Law firms handle different areas of law: criminal defense, personal injury, bankruptcy, family law, wills and estate planning, etc. In addition, some attorneys in Connecticut only practice criminal defense including a broad range of cases in addition to DUI such as white collar crimes, sexual assaults, and domestic violence.
Also, when choosing to hire an attorney for a DUI case, ask this question: “What percentage of your practice focuses on DUI cases?” You should look to hire a DUI defense lawyer who has a large knowledge base regarding the total sphere of laws, procedure, and science that DUI cases encompass. Also, there are many intricacies of DUI law, and even the tiniest detail could potentially affect the outcome of your case and the status of your driver’s license. Also, many attorneys advertise DUI defense. Based on my experience of handling thousands of DUI cases, I recommend hiring an attorney who focuses their entire practice on Connecticut DUI law, rather than a general practitioner.
The sooner you consult with and retain an attorney, the better. The few weeks after the arrest are absolutely critical, and you have to do everything to put yourself in the best position to move forward and get a favorable outcome. Also, time-sensitive information (such as a DMV reference number and other documents) needs to go to your attorney as soon as possible to prepare for your DMV hearing.
In order to discuss your case with the prosecutor, your attorney will need to know details about your motor vehicle and criminal history. The events leading up to the arrest are also vitally important and your attorney will request your narrative of exactly what happened the day or night the arrest.
Some of the questions that may be relevant to your case are:
- Where were you the night of your arrest?
- Did you consume any prescription medication within a day of the arrest?
- Did the officer tell you the basis for the traffic stop?
- Who were you with when you were pulled over?
- What did the officer say to you when you were first pulled over?
- Did you admit to drinking alcohol?
If you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint, your attorney may need to know the following information:
- Did you know that a sobriety checkpoint was ahead?
- Were you given any notice of the checkpoint?
- If yes, what type of notice was given?
- Were you given an opportunity ahead of the checkpoint to avoid the checkpoint?
- How many other cars were ahead of you at the checkpoint?
- Did you attempt to turn away from the checkpoint before reaching it?
- How long did you have to wait in line at the checkpoint?
- Did you notice any pattern in which vehicles were being directed into the checkpoint?
- What did the initial conversation with the officer who approached your window consist of?
If you were involved in a car accident in addition to a DUI case, some of the questions involved will be:
- How exactly did the accident occur?
- Did the airbag deploy?
- Were you injured?
- Was any other passenger in your vehicle injured?
- If yes, what were the injuries?
- Was anyone else in another vehicle injured?
- After the accident, did you leave the scene of the accident?
- Did you call the police or did someone else call?
To determine evidence of sobriety during initial police contact, your attorney may ask these questions:
- How did the officer approach the vehicle?
- What did the officer first say to you?
- Did the officer ask if you had been drinking?
- How did you respond?
- Did the officer ask for license, registration, and proof of insurance?
- If the answer is yes, where were these documents located?
- Did you have any problems locating these documents?
- Did the police officer ask anyone else in the vehicle any other questions?
- If yes, what did they respond?
- Did you have any additional conversation with the officer before getting out of the vehicle?
Field Sobriety Tests
Questions involving field sobriety tests include:
- Did the officer request that you step out of the vehicle in order to perform field sobriety tests?
- Were you informed that these tests are voluntary?
- Did you agree to perform these tests?
- Did you have any issues whatsoever getting out of the car (i.e. stumbling, tripping, balance, etc.)
- Were you asked if you have any medical conditions that could affect you taking the field sobriety tests?
- If yes, what was your response?
- Do you have any medical issues that could have affected your performance?
- What type of shoes were you wearing?
- Do you wear contact lenses?
- Where specifically did the officer make you perform these tests?
- What were the weather conditions like when you performed these tests?
- Were any emergency lights flashing from the police officer’s vehicles when you were performing these tests?