Despite a nationwide campaign to put an end to drinking and driving, people still make mistakes and get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink. All it takes is one lapse in judgment to end up in handcuffs and facing criminal charges. If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI, for the first time you are likely confused as well as concerned about the outcome of your case. Hiring a Murfreesboro DUI attorney should be your first step toward resolving your case. Once you have done that be sure to tell your Murfreesboro DUI attorney the following five things to ensure that he/she is able to provide you with the best defense and representation possible.
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- Your complete criminal history. A significant percentage of clients fail to tell their defense attorney their complete and accurate criminal history. Sometimes this is because they honestly don’t remember the details of a conviction while in others it is because they hope their history won’t pop up because it was a long time ago and/or from another jurisdiction. Regardless of the reason, failing to tell your attorney your complete and accurate criminal history makes it difficult for your attorney to effectively represent you. A favorable plea agreement, for example, might be negotiated on your behalf only to have it fall apart at the last minute because a previous conviction crops up. Always tell your attorney everything about your criminal history and if you are unsure about something say so.
- The reason the officer initially gave you for the traffic stop. Contrary to popular belief, a police officer cannot randomly conduct a traffic stop without a valid legal reason. That reason might be “pretextual” as is often the case; however, a police officer cannot stop you without sufficient legal reason. A pretextual stop means that officer used a minor traffic infraction, such as a missing license plate light, to pull you over and then conducted a DUI investigation. Make sure you tell your Murfreesboro DUI attorney the reason the officer gave you for the stop because if a valid reason was lacking your attorney might challenge the stop. If the Stop is found to be illegal, any evidence obtained from that illegal stop is inadmissible at trial.
- A detailed timeline of what you ate and drank for the hour prior to the traffic stop. Sometimes. what you did prior to driving is crucial to you defense. For example, if you ate something, then chugged a couple of beers or did a couple of shots of alcohol right before driving, your attorney might be able to use the “Rising Alcohol Defense.” The RAD defense basically argues that your BAC level at the time you were actually driving was much lower because it continued to rise after your arrest and only exceeded the legal limit after your arrest.
- Anything unusual that occurred during the chemical test. Despite what law enforcement officers and prosecutors would have us believe, the results of a breath test are not always conclusive. A number of things can skew the result, including operator error. Your attorney cannot explore these possibilities, however, without knowing everything that occurred during the test.
- Your medical history. Your medical history could be relevant to your chemical test results as well as your performance on the field sobriety tests. Your attorney needs to know about anything that might be useful in your defense.
Remember, your Murfreesboro DUI attorney is on your side. In addition, anything you share with your attorney is protected by attorney-client privilege, meaning nothing you tell him/her will be repeated.
If you have been charged with DUI in the State of Tennessee it is in your best interests to retain the services of an experienced Murfreesboro DUI attorney. The criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby understand what is at stake and will protect you and your rights throughout the prosecution of your case. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.