Were you recently arrested on a felony drunk driving charge in Lexington, Kentucky? If so, you need to take immediate steps to make it as challenging as possible for the prosecutor to convict you and send you to prison. You can begin by contacting a skilled Lexington felony DUI lawyer from Oakley & Oakley, LLC.
Why You Should Hire Oakley & Oakley, LLC After a Felony DUI Arrest
Hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Lexington from Oakley & Oakley, LLC, is a great way to safeguard your freedom and your driving privileges when faced with a felony DUI charge in Kentucky. Here are just a few of the many ways we can assist you with your case:
- Help you understand how the Kentucky justice system functions
- Look for evidence that may convince a judge to dismiss your case
- Provide you with straightforward answers to your legal questions
- Work night and day secure your release from police custody
- Consult with medical experts about the results of your BAC tests
- Research and devise a customized defense strategy for your case
- Stand up for your rights as a citizen of the United States
- Provide you with astute legal advice at every stage of your case
- Thoroughly investigate the events that led to your arrest
- Take care of the administrative side of your felony DUI case
- Work out a plea deal with the prosecuting attorney
- Present evidence and argue on your behalf in court, if necessary
Would you like to have one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys help you fight back against your felony DUI charge? If so, please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation at our Lexington law office. We know how to secure favorable verdicts in cases like yours, and we are ready to go to battle for you.
Understanding the Drunk Driving Laws in the State of Kentucky
Section 189A.010 of the Kentucky Revised Code explains that residents of the Bluegrass State must not “operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle” while they:
- Are under the influence of alcohol
- Have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is higher than 0.08 percent
- Are under the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is higher than 0.02 percent, or
- Are under the influence of a controlled substance
To ascertain whether or not a suspect is driving while under the influence of alcohol, law enforcement officers in the state of Kentucky may use:
- A field sobriety test
- A breathalyzer test
- A blood test, or
- A urine test
According to Kentucky criminal law, a police officer must administer these tests within two hours of the “cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle.” Tests conducted after this deadline passes are generally inadmissible in court.
When Does a DUI Become a Felony in Kentucky?
The state of Kentucky generally classifies drunk driving as a misdemeanor offense. However, the penalties for committing this offense become much more severe with every consecutive conviction.
When a driver gets their fourth DUI in ten years, the state considers them to have committed a Class D felony. This type of offense carries the most severe criminal penalties.
Have you recently been charged with a felony DUI offense in Lexington, KY? If so, please reach out to an experienced DUI defense attorney from Oakley & Oakley, LLC, as soon as you can. Our firm offers free consultations, and we are always ready to help you fight back against your criminal charge.
Consequences of a Felony DUI Conviction in Kentucky
When Lexington residents receive their first DUI, they usually spend a few days in a Fayette County jail and lose their driver’s license for six months. When an individual gets a felony DUI conviction, however, they typically face these penalties:
- At least 120 days in a state prison
- A driver’s license suspension of five years
- Mandatory admission to a one-year alcohol abuse course
Lexington residents who go to prison for felony DUI convictions must stay there for the duration of their sentence. They may not apply for parole.
How Aggravating Circumstances May Impact Felony DUI Penalties
When motorists in Lexington get caught drunk driving under “aggravating circumstances,” the state of Kentucky may double their prison or jail time.
Some of the circumstances that the state of Kentucky considers to be “aggravating” include:
- Driving a car more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit
- Driving a car in the wrong direction on a limited-access road
- Causing a crash that results in a death or a severe physical injury
- Driving a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is higher than 0.15 percent
- Refusing to submit to BAC testing
- Traveling with passengers who are younger than 12 years of age
This law means that the minimum prison term for aggravated felony DUIs in the state of Kentucky is 240 days.
Collateral Consequences of Felony Convictions in Kentucky
When courts find Lexington residents guilty of felony DUI, they don’t just send them to prison and take away their driver’s license. They also add a felony conviction to their permanent criminal record.
People with criminal records of this nature often experience problems like:
- Trouble Landing a Job: Businesses in the state of Kentucky often have strict policies against the hiring of convicted felons.
- Professional Licensing Issues: Lexington residents with felony convictions on their criminal records can have trouble renewing their professional licenses.
- Trouble Getting Student Loans: The federal government makes it all but impossible for felons to obtain student loans and grants.
- Loss of Gun Ownership Rights: In Kentucky, convicted felons do not have the legal right to own, carry, or use any firearms.
- Loss of Privacy: People with criminal records do not have a lot of privacy in Kentucky. Their friends, family, and colleagues can look up the details of their crimes online at any time.
- Difficulty Finding Housing: Landlords and leasing agents in the state of Kentucky regularly reject rental applications from felons.
- Immigration Issues: Federal agencies like ICE regularly deport non-citizen felons after they serve out their prison sentences.
- Harsher Future Punishments: When convicted criminals in the state of Kentucky get into trouble with the law again in the future, they usually receive much more severe sentences.
Generally speaking, the only way Lexington residents can be free of these consequences is to convince a judge to expunge their criminal record.
Do you need a seasoned DUI lawyer in Lexington, KY, to help you fight to avoid the negative consequences of a felony conviction? If so, please get in touch with Oakley & Oakley, LLC, at your earliest convenience. We have years of experience in the industry and know how to win cases like yours.
Defenses Against Kentucky Felony DUI Charges
When faced with felony driving under the influence charges, the residents of Lexington often think that it is just a matter of time before a prosecutor convicts them, sends them to prison, and suspends their driver’s license.
Fortunately, things are seldom quite so bleak. Indeed, many arrestees can get their felony charge dismissed or reduced by using one of the following defense strategies:
Illegal Traffic Stop
Law enforcement officers in the United States can only pull drivers over if they have reasonable suspicion that they are committing a crime. When a lawyer shows that the police did not have a legitimate reason to stop their client, they can often convince the jury to render a not guilty verdict.
Improper Administration of a BAC Test
When conducting BAC tests, law enforcement officers and lab technicians must follow certain procedures. If they fail to do so, defense lawyers may claim that the results are inaccurate, and the court should suppress them. If this argument is successful, they might be able to get the jury to acquit their client because of a lack of evidence.
Inaccurate Testing Equipment
BAC testing equipment is not infallible. These machines frequently break and produce inaccurate test results. When a criminal defense lawyer can prove that a defective machine caused their client’s results to be invalid or inaccurate, they generally have little trouble getting the case dismissed.
Would you like to have a DUI attorney from Oakley & Oakley, LLC, analyze the details of your felony charge and help you devise an effective defense strategy? If so, please give us a call today to set up a meeting with one of our legal professionals. Our team has handled a myriad of cases like yours over the years, so you can feel confident that we will point you in the right direction.
A Lexington Felony DUI Lawyer You Can Count On
When you need a knowledgeable Lexington felony DUI lawyer to help you battle back against the accusations of the state of Kentucky, there is only one law firm you ought to call – Oakley & Oakley, LLC. Our legal team has been handling cases like yours for years – achieving a myriad of favorable verdicts along the way. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your case.