Of the many categories of criminal prosecutions we routinely handle, nothing imposes greater stress on individuals and families who lead otherwise law-abiding lives than alcohol-related driving offenses. For the average citizen with no previous encounters with the criminal justice system, the routine and necessary act of driving a car gives rise to the greatest exposure to criminal arrest and prosecution.
In the relatively recent past, it was not considered a serious crime to drive after drinking; this is no longer the case.
Prosecutions for DUI offenders now have a high priority status in the criminal courts with increasingly serious penalties, including concurrent administrative proceedings conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles where the loss of driving privileges are routinely imposed with minimal evidentiary requirements.
Here is some simple truth from a criminal practitioner working in the front line trenches:
Constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizures, as set forth in the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, is virtually non-existent when one steps into a car; when coupled with the extravagant hang-them high political climate driven by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and similar groups, anyone stopped for a DUI offense may be better off raising his hands high in the air and pleading for mercy until someone, anyone, pretends to listen.
Fortunately, there are a few lawyers who take a contrary view; and among this group a lesser few competent and capable enough to take on this fight and succeed.
Our CT DUI attorneys have unique experience in this area beginning with Attorney Spinella's involvement as a young practitioner with Connecticut's original passage of a "per se" license revocation statute where driving privileges were revoked without hearing subsequent to arrest. As a civil rights lawyer the denial of a right to property - in this case the need to drive a car - without a due process hearing was greatly distressing.
Along with a group of other criminal defense attorneys, this statute was attacked and subsequently revised resulting in the present right to a full administrative hearing before driving privileges may be revoked.
Thereafter our firm has developed a niche practice in this area where we have defended hundreds of defendants accused of DUI offenses.
In the course of developing our DUI practice, we have pioneered several cutting edge strategies such as the use of expert witnesses, including employment of professional toxicologists and experts in the area of roadside sobriety tests - these tests are routinely misapplied by police officers with minimal training in this area who are pressured by the need to satisfy DUI arrest statistics in order to obtain advancement.
In addition, our experience as civil rights attorneys has allowed us to bring a singular experience and perspective to this area of law; for example, we are unique among attorneys in this area in having initiated civil rights cases against police departments for having violated basic constitutional and statutory protections in conducting DUI arrests.
If you are arrested for a DUI offense keep in mind that as is true for every criminal case - more so in this area of law - you need to act promptly.
Please call us to learn more about our experience and how we can assist you with your case at 860 728-4900.