Vermont DUI and DWI Attorneys
Vermont law takes all DUI and DWI crimes seriously—in fact, third and subsequent convictions are charged as felony crimes. If you are arrested for drunk driving, you need a skilled Vermont DUI lawyer from the moment of arrest and throughout the criminal process. Anchored by former prosecutors, the lawyers at Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick have the experience needed to develop the best defense possible for your situation.
From the time police stop you—and until you are placed under arrest—you need to handle the situation without legal representation, so it is important to have a basic understanding of Vermont DUI, DWI and drunk driving laws. The following tips should help you protect your rights until a DWI defense attorney from Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick is there to help:
- Speaking with police. Always remain calm and courteous when speaking with police. And while you are obligated to present your license and insurance card, you do not need to answer questions about your driving ability.
- Blood alcohol tests. Two types of tests can be requested by police. The field sobriety test is a basic test of balance and other abilities, and you do not have to agree to this type of testing. Vermont implied consent law requires you to agree to chemical testing, such as a breathalyzer test. If you refuse this test, you face automatic license suspension, separate from any other penalties you might face if convicted of DUI.
- Searches. Police are permitted to conduct searches under three basic situations:
- If they have a search warrant
- If they have probable cause, such as evidence is in plain view
- If you grant permission to conduct a warrantless search
If they have sufficient cause, police may conduct the search without a warrant or your permission. This search may be legal, but be sure to make a mental note of everything they say and do—an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Vermont can often use this information to throw out evidence collected in an illegal search.
Field Sobriety and Breath Tests
Although the law generally protects defendants from self-incrimination, one notable exception is in the case of certain types of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests. Vermont implied consent law operates under the principle that any licensed driver consents to BAC testing by virtue of operating a vehicle.
- Chemical blood alcohol tests. Most commonly, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test during the traffic stop or at the police station after arrest. If you refuse testing, your license is suspended for six months, regardless of the eventual outcome of your DUI case.
The BAC testing requirements may add a degree of difficulty to your legal defense. However, the Vermont DUI law firm of Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick has extensive experience refuting this evidence whenever possible. This is just one approach we take to develop an effective case on your behalf.
Refuting Certain BAC Evidence
DUI and DWI lawyers must look closely at all evidence used against you, including the details of how testing was conducted, the experience of the individual who conducted the test, and even the equipment used for testing. The skilled attorneys at Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick in Vermont can use a number of techniques for refuting test results, such as the following:
- Defendant information about the test. If you pay close attention to how the test was conducted and report any abnormalities to your attorney—such as if you overheard police questioning breathalyzer results or noticed nervousness or inexperience on the part of police, this information can be helpful.
- Inaccuracy of testing equipment. Results from hand-held breathalyzers used during traffic stops are typically less accurate than results from the table-top models used at the police station.
- Arrest reports. A careful examination of the arrest report completed by police can uncover language indicating potential problems with test results—or with other police procedures performed during the traffic stop.
When you bring your case to the Vermont DUI lawyers of Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick in Vermont, you can be assured that our experienced attorneys conduct a thorough investigation of everything that led up to your arrest to ensure no illegal evidence is used against you in court.
Contact an Experienced DUI and DWI attorney in Vermont today
Drunk driving charges require the immediate support of experienced DUI and DWI defense attorneys. The law firm of Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick in Vermont aggressively represent you, handling your case with skill and sensitivity. Call us at 802-863-1191 or contact us online today.