Paducah DUI Attorney
LOOKING FOR A DUI ATTORNEY?
ZEALOUS AND FEARLESS DEFENSE OF YOUR RIGHTS, REPUTATION AND FREEDOM IN YOUR DUI CASE
If you have been charged with a DUI, you may be hoping on some level it just goes away without too much trouble. Perhaps you are thinking that you will show up in court, tell the judge that it was all a misunderstanding and you meant no harm, and that you will be released without a criminal record, jail time or fines. For the thousands of people in Kentucky charged with DUIs, it can be tempting to think this way as most individuals have never had a problem with the law before and therefore have little to no familiarity with the criminal justice system.
The truth of the matter is that, if you have been charged with DUI, you are facing serious consequences that could negatively impact your freedom, finances, career and personal reputation. Hoping it will all go away without employing the services of an zealous, fearless and experienced DUI defense attorney is a recipe for disaster.
As a former criminal prosecutor for 9 years, Meridith knows how the system works from both sides, and she knows what it takes to ensure that the negative consequences are minimized as much as possible. As your DUI attorney, she will zealously and fearlessly fight for your rights in your DUI case to protect your freedom, reputation, and finances and get your life back to normal.
PENALTIES FOR A DUI
The Commonwealth of Kentucky imposes serious penalties for even first-time DUI offenders (drivers who register a .08 BAC or higher), including:
- License suspension of between 30 and 120 days
- Jail time of between 2 and 30 days
- Fines of between $200 and $500 (not including court costs)
- Mandatory attendance of substance abuse treatment program
More serious penalties can be imposed if the prosecution proves any of the following aggrivated circumstances:
- Driving 30 MPH over the speed limit
- Driving the wrong way on a road
- Refusal to submit to a mandatory Breathalyzer test at the station
- Transporting a passenger under 12 years of age
- Having a BAC of .15 or higher
Multiple offenses within a 10 year period can result in vastly increased jail times, license suspensions, fines, and other penalties.
KENTUCKY’S IMPLIED CONSENT LAW
If you are arrested for DUI in Kentucky, you are required to take the chemical test administered at the local jail or police station. This could either be a breath, blood, or urine test, and it must be given within two hours of when you were last driving. Most often, you will be tested with a breathalyzer machine. When you apply for a driver’s license in Kentucky, you give your consent to take the chemical test if an officer has probable cause to arrest you for DUI. This is known as “implied consent” law.
Refusal to take the required chemical test after a DUI arrest can result in harsh penalties:
- First Offense: Driver’s license revocation for a period of 30 to 120 days
- Second Offense: Driver’s license revocation for 12 to 18 months
- Third Offense: Driver’s license revocation for 24 to 26 months
- Fourth and Subsequent Offense: Driver’s license revocation for 60 months
Additional consequences for refusing the mandatory chemical test include:
- You are not able to obtain a hardship license after you complete the mandatory minimum license suspension period;
- You cannot get your driving privileges reinstated until your case is resolved;
- Your refusal could be used by prosecutors as evidence against you at trial;
- If you are convicted for DUI after refusing to take the chemical test, your jail time is doubled.
It is important to note that the mandatory breathalyzer, blood, or urine test that is administered at the local jail or police station after a drunk driving arrest is not the same as the preliminary breath test (PBT) you may be asked to take before you are arrested. The PBT is NOT mandatory and there are no enhanced penalties for refusing to take it. The officer may imply that the PBT is mandatory, or that taking it will help you, but this is simply not the case.
In general, the only person who is helped by the results of a preliminary breath test is the arresting officer. The officer can use the results to establish probable cause to place you under arrest for drunk driving. Without these results, the case against you will likely be much weaker. For example, if it is found that the officer lacked probable cause for the arrest, any subsequent evidence (such as the mandatory chemical test) would be inadmissible. For this reason, there is usually no good reason to submit to a PBT, unless you know for sure that you will register a BAC of below .08.
OVERCOMING YOUR DUI CHARGE
Even if you may have failed the mandatory chemical (breathalyzer, blood, or urine) test, there are numerous legal strategies that your criminal defense / DUI attorney can pursue in arguing for a not guilty verdict or in negotiating reduced penalties. It is important to remember that prosecutors must prove all elements of a DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt, and all evidence against you must have been legally obtained by the police.
Among other things, the police must have a legally valid reason (probable cause) to arrest you and administer the test. Furthermore, the accuracy of the test and other evidence can be questioned. Other potential DUI defense strategies may include:
- The defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was under .08 at the time the defendant was driving, even though it was above .08 when the test was given at the police station. This argument can often be made if the last drink was consumed shortly before driving;
- There were no signs of impairment and the defendant was driving with the care and caution of a sober person, therefore, the results of the chemical test cannot be trusted;
- The defendant was not operating the vehicle and was not in physical control of it;
- The defendant drove the vehicle to avoid harm and/or out of legal necessity.
As a former prosecutor for 9 years, Meridith has earned a great reputation with judges, prosecutors, and police, and she puts her extensive experience and skills to work to fight for the best possible outcome in your DUI case.
CONTACT MERIDITH CLYMER TODAY
Being arrested for drunk driving can be a frightening and unsettling experience. You may be uncertain about the future and not sure where to turn for help. With so much at stake, you need a DUI attorney who understands the complexities of the Kentucky DUI laws and the most effective defense strategies to mitigate the situation as much as possible. You are not alone, contact Meridith today at (270) 201-2973 of CLICK HERE for a free initial consultation.