I was pulled over on december 23rd at 3:00 am. and i was arrested for a DUI. I am 18 years old, and this is my first conviction of a DUI. I was asked by a police officer to step out of my car to perform several field sobriety tests, and then I was arrested. Once I arrived at the police station I was given a breathalyzer test in which I scored .0348. I was then released on a 500 dollar bail and scheduled a court date for January 7th. I am very concerned about this due to the fact that I am currently in a legalization/naturalization process.
Yes, you should contact a lawyer (or more than one to find the one who is the best fit for you). I would not advise that you go at this alone. A lawyer can counsel you on what you should expect to happen during the court process. Best of luck to you.
Your question is do I "need" an attorney. It is impossible to know what your definition of the word "need" is. People often times are asking this question in order to see if they can save on the cost of attorney. Anyone who is accused of violating the laws of the state of Connecticut can always be benefited by the use of an attorney. That doesn't mean that they "need" an attorney. In your particular case, as a former Danbury prosecutor, there are a number of variables that would lead to the conclusion that in your particular case you would be benefited by the use of an attorney. First, you are under the legal drinking age which means that a court will look at your case in a different light than it would a standard DWI. Your legal limit is .02 rather than .08. You were also out very late in the evening, or early in the morning, depending on how you want to phrase it. The good part is that you were just over the legal limit for someone under the age of 21 years old yet you don't tell us what the second breath test result was. There needs to be two tests if the testing was done to standard. The fact that you were also concerned about immigration or naturalization impact also requires that you seek the advice of a lawyer who specializes in immigration law. You are eligible for a program called the alcohol education program. It is available to first-time offenders who've not use the program before in the last 10 years and who do not have a previous conviction for DWI in Connecticut or any other state. What you lose by applying for a program on your own is to have a person knowledgeable in criminal law review the motor vehicle stop, the application of the field sobriety test, as well as the breath testing procedure that was used. You will also likely not know how to file for an appeal of the resulting motor vehicle suspension of your driver's license that will ensue over the next 10 days. Unless you're familiar with that area you will lose the advice as to whether or not there were any particular problems with the actions of the police officer in your case, or if you have grounds to appeal the susnesion of your license. You also have to fill out all the forms of the paperwork for the alcohol education program without the aid of an attorney and have to argue the application before the court on your own. If you're comfortable with all this that you could proceed without an attorney.
This is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is absolutely NOT legal advice that you should rely upon when making a decision. It is general information about the law in Connecticut. You need to consult with an attorney who will ask you all the facts necessary to give you specific legal advice for your situation.
If this is your first DWI arrest thatn you very well may not have any conviction on your record when this is all over. The surest way to accomplish that is to hire an attorney to guide you through the process quickly and efficiently. When you hire a lawyer you are hiring a profeesional who has not only graduated college, but also graduated to law school, successfully passed the bar examinations of the state in which they are licensed and can draw upon years of experience to assist you in your time of need. The real question here is "why would you not hire a lawyer?". If you were sick you would go to the doctor's office, right? Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Most offer free consultations.
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