DUI Lawyer Billings, MT
An allegation of Driving Under the Influence is a very serious charge. The legislature has continuously updated and changed the laws on DUI, creating new and continuous questions about how a trial should be handled.
In 2011 the legislature again made profound changes in the law. Many of these changes we have been challenging in court as unconstitutional.
- Aggravated DUI: they now have a totally new offense which carries additional punishments in addition to the punishments already set for the what offense this might be. There are numerous things that classify a charge as an aggravated DUI. Among them are the fact that your blood alcohol content is a .16 or greater. Another is if you have had a prior offense within 3 years it can be charged as an aggravated DUI.
- They have created a statute which really has profound implications to our right to privacy. The statute used to read that if you refused a test none will be given. The legislature changed that so that officers may apply for a search warrant to forcefully draw your blood if you have ever previously refused a breath test or previously been convicted of a DUI or .08 or are charged with any of those crimes at the time you refuse.
- They adopted what is referred to as the 24/7 program, mandating both pretrial and post-trial monitoring of your blood or breath on a continual basis. This is usually done by requiring breath testing twice a day or wearing a unit that continually monitors your skin for the detect the presence of alcohol. (scram unit.) The statute provides for pretrial monitoring for everyone if they have had a previous conviction.
There has been a big change in law from the 2013 legislature. The initial laws did not have a felony DUI before 1995. To determine what offense was to be charged it was how many you had had in the last 5 years. In 1995 they came out with a felony DUI charge that said if you had 3 previous convictions any time in your lifetime any new allegations would be treated as a felony. This is currently the law.
The 2013 Legislature changed all of that. Now if you have had one prior DUI or .08 conviction a subsequent charge will be treated as a 2nd offense if the 1st offense was within 10 years. 3rd offenses are now treated like the felony DUI statutes. If you ever have 2 DUI convictions any subsequent offenses are now 3rd offenses. The mandatory minimum jail time on a 3rd offense is 30 days in jail.
It is important to get competent advice on what you are facing before entering a guilty plea. You can always plead guilty later, but once you plead guilty it is difficult if not impossible to withdraw that plea. Please contact Brad Arndorfer at Arnderofer Law Firm to see if you have a viable defense.
The legislature always changes the DUI laws. There are a vast array of changes to the law. On Second or subsequent offenses you may no longer receive a probationary license. On any offense if there is someone under the age of 16 in the vehicle with the driver, the penalties are increased. The fines have increased as has some areas of jail time sentences.