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Robert A. Ciuffa, Attorney at Law
9306 Olive Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63132
Phone: 314-219-1906
Toll Free: 888-745-2635
Fax: 314-997-4324
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St. Louis DUI Attorney

Facing a Vehicular Manslaughter Charge?

Vehicular homicide is a serious criminal charge that requires serious help from a knowledgeable lawyer.

The state has a number of things it must prove in order to convict you. With more than 35 years of experience as an attorney I have been trained to understand forensics, and I have the knowledge to handle these major felony cases.

Since 1973 when I left the St Louis County prosecutors, I have been defending the rights of people who were faced with criminal charges. In particular, I have provided answers, solutions, and aggressive legal assistance to those who have been charged with DWI/DUI and especially those charged as repeat or multiple DWI/DUI offenders.

Over time the law and its enforcement has grown increasingly intense. Even the first offender now finds himself subject to determined efforts challenging not only his driving privilege but his very freedom. The repeat offender faces serious and highly organized attempts to restrict their freedom and cripple or eliminate their driving privileges. The new goal of that competitive activity known as law enforcement has now become securing jail time for the accused DWI/DUI defendant.

Every person accused of DWI/DUI faces a lengthy and potentially painful excursion through the legal system.

Fortunately, the government must use so-called scientific evidence to achieve its goals against the DWI/DUI offender. I have been trained in scientific evidence through the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. This added knowledge and skill set ensures that the scientific components of the "drunk driving case" are aggressively addressed and challenged.

Have you or someone you love or care about been charged with DWI/DUI (impaired driving)? Call me today at 314-219-1906 or contact me by e-mail to schedule a consultation. My office is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Protecting Your Rights and Freedom

As your attorney, I provide experienced representation and legal defense to both adults and juveniles facing DWI/DUI charges. If you have been arrested or charged with DWI/DUI, you face penalties ranging from fines to jail time. These penalties may be on top of license suspensions/revocations or other license restrictions such as the ignition interlock (a device attached to your car's ignition).

If you have been arrested and accused of drunk driving in Missouri, did you know that the blood/alcohol tests you took might not be scientifically valid?

The legal blood-alcohol limit in Missouri is .08% for adults. For those under the age of 21, you face the "abuse and lose" laws with their so-called "zero tolerance". This means that for juveniles the blood-alcohol limit is .02%. It seems that .02% can occur "naturally" in some people, and notably in athletic young people on high protein diets.

Obviously these numbers are central to your case. In addition to other elements the prosecution seeks to prove your blood-alcohol level — and that is always done by some sort of so-called scientific testing.

I use my forensic training to build a strong defense for my clients. I have a solid and thorough understanding of the breath-testing equipment used by law enforcement, such as the DataMaster, the Intoxilyzer 5000, or the now obsolete BAC verifier. I know and understand the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations on field sobriety testing and the department of health's blood testing protocols.

I can demonstrate that Missouri does not follow generally accepted scientific standards in regard to its approved breath-testing equipment. Furthermore in many instances the calibration of this equipment is at best questionable.

I have extensive experience challenging the blood-alcohol tests and have successfully defended my clients using these (and other) factors.

The Felony DWI and other Multiple Offenders

Current changes in the Missouri DWI/DUI laws (effective August 28, 2010) intensify law enforcement efforts toward the felony DWI and the repeat or multiple offenders. Jail sentences and the loss of driving privileges are now mandated, especially for second- or third-time offenders. This is no surprise when you consider that the federal government spends millions of dollars "encouraging" DWI/DUI enforcement.

There are now special categories for these DWI/DUI offenders. We now have the "Prior Offender", the "Persistent Offender", the "Aggravated Offender" and the "Chronic Offender". Each of these unique categories has its own special consequences ranging from mandatory jail sentences of varying lengths to licensing challenges.

In our modern mobile society the loss of driving privileges has far-reaching consequences for one's ability to earn a living and to support a family. The lack of mass transit heightens the hardship associated with the loss of driving privileges.

Alcohol is not the only substance involved in current DWI/DUI legislation. Prescription medicines and recreational drugs are also included. Even insulin can be used to support a DWI/DUI if the prosecution can demonstrate that it influenced the defendant's driving.

DWI/DUI charges can arise from the use of motorcycles, ATV's and off-road vehicles.

It should be clear that if you have been arrested and/or charged with DWI/DUI, whether as a first offender or as a repeat offender, you face penalties that include the loss of your license to drive, fines, and jail sentences up to and including penitentiary time. The assistance of a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced lawyer is imperative.

It has always been my goal to avoid or at least minimize the impact these charges have on my client's rights and freedoms.

The Administrative Suspension/Revocation

Missouri is one of a growing number of states that subject suspected DWI/DUI defendants to summary suspension of their driving privilege carried out by the arresting police officer. In other words, once a breath/blood/alcohol result is obtained that is equal to or greater than .08, the police officer takes away your driver's license and gives you a temporary permit to drive and a request form for a hearing. Both permit and hearing request expire in 15 days, leaving the unfortunate driver with a suspended or revoked license. Disturbingly, refusing the breath/blood test provides no escape and has even harsher consequences. Relief in this event requires direct action by the accused through a direct court challenge.

Legal guidance through this administrative area is not only prudent but probably necessary.

The available hearings concentrate upon the validity of the breath or blood test and the reasonableness of the police confrontation itself. But the standard of proof in these hearings is significantly lower than in the criminal charge; the state has a significant advantage.

It is critical that your lawyer understand the breath/blood testing equipment and protocols and the available legal remedies.

I have tried these administrative suspension hearings since their creation and I am thoroughly versed in the science behind blood/alcohol testing. I have aggressively litigated these matters through every available avenue to save my client's driving privilege.

If you are facing DUI or DWI charges — whether this is your first offense or a repeat offense — call me now at 314-219-1906 or contact me by e-mail to schedule your free consultation.

Saint Louis attorney, Robert A. Ciuffa, represents people throughout the metropolitan St. Louis region, in communities such as: St. Francois County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County, Madison County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, Ballwin, Bel-Nor, Bel-Ridge, Bella Villa, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Bellerive Acres, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Breckenridge Hills, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Calverton Park, Charlack, Chesterfield, Clayton, Cool Valley, Country Club Hills, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Ferguson, Florissant, Frontenac, Glendale, Hazelwood, Kirkwood, Ladue, Manchester, Maplewood, Marlborough, Maryland Heights, Normandy, Olivette, Overland Park, Pacific, Pine Lawn, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, St. George, St. John, Shrewsbury, Sunset Hills, Town and Country, University City, Uplands Park, Valley Park, Velda Village, Vinita Park, Warson Woods, Woodson Terrace, the City of St. Charles, St. Peters, O'Fallon, Wentzville, Leadington, Park Hills, Hillsboro, and Byrnes Mill.