Trusting your Mississippi DUI to any ole lawyer won’t work. If you want to beat it and stay out of jail you need professional help. Our DUI attorneys received the same training as the police officer that arrested you. We know all the tricks that cops use to get you to believe there’s no way of winning. Whether you’re a first time offender and you want advice about Mississippi’s non adjudication statute, or you’re someone who wants to take your DUI to trial, our lawyers will guide you through every step of the process. Remember, we want to win just as bad as you do, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure your case reaches a satisfactory outcome.
Like most states, DUI law in Mississippi is messed up. Whether you’re completely sober or just teetering the line, if you’re stopped for suspicion of drunk driving you almost certainly will go to jail. This is because Mississippi’s DUI enforcement incentivizes police officers to make DUI arrests even when there is no probable cause. On top of that, recent court opinions make it clear that doing well on standardized field sobriety tests have no bearing on whether you’re ultimately charged with DUI. This means you cannot talk or perform your way out of going to jail even if you pass SFST’s. Take our advice, if you’re pulled over for suspected drunk driving, do not make a statement, You will only incriminate yourself. We’ve seen many people go to jail for “just having a couple of beers a few hours ago.” Also, do not agree to take a field sobriety test or a breath/blood alcohol test. These tests, like the field sobriety tests, are based on junk science and usually administered by horribly under trained police officers. You will certainly go to jail, but hey, trust us, you were heading there anyway.
Unfortunately, if you’re reading this website then you’ve either been charged with DUI or you know someone who has. Relax, you’ve come to the right place. Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood, PLLC hosts the top, most successful DUI attorneys in Mississippi. We have produced victories against impossible odds, and, unlike other Mississippi DUI lawyers, we are never afraid of going to trial. If you’re egregiously and wrongfully charged with DUI, or are guilty of having one two many, consider Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood, PLLC for all your Mississippi DUI needs.
When am I too impaired to drive?
In Mississippi, the legal limit is .08, but you can also be charged with DUI based solely on the police officer's observations. This is referred to as common law DUI.
Are DWI and DUI different crimes?
Some states call the crime “driving while intoxicated,” but, in Mississippi, it’s called “driving under the influence.”
Can I sleep it off in my car?
No. Mississippi defines operating a motor vehicle broadly. Anyone in physical control of a vehicle can be charged with DUI. If you have the keys inside the vehicle, even in your pocket, you can be charged with driving under the influence. After all, many people wake up and think they are sober, but are not.
Can DUI be expunged?
Yes, in certain circumstances. To qualify for DUI non-adjudication and expungement, it must be your first offense. If you have a prior criminal conviction you are not eligible. Also, you must not have refused the breath test; there is a non-adjudication fee that must be paid as well as all fines and court costs that would have been imposed under a normal DUI conviction; you must attend and complete an alcohol safety class; finally, you must install an ignition interlock device on your car, obtain an interlock restricted driver’s license for 120 days, and not have any interlock violations. Once all of these conditions are satisfied you may petition the court for a dismissal and expungement.
Is DUI a felony?
In Mississippi, a 3rd offense DUI is a felony.
Will I go to jail?
In Mississippi, you will be arrested and most law enforcement agencies will hold you for 6-8 hours. A bond is usually required to leave the jail facility.
My loved one is in jail, when should I post their bond?
It can be hard to watch a loved one sit in jail for any amount of time. However, you should be mindful that the minimum sentence for DUI is 48 hours. Many people bond out well before 48 hours only to have to go back to serve the remainder of the minimum sentence.
Do I need a lawyer?
Due to the ever changing laws in Mississippi and the ease with which you can be charged, you should always seek the advice of legal counsel.
What does a Memphis DUI lawyer cost?
In Mississippi, a DUI lawyer will range from $1500 to $4500 for a first offense at the Municipal or Justice Court levels.
Do I have to plead guilty?
No. A Mississippi DUI lawyer can defend you at trial and argue that you were not impaired.
What is implied consent?
All states have some form of implied consent and Mississippi is no exception. You impliedly consent to submit to a chemical test if you have a Mississippi driver's license or if you exercise your privilege to drive within the State of Mississippi under an out-of-state license.
How does a Breathalyzer machine work?
Mississippi currently uses the Intoxilyzer 8000 which works by measuring the amount of alcohol on your breath to determine the alcohol content of your blood. There are several notable scientists who have voiced concerns about the reliability of this method. It tests the amount of alcohol digested and passed into your liquid blood by measuring the ethanol gas present in your mouth.
Many factors can make the machine unreliable, such as: burping, coughing or sneezing twenty minutes before you blow. Even chewing sugarless gum, which is made with alcohol can affect the accuracy of a breath test.
Will I lose my license?
It depends. You will lose your driver’s license or your right to drive in the State of Mississippi for a period of 90 days automatically for refusing to take the breath test. You can contest this automatic suspension as long as you file a petition within 10 days from the notice of suspension letter from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
For a first offense DUI conviction you will receive a 90 day suspension as long as you complete the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program or your state's equivalent.
Should I submit to a blood alcohol, field sobriety or Breathalyzer test?
No. As a lawyer I would not. All tests are completely voluntary and only provide evidence against you. That being said, under Mississippi’s non-adjudication statute a refusal will disqualify you from participating in this program. If you’re truly a first time offender and don’t mind pleading guilty while having your sentence deferred and possibly having the charged expunged, then tread at your own risk.
Can I refuse a blood draw?
In Mississippi you can refuse a blood draw but an officer can obtain a warrant and forcibly take your blood.
Can I beat a DUI charge?
Absolutely. DUI defense is highly technical and requires a clear understanding of the science and techniques used by police officers to support your DUI conviction.
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