When DUI and Travel Collide: Know Your Rights
Traveling can be enjoyable or intense, depending on the reason for commuting. Vacations are often fun-filled and do not require a specific timetable. Commercial travel is different because deadlines and appointment schedules are often serious components of the activity. Of course, many business trips can include recreational activities or enjoying destination entertainment venues in the traveler’s free time. This can also include alcohol consumption, which can result in complicated situations when a charge for driving under the influence is received in an unfamiliar state. It is important to understand the driving laws in the particular state of travel, even for a first DUI conviction.
Retaining an Attorney
Finding an attorney licensed in the state of occurrence can be difficult. Search engines can be useful in this situation. By inputting the area you are looking for an attorney, for example “DUI lawyers in Orlando FL” if your DUI charge was based in Orlando, will provide a list of attorneys that are experienced in DUI law within the first few pages. Also from this list a person can browse a prospective attorney’s website and read online reviews about them. Sometimes another method of finding an attorney would be by contacting an attorney from home, who might possibly be licensed themselves in the charging state, or for asking their help in locating an attorney by referral.
A legal professional reference may also help in bond disposition, but flight risks can be problematic with some court systems. The interstate DUI-record recognition compact can also apply, so a previous conviction in any state can still enhance a DUI charge regardless of location. It is also important to hire an attorney that is familiar with the local court system, especially in major cities. Fighting an intoxicated driving conviction from a different state can be complicated. It is always a good idea to have a local attorney who can appear as a legal representative.
Some states allow bail bondsmen and some do not. The defendant is completely at the mercy of the state if no bonding agency is allowed. Getting released on bond is often up to a bonding agency is participating states, and the defendant should be prepared to sign a promissory note if the bond is considerable. Failure to appear in court will result in forfeit of the posted bond and the bonding agency can request police assistance in locating the bonded client. In addition, the agency can activate the promissory note. A bonding agency can be a great advantage in an unfamiliar location and references can help immensely. Most courts set a standard bond in impaired driving cases when there are no additional aggravating circumstances, and holding a DUI defendant without bond is not exactly legal, but can still occur.
Right to Trial
All defendants have a right to a trial by jury in any criminal charge, and an effective DUI attorney can negotiate with the local court system for a reduced charge in borderline impairment cases with this in mind. All states use the standard of .08 BAC level in assumption of legal intoxication. Reckless driving is usually classified at the .05 BAC level and the prosecutor has the authority to reduce the charge by one level. Failure to adjust the charge can result in an actual trial and problematic arrests can be beaten in court for several reasons. Always hire an attorney that is willing to take a case to trial when necessary because even a first conviction for DUI can impact all subsequent charges. Additionally, a conviction creates a criminal record as well as a stain on the defendant driving record, and will impact insurance rates for years to come in addition to creating increased fines and possible incarceration.
All defendants are required to appear personally for a trial, but a settlement can often be reached after the defendant has returned home. Having an experienced attorney can help make the process much simpler, and is well worth the investment for a reduced adjudication or a possible case dismissal, which is rare.
Legal writer Lisa Coleman offers information on some rights a person charged with a DUI should understand and ways to find legal representation for their case. Katz & Phillips, P.A., a firm of DUI lawyers in Orlando FL, understands the nightmare and effects of being charged with DUI which an individual will suffer, and is committed and equipped to counsel such a client and handle the legalities that ensue.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12801018@N00/8684229367/
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