sDUI is a serious crime. I have said before that a lawyer can resolve a minor felony drug case easier than he can resolve a DUI case. The main reason for the enhanced DUI difficulty is a State Law that forbids a prosecutor from reducing a DUI to a lesser included offense. (I have written before on lesser included offenses if you need to refresh your memory on that term.) Another reason for the problem with DUI is the organization MADD. DUI has become a top topic in the past 15 years and each time there is a serious DUI death or injury there is another series of laws introduced in the Legislature to increase the punishment.
If you have the misfortune of being arrested and taken to the police station you are going to be faced with the choice of whether to take the Intoxilizer 8000 test. I wrote in an earlier Blog article about a citizen’s choice of whether to take the Field Sobriety Tests or Portable Test Test. If arrested you must also decide whether you will take the Intoxilizer Test. There is no negative consequence for refusing to take the Field Sobriety Test or Portable Breath Test other then the officer’s anger at being disobeyed. No state law says a person has to take these tests. It is different with the Intoxilizer 8000. State Law provides for a 90 day suspension if a person refuses to take the Intoxilizer 8000. This suspension is called a Administrative Suspension and it cannot be used by your insurance company to raise your rates. The reason why the State of Mississippi wants you to take the Intoxilizer is simple. If you take the test and the result is over .08%, then the law provides that you are guilty, regardless of whether or not your driving was impaired. In other words, you can have perfect driving but if you register over .08%, then you are guilty. The only way to defeat the prosecution’s case is to prove something was wrong with the machine, or to establish that the officer violated the Federal or Mississippi Constitution when he stopped your automobile. A DUI with an Intoxilizer result is a much more difficult and expensive case for the person charged.
The State of Mississippi wants you to take the Intoxilizer so they provide a punishment if you do not. It is a simple matter of convenience for the State. When you get to the police station they officer is going to turn on the machine and let it warm up. When it warms up he will offer you the test. I have many clients who simply do not trust the Intoxilizer machine. I fall into that group that also distrusts the machine. When the officer offers you the machine and you refuse then he is going to put you do as a Refusal DUI. It will then be up to the officer to convince the Court or jury that you were under the influence based on your driving and his observations. If you win your DUI, you could still lose the Breath Test Refusal Hearing. The effect of this would be that you have a 90 day suspension for refusing the breath test but you do not end up with a DUI conviction. As an attorney I am not going to tell you to either take or refuse the DUI Intoxilizer Test. You must decide what to do. I will say that if you feel you have been treated unfairly and want to fight you DUI, you are in a better legal position if you do not take the Intoxilizer 8000 test. I will admit that this is one of the situations where you may feel you are between a rock and a hard space.
Defending against a DUI is difficult. It is not something you want a part-time criminal defense lawyer handling for you. When professionals, doctors, CEO’s, and others like judges get a DUI they have come to Coxwell & Associates. These people recognize the benefits of our experience and aggressive representation. DUI is also expensive. The costs for lawyer fees can range from $4,500.00 to $10,000.00. At Coxwell & Associates our price for a DUI has remained close to the same since 1996. There are a few lawyers who are charging $10,000.00. We have consciously not increased our fees that high because of the economic climate. We know that a driver’s license is essential and if a person wants to fight a DUI we want to provide them a fighting chance by offering reasonable fees. If you get a DUI in the Hinds, Rankin, or Madison County area give us a call for a free appointment. At Coxwell & Associates you will get a fair, honest evaluation of your changes when fighting the DUI.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.