Everyday, Connecticut citizens face the prospect of losing their license and facing jail time for a DUI arrest. Attorney Jay Ruane, Connecticut's well known DUI defense lawyer, who has won multiple awards for DUI defense in Connecticut and is a frequent speaker on DUI defense topics across the country, talked about how he approaches the defense of cases like these. He handles cases for everyday people, teachers, contractors, salesmen and will help you through this troubling time.
How to Hire a DUI Attorney in Connecticut
So, how do you hire a DUI attorney in Connecticut?
Get the names of the attorneys practicing DUI law only. Some criminal attorneys also have large DUI practices. There are not many of them. Ask friends, family and other associates if they know any of them and garner their opinions. Do some homework. Go on the web for DUI attorneys in your area. Many of these attorneys advertise in many ways.
Some attorneys claim to have a heavy emphasis of DUI cases. What does that mean? What is the attorney's DUI caseload like? Is he busy? Does he handle 200 or more DUI cases a year? How many DMV cases does he handle? Being a busy practitioner insures familiarity with the process and a greater knowledge of the law. If he's busy, that means clients think highly of his expertise. It's like anything else, the more you do, the more you learn and the more varied the cases usually are. All of this translates into "knowledge" in the area of DUI law. The more the attorney knows, the better off you are!
Make an appointment with the DUI attorney. They usually offer a free initial consultation. Feel the attorney out. Ask yourself "Do I feel comfortable with the attorney?" Ask him if he is trained in the operation of a breath test machine and certified with regard to the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.
You need to know what the attorney charges. Is it a flat fee or does he charge by the hour? You want the fixed, flat fee. It makes sense. If expert witnesses are needed, who pays for them? Is the cost of a trial extra? How much extra? Ask yourself if you can afford this guy? Understand that fees for a DUI specialist are high, but those fees pale in comparison to what it could cost if you hire someone that's inexperienced. Fees are high for a reason and you should ask what those reasons are. Does the DUI lawyer offer a payment plan?
You may ask "Why do you need a DUI lawyer at all?" The answer is there are many things a conviction affects such as your job, various licenses, i.e. securities licenses, nursing license, license to practice law, commercial driver's license, a medical license and life in general. Also, the penalties are different if you are under 21 or under 18. Abe Lincoln said it best that "A person who represents himself has a fool for a client." Remember, you will have a corresponding DMV case and only the DUI attorney will know how to practice in this maze of confusion.
You should look for an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Walk out of the office of any attorney that tells you to just plead guilty or apply for the program that gets the case dismissed. You are not in his office to have him tell you what you can do for yourself. Doing nothing gets you nothing and it oftentimes lands you in jail along with a license suspension and higher insurance rates.
Even if you find a good attorney, there are no guarantees. However, a good Connecticut DWI attorney should promise to represent you to the best of his ability and do everything he can to minimize fines and stop you from going to jail or losing your license.
We all want to keep the roadways safe. Surely, keeping impaired drivers from operating motor vehicles can reduce the number of auto accidents. But as local authorities get more aggressive in their DUI reduction campaigns, some have raised concerns about drivers getting charged with DUIs even when they are following state laws. In these cases, DUI defense attorneys will work to get DUI charges dismissed or dropped due to problems with breath or blood testing results, or lack of probable cause. Problems with the Breath Testing Device
Breath testing devices are subject to defects, as well as improper maintenance and use. These errors can result in a DUI charge being dropped or reduced:
The breath testing device malfunctions
The breath testing device is not properly maintained or recalibrated
The breath test is not administered properly
Outside factors, such as physiological or environmental factors, interfere with the results of the test