Attorney David Serna is a sole practitioner who has been practicing criminal law for over twenty-eight years. He is Board Certified by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization as a Trial Specialist in Criminal Law and is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Diplomate and Trial Advocate in Criminal Law. Additionally, Mr. Serna is the first New Mexico lawyer to be named a Founding Member of the National College For DUI Defense, Summer Programs at Harvard Law School.
Contact New Mexico Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer David Serna today to protect your freedom. Call toll free at 866-654-8163 or send an email using the contact form in the left-hand column, or visit his website for more information.
A DUI charge may result when someone is operating, or is in actual physical control, of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance, to the extent that their mental faculties are impaired, and/or their BAC is above the legal limit. In all states, it is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. In order to be convicted of DUI, it must be shown that you were driving or possessed actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of arrest. It must further be shown by the state's prosecution that the arresting officer had a reasonable, articulable suspicion for stopping or approaching the vehicle, or, if you were stopped at a roadblock, that the roadblock was set up in accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
DUI charges are among the most common criminal charges filed against individuals. Even for a first offense, the penalties can include license suspension, substantial fines, mandatory attendance at a state or DMV approved alcohol program, and mandatory overnight jail time. In addition, a DUI conviction stays on your DMV record for at least 7 years, and typically results in higher insurance premiums. Further, you may become ineligible for credit, and the conviction may jeopardize your employment. Thus, if you have been charged with a DUI offense, you will need experienced and aggressive representation by a skilled DUI attorney, who will not only inform you of your rights, but will fight for your exoneration.
Can an DUI offender plea bargain a DUI case?
Due to current law enforcement trends that focus on the prevention of DUI cases through harsh penalization, most district attorneys refuse to negotiate plea bargains in DUI cases, especially if evidence of the violation is strong. In fact, many states have enacted laws prohibiting government attorneys from entering into plea bargains with DUI defendants. However, rare circumstances may reduce a DUI charge to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving or an open beverage violation.
What is a "rising BAC defense?"
It is illegal to have an excessive blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of driving, NOT at the time of being tested. Since it takes between 30 minutes and 3 hours for alcohol to be absorbed into the system, an individual's BAC level is likely to continue rising for some time after the individual has stopped drinking. Typically, it is an hour or more after a DUI apprehension when a blood, breath or urine test is administered to a DUI suspect. If the suspect's BAC level measures .10%, and assuming he or she has continued to absorb alcohol since the arrest, the suspect's BAC level at the actual time of driving may have been .07% or lower, depending on when alcohol consumption began. Thus, the suspect's BAC at the time of arrest may have been under the legal limit.
What DUI symptoms is an officer typically looking for?
The traditional symptoms of drug and alcohol intoxication are:
- Flushed face
- Red, glassy, or bloodshot eyes
- Odor of alcohol on breath and in vehicle
- Slurred speech
- Failure to comply with the officer's questions
- Staggering when exiting vehicle
- Instability on feet
- Leaning on car for support
- Combative, argumentative, or other inappropriate attitude
- Soiled or disorderly clothing
- Stumbling while walking
- Disorientation as to time and location