October 28, 2021 | DUI
In Kentucky, DUI cases go to trial all the time. We discuss the reasons why in this article. The two main reasons OWI cases go to trial are: 1) the stiff penalties imposed by law, and 2) the many defenses available.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence in Lexington, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. The criminal justice system is complex, and penalties can be serious for an OWI.
Why Do DUI Cases Go To Trial So Often in Lexington?
DUI cases go to trial frequently in Lexington for two main reasons. First, the penalties can be quite serious. Many defendants are unwilling to accept a plea deal that involves jail time and a suspended license. The stiff penalties force many people to take their case to trial.
The second reason that OWI cases go to trial all the time is that experienced DUI lawyers are highly skilled at identifying mistakes made by the police. The complexity of DUI cases provides extra opportunities for skilled legal counsel to win a trial or force a more favorable resolution.
The complicated steps and constitutional rules the police must follow to convict you of a DUI provide opportunities at trial for a good lawyer to fight back. When an attorney uncovers a constitutional violation or mistake, they may be able to get key evidence such as blood test results or incriminating statements thrown out of court!
What are the Penalties for DUI in Kentucky?
The penalties on the table after pleading guilty to a DUI in Lexington are what often push cases to trial. Operating a motor vehicle under the influence can lead to the following penalties after a conviction or guilty plea:
- First Offense: a $200 – $500 fine; two to 30 days in jail; four to six month license suspension
- Second Offense in 10 years: $350 – $500 fine; seven days – six months in jail; 12-18 month license suspension
- Third Offense in 10 years: $500 – $1000 fine; 30 days – one year in jail, community service, 18-36 month license suspension
- Fourth + Offense in 10 years: one to five years prison; 30-60 month license suspension
In addition to these penalties, being convicted of a DUI results in mandatory alcohol or substance abuse treatment and education before you are eligible to get your license back. You can find the directory of approved treatment programs here.
Alcohol and drug counseling typically takes 6-8 weeks to complete. This could go up or down depending on your unique treatment needs as determined by a counselor at treatment intake. Sessions normally take place once per week for three hours.
As you can see, the state of Kentucky takes OWI cases extremely seriously. Being accused of a DUI can subject you to serious hardship. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help with your case.
An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding your charges to gather exculpatory evidence. They can identify police misconduct and violations of your constitutional rights. They can also examine whether the police handled blood tests properly and followed the proper chain of custody.