Drinking and driving is a serious criminal offense with severe consequences. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Lexington, KY, understanding the potential penalties and how to build a defense are the most critical aspects of the case.

Overview of DUI Penalties in Kentucky

In Lexington, Kentucky, the penalties for driving under the influence offenses are severe and escalate with each subsequent offense. For all DUI convictions, you could possibly face jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, drug/alcohol classes, and the requirement to have an ignition interlock device installed. 

Even if it’s your first DUI charge, a conviction could result in jail time of up to 30 days. 

Besides these direct penalties, a DUI conviction can also have collateral consequences such as increased insurance rates, employment difficulties, especially in jobs requiring driving, and potential barriers to certain types of professional licensures. A DUI can also lead to serious immigration consequences, such as deportation. These indirect effects could impact your life long after the legal penalties have been fulfilled.

Fighting a DUI Case in Lexington

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s essential to understand what steps you need to take to fight these charges to protect your freedom and your future. Here are some of the most important steps you can take: 

Hire a Lawyer

Securing legal representation as soon as possible after an arrest should be your first step. An experienced criminal defense lawyer who specializes in DUI cases will be invaluable. They’ll understand the nuances of Kentucky law and how it applies to your specific situation. 

Collect Evidence

This could include witness statements, video footage from nearby security cameras or police body cams that might reveal inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, results of breathalyzer tests, and anything else that may help your case. Your lawyer will scrutinize every piece of evidence to build a solid defense strategy.

Build a Defense

Your lawyer will build a defense strategy to help you get the best outcome possible. Some of the most common ways to fight a DUI include:

Examining Arrest Procedures

Your lawyer will look closely to see if the arresting officer followed protocol. Any lapses could be used in your defense – like if there was no probable cause for the initial traffic stop or if they searched you or your vehicle illegally. In these instances, your attorney can file a motion to suppress to have any evidence recovered or statements made after the violation dismissed, which would severely weaken or destroy the prosecutor’s case. 

Challenging the Breathalyzer’s Accuracy

Your attorney might also challenge the results of a breathalyzer test. There are strict maintenance and calibration protocols for these devices, and if they’re not followed, the result can be disputed. The accuracy of these tests also depends on proper administration by law enforcement officials.

Negotiating with Prosecutors

One aspect of fighting a DUI case you might not immediately think about is plea bargaining. In some situations, after assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the case against you, your lawyer may think it’s best to negotiate a lesser charge or penalty in exchange for pleading guilty if it’s in your best interest. This can lead to lesser penalties compared to the ones you will face if you go to trial and are convicted. 

Considering Alternative Explanations

There could be explanations unrelated to alcohol consumption that explain your physical appearance, behavior, or driving mistakes that the officer is using as evidence of your intoxication. 

For example, certain medical conditions, medications, or just being fatigued may be used as explanations as to why the officer believed you were impaired. 

Contact an Experienced Lexington DUI Defense Attorney at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

The best defense to use will be determined by the circumstances of your actions and what your lawyer believes is the best strategy. 

For more information, contact the DUI defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers. Give us a call today at (859) 569-4014 or visit us at our Lexington law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507