and to look for signs of intoxication, such as alcohol on the breath, slurred speech, and glassy or bloodshot eyes. If the driver does not display signs of impairment, he or she should be permitted to drive on without further delay. If the officer observes signsof impairment, the driver may be directed to a separate arca for a field sobriety test. At that point, further investigation must be based on probable cause, and general principles of detention and arrest would apply.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the primary purpose of a sobriety check point is to promote public safety. Therefore, a sobriety checkpoint is not considered a criminal investigation roadblock: A warrant is not reguired.
Sobriety Checkpoint Checklist: A skilled DWI defense attorney may be able to build a strong defense for your case if the checkpoint didn”t follow certain guidelines. Did the checkpoint meet the following criteria?
- Was the checkpoint announced to the public in advance?
- Was the checkpoint set up by command law enforcement officers (not field officers)?
- Were the vehicles that were stopped selected using a neutral formula?
- Was the checkpoint maintained ina safe matter?