Rhode Island DUI/OUI Lawyers

Guiding you through the DUI process

The Law Offices of Richard S. Humphrey has represented clients in criminal defense cases for almost 30 years.  Our lawyers handle DUI/DWI cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

DUI Attorneys in Rhode Island and Massachusetts


Driving under the influence (DUI) is determined by blood alcohol content (BAC).  The standard used to define DUI for adults over 21 in Rhode Island is BAC at .08 and above.  For minors driving under the influence, the standard is set higher using a BAC level of .02.


Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is another term used for drunk driving charges.  When an individual refuses to submit to the chemical test to determine BAC, authorities may still bring DWI charges based on other factors.  Evidence being used by the prosecution may include:

  • Sobriety tests
  • Witness statements
  • Camera surveillance
  • Officer observation and opinion
  • Recorded statements

Our lawyers begin preparing your defense by examining police visual and audio recordings. 

THE LAW OFFICE OF RICHARD S. HUMPHREY PROVIDE ZEALOUS ADVOCACY DEFENCES:

The State must prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt

PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

The highest standard of proof in a legal case is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is the standard required in most criminal cases.  Beyond a reasonable doubt means that no doubt exists in the mind of a reasonable person that the accused person is not guilty.  In criminal cases, the jury is instructed to presume the defendant’s innocence until the prosecution proves otherwise.  The Law Offices of Richard S. Humphrey effectively defend against allegations and evidence brought by the prosecution.

DUI, DWI, and refusal to submit to a chemical test are all criminal charges with the exception that a first offense of refusing to submit to a chemical test is a civil charge.

RIGHT TO A TRIAL

In a DUI case, the defendant has the right to a jury trial or a bench trial.  In a bench trial, the presiding judge determines the verdict rather than a jury. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Humphrey are always prepared to go to trial. Our attorneys will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both types of trials and advise which most favors your case.

WAS THERE PROBABLE CAUSE FOR THE STOP?

Sobriety checkpoints consisting of roadblocks where officers stop motorists to observe check for intoxicated drivers are deemed unconstitutional and are illegal in Rhode Island.

The prosecution must show that the police officer had probable cause to stop you.  Reasons such as you were out driving late at night, the officer observed your car pulling away from a bar, an anonymous tip or the officer wanted to check your driver’s license and insurance coverage do not constitute probable cause.  Our attorneys can easily defend against reasons such as these.

Probable cause must show suspicion that you committed a crime.  A lawful basis for stopping a car under suspicion of DUI or for other violations would involve reasons, such as:

  • Traffic violations
  • Weaving
  • Straddling the centerline
  • Drifting into other lanes
  • Night driving without headlights on
  • Tailgating
  • Abrupt turns

SUPPRESSION MOTIONS USED BY RI DRUNK DRIVING LAW ATTORNEYS

Our attorneys can challenge an illegal stop by entering a motion to suppress evidence based on the illegal measures used by authorities.  When the court grants a motion to suppress, subsequent actions are inadmissible.  In a DUI case, chemical tests recorded statements, and other evidence gathered subsequent to the illegal stop become inadmissible, often resulting in case dismissal.

Other illegal actions that may give rise to a motion to suppress include:

  • Failure to advise the defendant of his or her rights in a DUI arrest
  • Failure to follow proper procedures in administering a chemical test
  • Failure to advise the defendant of rights in chemical test refusal charges
  • Failure to inform the defendant about the penalties for refusing a chemical test
  • Failure to inform the defendant of the right to be immediately examined by a physician of the defendant’s choice

THE IMPORTANCE OF ENGAGING RICHARD S. HUMPHREY EARLY IN YOUR CASE

Penalties for DUI are stiff and consulting an experienced DUI lawyer at the outset may allow your attorney to make motions to suppress evidence, which can result in reduced charges or even case dismissal.

Many Constitutional rights exist in criminal cases and there are numerous legal strategies that offer opportunities to refute evidence presented by the prosecution.  Rhode Island case laws often set precedents that significantly affect how attorneys argue cases.  For example, the case Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts established a precedent that affidavits, such as forensic analysts’ reports, are considered testimony.  Therefore, under the Sixth Amendment right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, the defendant has the right to cross-examine forensic analysts who write reports.

When arrested for suspicion of DUI, Rhode Island requires that the State provide you with the following: 

  • Examination by your own physician
  • Release on bail
  • A second chemical test

Our attorneys will thorough investigate all evidence and will vigorously defend your case from the moment you engage us in order to ensure the best possible outcome for you. 

CHALLENGING FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

Part of our strategy in defending our clients, is challenging field sobriety tests.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed field sobriety tests along with specific procedures, which are used today in police academies, training officers to administer these tests.  The tests assist officers in determining intoxication.  However, studies show that even when administered correctly, field sobriety tests only have a questionable level of accuracy.

NHTSA validated a battery of three standardized tests that were incorporated into a formal training program.  The tests include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN).  The HGN examines the jerking of the eye when a person gazes to the side, a behavior that becomes more exaggerated when intoxicated.
  • Walk-and-Turn (WAT).  The WAT requires the individual to walk heel-to-toe, taking nine steps along a straight line.
  • One-Leg Stand (OLS).  The OLS requires the individual to stand while lifting one foot approximately six inches off the ground and count by thousands (one thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) for 30 seconds.  Difficulty maintaining balance is considered impairment.

Our team has effectively discredited standard field sobriety tests through witness testimony, defendant medical conditions, and even camera surveillance that make the officer’s evaluation of intoxication questionable.

In addition, when police officers use non-standard field sobriety tests (touching a finger to the nose, reciting the alphabet backwards, etc.) our attorneys can easily argue against test validity. 

Call 401-624-6152 to consult one of our experienced DUI/DWI attorneys.

 

CHALLENGING THE OUTCOMES OF CHEMICAL TESTS

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Humphrey stay on top of Rhode Island drunk driving laws as well as strategies to defend our clients facing these charges.  We thoroughly evaluate our clients’ DUI charges in order to determine exactly what defense strategy will be most successful.

We have a record of success challenging the outcome of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests during active litigation for clients accused of DUI (driving under the influence), OUI (operating under the influence), and DWI (driving while intoxicated) in Rhode Island.  We understand the meticulous detail and consistency that must be adhered to when administering blood, urine, and Breathalyzer tests in order for them to yield accurate results.

BAC testing has been proven in a court of law to be faulty and inconsistent due to a variety of common factors:

  • Improper test administration
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Air temperature and moisture
  • Human errors

BAC tests have been known to show false positive readings, and when your freedom and livelihood hang in the balance of those readings, that is just not good enough.

BUILDING STRONG DEFENSES FOR RHODE ISLAND DUI CHARGES

If you need experienced DUI litigators to contest your BAC test results and to defend your DUI charges in a court of law, contact the Law Offices of Richard S. Humphrey immediately.