Defining Under the Influence

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“Impairment” means you have ingested some substance that interferes with your sound judgment, reaction time, and ability to think clearly. Most drivers believe that driving under the influence only pertains to alcohol, but you can also be intoxicated, or impaired, by drugs.

While alcohol is an actual intoxicating substance, legal and illegal drugs also come under the DUI category. Prescription drugs that impair your ability to drive defensively will say so on the drug container label and alert you not to drive a car or operate machinery while taking that drug.

Illegal drugs may impair your driving ability to the point that you cause harm, injury, or death of another person. Any of these influences can bring you a charge of driving while intoxicated, or a DUI. Causing a negligent injury or death of someone else carries with it a felony charge.

What Happens When a Policeman Finds You Driving Intoxicated

You may be driving erratically, or perhaps you caused an accident on the road. The police officer who pulls your car over or is the first to arrive at the scene of an accident can determine whether you were driving under the influence of a substance through on-site testing.

Research finds that Breath Alcohol Testing (breathalyzers) are not all that accurate. Breathalyzers are meant to determine how many particles of breath alcohol are in your lungs, and the results are often in dispute.

The police officer will no doubt take you to jail or call an ambulance if you need medical attention. When in jail, you await your bond to be paid so you can get out of jail. Wait time in jail is 24-48 hours.

Your driver’s license can be suspended within a window of 30 days unless you request a hearing. However, you cannot request a hearing on your own accord — only your attorney can request a hearing for you.

The first and most critical thing to do after you are charged with a DUI is to call a seasoned DUI attorney for help. Contacting a seasoned DUI attorney is especially important if you caused the injury or death of another person due to your intoxication. You will appear in court with your DUI attorney by your side to state your case.

Your DUI attorney must make a hearing request at the DMV. This step is the only way to save your license. If you feel you cannot afford an attorney, the public defender will take your case. However, neither a privately retained attorney nor a public defender can get your citation removed or your penalties reduced.

A suspended license can interfere with your ability to work, attend appointments, and participate in social gatherings. The court may provide you with a temporary but restricted license so you can get to work or school and court-appointed rehabilitation programs and treatment. To obtain a temporary license, you may have to show the court proof that you are seeking substance abuse help.

A DUI attorney has specialized training and education and is seasoned and experienced in cases of this sort. Before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle or machine, know that if you are caught in an intoxicated state, you may face a fine of well over $10,000. Your attorney can come to your defense and get your charges reduced or eliminated. This fee includes your fees for a DUI attorney and other expenses associated with your DUI charge. DUI cases can last from six to twelve months.

When to Hire an Attorney

At some point in every person’s life, they will likely need the expert guidance of an attorney. If you find you are fighting a DUI charge and know you will go to court, hiring the appropriate attorney helps you fight the charge. Never attempt to go to court without a seasoned DUI attorney by your side. Fees for a DUI attorney in Kentucky are variable, depending on your situation.

A DUI charge requires the guidance of an attorney whose expertise is on DUI charges. You should not hire a family lawyer or a bankruptcy lawyer to fight your DUI in court.

  • When you step into a courtroom, on time, with your attorney, make sure you are appropriately dressed. The judge checks your identity and reviews all of your charges. The judge will ask if you plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Bail conditions are reviewed.
  • Show respect to the judge.
  • Your attorney guides you through the process.

The Cost of DUI Representation

You must be prepared to pay the consequences of your actions of driving while intoxicated.

  • At the very minimum, the penalty for a first-time conviction in the state of Kentucky is possibly two to 30 days in jail. The judge may allow the exchange of community service for jail time.
  • If this is your second DUI offense, you could look at six months in jail.
  • If this is your third offense, you could spend one year in jail.
  • In addition to possible jail time or community service, you will be charged steep fees for making the wrong decision to drive while intoxicated.

The dollar amount for a DUI charge is as follows, not including other fees attached to these figures, such as insurance and bail costs.

  • The first DUI offense is $200 to $500.
  • The second offense is $350 to $500.
  • The third offense is $500 to $1,000.

Getting Legal Help with a DUI Charge

As soon as you know you are charged with a DUI in Kentucky, contact an experienced attorney. A seasoned attorney can sit with you and clearly explain the process set in motion by your DUI charge. At that time, you can ask about the fees for a DUI attorney.

Dan Carman

Focusing on criminal matters, Mr. Carman is admitted to practice law in all Courts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. He is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Fayette County Bar Associations.

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