Some Things You May Want to Know About DUI

by Amy K. Butler on October 27, 2017

You have had a little too much fun and a bit too much alcohol or other qualifying substance. The police have nabbed you. DUI!

Call a lawyer whose practice includes DUI defense and give all the facts. Feelings of shame, guilt and fear are normal give all of the facts, anyway, no matter how mortified or embarrassed you may feel.

First DUI? Breathe. Although the maximum criminal penalty is two years in jail and/or a $750 fine, you are not likely to get that with good legal representation. You WILL have your drivers license administratively suspended for 90 days (you can reduce that to 30 days if you have an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, installed in your automobile).

Hopefully, that first DUI is a lesson learned. Note that it will remain on your criminal record it is not susceptible to expungement under Vermont law. In addition, gubernatorial pardon is almost unheard of for this offense.

Second DUI? Some time has passed and you have forgotten the lesson? Again, call your attorney right away. The stakes are higher now. Two years in jail and/or a fine of $1,500 thats the maximum. Again, you probably will not serve that amount of time but you may get either a mandatory 60-hour jail sentence or 200 hours of community service. You will also face an administrative license suspension of 18 months (potentially 90 days with the device).

Having your license suspended is difficult transportation is crucial in a state like Vermont and public transportation is available but limited. Finding rides for up to 18 months? No fun. If you havent already, maybe do some serious introspection and ask yourself if you have a problem with intoxicating substances. Again, have no shame here there is help readily available if difficulty with substances might be an issue.

Again, the second DUI stays on your record.

If you are unfortunate enough to get a third DUI, whats the first thing you must do? CALL YOUR ATTORNEY! This is the big leagues. Again, you may not see the maximum of five years in jail and/or a fine of $5,000.00, but you may get a mandatory jail sentence of 96 hours. You may have to kiss your license good bye again, this will depend on many factors, including good legal representation.

Note that the laws are different for drivers under 21. If you would like to know more, please feel free to call Denise A. Bailey at the Law Office of Amy K. Butler,802.371.0077


Rule 1 in Custody Disputes: Social Media Edition

by Amy K. Butler on December 5, 2013

Q: When is it appropriate for me to blog, or post about my child’s other parent during a custody dispute?

A: Never.

Q: Why not?

A:  I can think of three reasons:

  1. It’s not nice.
  2. It’s an invasion of the privacy of both your ex-partner and your child.
  3. It can come back to haunt you in Court.  I don’t care how good you think your privacy settings are, somewhere, you’ve got a mutual friend, somewhere, somehow, it will get back to your ex, your ex’s attorney, and ultimately, your Family Court Judge.  The person who, in determining the custody (or, as we say in Vermont, parental rights and responsibilities) of your child, will consider several factors in determining what’s in your child’s best interest.  In every jurisdiction where I’ve practiced, at least one of those factors has looked to which party is most likely to encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent.  If you’re trashing your ex all over the internet, it’s entirely likely that person is not going to be you.

But really?  Seriously?  Most importantly?  It’s not nice.

Q: What if I’m saying nice things?  Or kind of mean things that I’ve cleverly crafted to make them sound like they’re nice things.

A: I still wouldn’t do it.  First, on that second one, you may not be as clever as you think you are.  But mostly, I’d just err on the side of caution.  Your best bet, from my perspective, is to leave the subject alone completely.

Q: What if I just want to say “My kids are at their Dad’s for the weekend?”

A: I guess that’s okay, but again, I’d err on the side of caution, and go for “Home alone!”

Be nice.

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Ask For Identification from Employees of the Department of Children and Families

December 7, 2012

The Vermont State Police and the Vermont Department of Children and Families have issued a joint press release regarding suspicious activity involving people impersonating Department of Children and Families employees. If you are approached by someone claiming to be performing a DCF investigation, you have a right to ask for identification. Be advised: DCF employees […]

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Family Law Round Up – 10/23/12

October 23, 2012

In the “consult an attorney if this happens to you” department:  couple marries, has child, separates, divorces, and, years later, Mom drops the bomb on Dad that he’s not the father of the child he’s been supporting since 1991.  Some jurisdictions provide recourse by statute, some do not.  Tennessee’s Supreme Court recently decided that Mother […]

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy RoundUp – 10/12/12

October 12, 2012

This is not the average Chapter 7 client.  The US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Arkansas is probably going to want to take a look at the contract signed by Arkansas football coach John L. Smith, who, by the terms of his contract, is scheduled to receive $300,000 in compensation at the end […]

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Family Law Roundup – October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

Spouting off about your divorce, your kids, or your frustrating ex on Facebook and other social media is really satisfying, and a really bad idea, particularly if you’re in the middle of a custody battle.  This article gives a pretty good rundown of the whys.  If you’re in the middle of a high-conflict divorce, you […]

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Family Law Roundup – August 31, 2012

August 30, 2012

If you feel like you need counsel, but are having trouble figuring out how you can afford it, take heart!  Many state and local bar associations have lawyer referral services to attorneys who will provide low-cost consultations (see the Vermont Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service). Many law schools in the United States have clinics that provide […]

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