Charged with a DUI/DWI? PART 1
BY: Haden Lawyer, Associate Attorney at the Claiborne Ferguson Law Office
Anyone can get pulled over by the police for any number of reasons. We interact daily with law-abiding citizens who are pulled over for anything from having a license plate light that has burned out to crossing over the center line or fog line on the road. Normally this is an inconvenience and a financial hassle, as it requires you to pay a fine or appear in court. If you have been drinking, it becomes much more than a hassle because you will get charged with DUI. DUI charges and convictions are frequent due to law changes and increased police activity. Some officers are writing over 100 DUI tickets in a year.
I had a drink, but could drive fine…….
What do you do if you are pulled over by police and you have been drinking or using drugs? Even if you are still able to drive well and have only had a drink or two, you are in danger of being arrested, having to make bond, having to hire a lawyer, paying higher insurance rates, and facing punishments including probation, alcohol classes, drug and alcohol testing, and even jail time. In Mississippi, people are being convicted for DUI without breath testing, video evidence or any proof other than the testimony and opinion of the officer. You will need an experienced attorney, but you can make your chance of acquittal better if you know what police are looking for when they pull you over.
Law enforcement officers are trained to investigate DUI in stages. The first stage, vehicle in motion, is where they look for anything they can later argue is indicative of impaired driving. This could be: weaving, improper lane changes, speeding up or slowing down without reason, or an accident. Speeding is not evidence of impairment due to alcohol or drugs. Also, Officers are looking for signs of impaired driving at certain times of night or in certain areas. Know that driving after 9 or 10 PM makes you a target. Officers don't need evidence of impaired driving for an arrest or conviction, but will follow you until they see something they can use for evidence. While it is nearly impossible to drive perfectly, you can help yourself by following every traffic rule and keeping your cool. Do not assume the officer has functioning video equipment you can use later in your defense.
Cases are made more difficult when our clients admit to drinking or using drugs, take field sobriety tests and/or blow over the legal limit. While we encourage our clients and anyone else to be cooperative, polite, and respectful to all law enforcement, that does not require you to incriminate yourself, or to take tests that you are unable to complete successfully due to medical or physical impairments. As with any criminal investigation, your answers to certain questions may incriminate you in ways you cannot predict. Protect your rights and prepare for your defense by choosing the experienced team of lawyers at the Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm. We have successfully defended DUI charges in MS, TN and AR for over 25 years.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Fighting a DUI/DWI is the only way to win. If you are serious about contesting your DUI, then you need to hire a firm dedicated to fighting DUIs. You need to call The Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm, P.A. and let its attorneys go to work for you, building your defense with their knowledge through years of training in DUI defense work. WE ARE DIFFERENT. Our experience and our TEAM APPROACH give us an advantage when building your defense. Because we are committed to your case, we will not give up on you and your rights. We believe in hard work and dedication. We believe in the founding principles for ALL in this great country. We believe in innocence, we believe in our clients, we believe in you.
Call us today!