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camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:08 AM
Does anyone have any experience with fighting a DUI charge? I have a court date on March 8th, and I'm considering hiring a lawyer to fight the allegation.

I could really use some advice on what I should and shouldn't do at the trial, what type of lawyer I should hire, what I should expect to happen from here, etc. I'll post more details later, but I just wanted to get the ball rolling first.

GAC
02-26-2010, 06:12 AM
What evidence, if any, do you have in your defense to fight the charge, and justifies hiring a lawyer? Because in DUI cases one better be able to present some sound evidence or most judges are always going to side with the arresting officer (police report).

Was there a breathalyser or video taken of the road test? Even if there wasn't. Maybe you refused to take the breathalyser for whatever reason. People do. That arresting officer's police report is pretty much going to be accepted as gospel by the judge unless a lawyer can show some sort of error or mistake made by that officer.

I'm assuming the date you mention is your initial court date? I'm pretty sure the only thing you'll be able to do THEN, even with a lawyer present, is get the opportunity to enter your plea ... guilty, not guilty, no contest. And a lot of judges will tell you that entering a no contest plea will be seen by them as pleading guilty.

If you plead not guilty, then I think you may be given a pre-trial date. That's where you, your lawyer, the prosecuting attorney, and the arresting officer, come before the judge to hear testimony and review evidence. Any time prior to that, depending on the evidence, as well as any priors you may have, the prosecuting attorney and your lawyer, may be agree to a plea deal...like dropping it down to reckless op.

But if that prosecuting attorney thinks the evidence he has is strong enough, or that your's is weak, then he may very well not agree to any plea deal. And that's where you and your lawyer have to sit down and decide it you want to take it to a jury trial.

I will say this (below) because I have numerous acquaintances who are sheriffs and police officers, as well as one who is a lawyer who specializes in DUIs. And this is what the lawyer told me about those that take DUIs to trial.....

You better have a pretty strong case that will persuade that jury or raise reasonable doubt. Because Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys.... even though it doesn't appear right or fair, and you have a constitutional right to ask for a jury trial.... see it as a waste of their time by having to invest such time in preparing their case, the many hours involved, set a court date, assemble jurors, and the taxpayers pay for all of that.

So if you're found guilty, they sort of have this "resentment" - again it's not right - but the judge will most likely give you the stiffest sentence he can because of it all.

At least that what I've been told that is how it is done up here in my county when it comes to DUIs. While drinking and driving is not a good thing, from the justice system perspective it's not just about taking punitive action against the offender; but they are also seen as steady source of revenue generation. And again, I've been told that by numerous law enforcement people. I can pick up my paper everyday, and I live in a small/mid-sized city here in central Ohio, and see anywhere from 5-7 DUI arrests daily.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 09:57 AM
Thank you, GAC. That actually helps a great deal. Here's my story (and I'm sticking to it, heh).

I had some drinks at the bar--not many--but I don't know exactly how many. The evidence for that is my receipt from the bar (and not even all the drinks on my tab were for me) plus however many drinks the bartender wants to say I had. She's a friend of mine, so I could probably find out exactly how many drinks it was.

When my friend and I were dropped off at home, my friend (who was very, very drunk and smelled like a brewery) needed a ride, and I felt sober, so I quickly dropped him off at his place. It was getting at the time of night that I normally take my insulin shot (I'm a type 1 diabetic) and have a meal, so I started driving to meet a friend at a restaurant in Kentucky because I had no groceries.

Shortly after crossing the bridge and getting off the Newport exit, I stopped at a traffic light. Because I was having problems with my diabetes (it was a little later than I normally eat) and hadn't slept the night before (I had celebrated my birthday the night before), I was incredibly exhausted and ended up falling asleep at the light with my car in drive and foot on the brake. At that point, the police showed up, opened my door, and put the car in park while I was slumped over at the wheel.

They asked me to step out of the vehicle, and they could see that I was having trouble keeping my balance. I'm sure they'll argue that I smelled like alcohol and that I appeared to be drunk when in actuality, I have torn ligaments in my knee, and I haven't yet had surgery. There were crutches in my vehicle to prove this, but I'm not sure they ever saw them. Even if they did, it was never written in the report. In the report, the officer stated that he felt it was unsafe to administer a field test, so they took me in without doing one.

In the report, the officer claimed that I frequently interrupted him, but my reason for this was because I wanted to talk to a lawyer, and I also wanted to explain to the officer that I was having trouble with my diabetes. Instead of letting me explain my side of the story, they repeatedly interrupted me and took me to the police station. They eventually threw the phone book at me, and after a few phone calls, I decided to give up.

At the jail, they put me in a cell that smelled horrible. Horrible. Someone had done a #2 in the toilet, and there was no way to flush the toilet from inside the cell, and as a way to taunt us, they would tell each person who entered the cell that we smelled like s**t.

I kept alerting them to the fact that I was diabetic and needed my insulin shot and a meal. They said that the nurse wasn't around at the moment but that they'd tell her when she came around. Because I wouldn't stop trying to talk to the police (I wasn't belligerent--this was all in a calm voice through the glass of the cell), they took me out of my cell and handcuffed me tightly to a chair by the feet and hands. They then put the chair in the corner of a different cell on top of a piece of padding; that way, I couldn't push the chair back to the end of the cell where the door was and keep talking to them through the glass.

Being as stubborn as I am, I found a way to maneuver myself to the end of the cell to keep talking about how important my insulin was. This, of course, annoyed them, so they put me back to the other end of the cell, where I just returned to the glass and told them I 'can go all night'.

Eventually, the nurse did come by, and she tested my blood sugar. It was 190, which is high, but it didn't appear urgent at the time. When I had come into the station, my blood sugar was low, but because so much time had passed without me getting a shot of insulin, my blood sugar became high and was only getting higher. I explained that fact to the nurse, but she seemed to hold a resentment for me (I think she had witnessed some of my interactions with the officer), so she told the police I was fine.

When she had come by to test my blood sugar, she had asked me several questions. One of which was whether I ever thought about killing myself. I told her I didn't ever think about killing myself but that there had been a time in my past in which I would self-mutilate. She asked if I would do it in jail, and I told her that I had no means of doing it other than chewing on my own arm, so I had no intentions of doing so. Regardless, I was put on the phone with a different nurse who asked the same questions. When the nurse asked me about suicide, I facetiously told her that I won't have to think about killing myself because if I don't get my insulin shot, I'll die anyway. At that point, they determined I was a suicide threat and put me in a padded uniform in a completely different cell (which was the most comfortable, accommodating cell I had ever seen).

Several hours passed by the time I had my arraignment. As a side story, the man in front of me was given a nice deal for pleading guilty, but he made the mistake of calling the judge by her first name, so he had his 90-day sentence extended to 120 days for 'contempt of court'. I made sure to be very respectful to the judge and pleaded 'not guilty, Your Honor'. She said I didn't qualify for a public defender because I wasn't facing any jail time, so if I want a lawyer, I must hire one.

After the arraignment, I was returned to my cell. I was given a very small, near-inedible meal that would have worsened my condition had I eaten it. I once again reminded the officers that I needed medical attention and that it was getting more and more urgent. The said the nurse was in a completely different dorm at the moment and that it would be a while before she could come around. They were right because I had to wait a few more hours before she came around. She tested my blood sugar level. I forget how high it was, but I remember that it was over 300, which is very high. At that point, they gave me four units of an insulin I don't even use. I told the nurse that I would need much more than that for my blood sugar level to return to a healthy level, but she explained that that was the most she could legally give me. After getting my shot (which was the equivalent to giving a starving man one kernel of rice), I went back to my cell. I had to wait another couple hours before my paperwork was finished so that I could be cleared to leave.

That's all the relevant I can recall at this time. I have no idea if there is video surveillance of when I was pulled over, but I was in Bellevue, so I'd imagine that it exists. Is there any way my lawyer or I could view the video before March 8th (my pre-trial date)?

edit:
One thing I forgot to mention is that I'm also charged with driving without a valid license. This happens to be true because my license had expire, and for financial/personal reasons, I had not yet gotten it reinstated.

Sea Ray
02-26-2010, 10:01 AM
Just remember, those of us at Redszone are your buddies and we promise not to submit your early morning posts as evidence...:thumbup:

Seriously, I think GAC is more knowledgable on this than I but I am amazed at how some folks get lesser sentences when the evidence is overwhelming. For example I am in a profession where you lose your license if you're convicted of a felony and a colleage of mine got a DUI and they found some illegal drugs in his car. I figures he was toast. But much to my amazement after a year of haggling it thrown out for lack of evidence.

You've probably heard the ads run locally here by Steven R. Adams. I think his website is www.notguiltyadams.com.

I know nothing more than that about the guy but it might be worth a call. Consultations are generally free.

I really hope you get this hassle out of your life as quickly and painlessly as possible. You don't need this.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 10:29 AM
To be honest, I know I probably come off as a big alcoholic, which I may be (I'm addressing that), but I know better than to drive while drunk. All the bars I frequent are within walking distance, so I don't feel that I have ever been a threat to society as a result of drinking alcohol.

Thank you, Sea Ray. Unfortunately, the site you linked isn't up.

For a consultation, would anyone happen to know whether I'm better off calling a lawyer who specializes in DUIs, or would my case look more credible if it were a regular defense attorney?

Sea Ray
02-26-2010, 10:36 AM
You definitely want a guy who specializes in DUIs.

Adams phone number is 929-9333 or he can be e-mailed through this site:

http://pview.findlaw.com/cmd/emailView?wld_id=3543882_1&which=0

After hearing your story it sounds like you clearly need a defense. If you complained to the police that you wanted to see a lawyer then it'll look better if you eventually got one.

One of the first questions to ask a lawyer is whether you qualify for a public defender. I wouldn't take what you were told as gospel.

reds1869
02-26-2010, 10:44 AM
I in no way condone DUI, but the way you were treated is beyond odious. I agree with Sea Ray, you need to get a DUI lawyer. The treatment you received is flat out unconstitutional under both Federal and State law. As someone who also lives with a chronic disease and needs continuous access to my medication, I sympathize with the helpless feeling that overcomes you in that type of moment. I hope everything works out for the best.

JaxRed
02-26-2010, 11:21 AM
OK, I'll come off as the bad guy for this, but here's my take: They said you face no jail time? I'd see if you can get an agreement where you are allowed to drive only to work, and thank your lucky stars if you can get that.

I'd be stunned beyond belief if you got off. You had been drinking. You fell asleep at an intersection. You were driving with a suspended license. Even after they tested your blood sugar some time later it wasn't high enough to cause problems like falling asleep in your car.

All the rest of the story is just chaff that doesn't address the question of your guilt. Next time in your in custody if someone asks you if you ever think about killing yourself, the answer is "Of course not"

westofyou
02-26-2010, 11:29 AM
Fact: You drank, drove some time later and then fell asleep in the car with it on. It's 2010, not 1970, take the deal or you'll be sorry.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:34 AM
Thank you, Sea Ray; I sent an email through the link.

A couple more details:
Other than a couple speeding tickets, I don't have a prior record.

Also, I think I forgot to mention that I declined to blow in a breathalyser. Like I said, I did drink that night, and my concern was that if they detected any alcohol in my system whatsoever, they would try to argue that I was drunk at the time of the arrest and sobered up by the time I got to the police station.

By the way, all of you are helping me very much. Thank you again.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:34 AM
Fact: You drank, drove some time later and then fell asleep in the car with it on. It's 2010, not 1970, take the deal or you'll be sorry.
No deal has been offered yet.

westofyou
02-26-2010, 11:36 AM
No deal has been offered yet.

Good luck, FWIW I have a friend who also nodded at a stoplight, he also was way past drinking (though he had) he got a DUI.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:44 AM
OK, I'll come off as the bad guy for this, but here's my take: They said you face no jail time? I'd see if you can get an agreement where you are allowed to drive only to work, and thank your lucky stars if you can get that.

I'd be stunned beyond belief if you got off. You had been drinking. You fell asleep at an intersection. You were driving with a suspended license. Even after they tested your blood sugar some time later it wasn't high enough to cause problems like falling asleep in your car.

All the rest of the story is just chaff that doesn't address the question of your guilt. Next time in your in custody if someone asks you if you ever think about killing yourself, the answer is "Of course not"
I can see why you'd have that outlook, and to be fair, I might have the same view if I were in your position, but I have a question: what if I weren't drunk (which is my defense)? How does that make me guilty?

If they had tested my blood sugar when the event occurred, it would have been no higher than 60, but it was raising at a rapid rate because I had just eaten a banana before leaving the house, and my insulin had worn off. They tested my blood sugar hours after I was arrested.

Regarding being asked about killing myself, I replied "No, never." Most people probably do at some point in their lives for that matter, but I was smart enough to know that they'd probably put me in a padded room or straight jacket or something like that.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:45 AM
Good luck, FWIW I have a friend who also nodded at a stoplight, he also was way past drinking (though he had) he got a DUI.
Who was his lawyer? I'll make sure I won't hire him.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:45 AM
Fact: You drank, drove some time later and then fell asleep in the car with it on. It's 2010, not 1970, take the deal or you'll be sorry.
We're still in America, am I right? Innocent until proven guilty.

Reds4Life
02-26-2010, 11:48 AM
Sorry, but I agree with the others, if you can get a plea bargian, take it.

The fact you were driving without a license isn't going to help your defense, and since you declined to a breath test they can suspend your license (if you had one) for a year automatically.

Maybe talk to the DA and see if you can get some of the charges reduced if you agree to enter an alcohol treatment program, if this is your first offense.

Reds4Life
02-26-2010, 11:51 AM
I can see why you'd have that outlook, and to be fair, I might have the same view if I were in your position, but I have a question: what if I weren't drunk (which is my defense)? How does that make me guilty?

If they had tested my blood sugar when the event occurred, it would have been no higher than 60, but it was raising at a rapid rate because I had just eaten a banana before leaving the house, and my insulin had worn off. They tested my blood sugar hours after I was arrested.

Regarding being asked about killing myself, I replied "No, never." Most people probably do at some point in their lives for that matter, but I was smart enough to know that they'd probably put me in a padded room or straight jacket or something like that.

You refused a breath test, all the officer needs is reasonable suspition that you are DUI to make the arrest. Honestly, being passed out behind the wheel of a car, and the smell of alcohol, is more than enough reason for that.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Actually, I think driving without a valid license helps my case in the sense that it would be very easy to drop the DUI and still have something to punish me for. In my experience, the courts are always looking to compromise, and that seems like an easy decision to make.

Sea Ray
02-26-2010, 11:53 AM
OK, I'll come off as the bad guy for this, but here's my take: They said you face no jail time? I'd see if you can get an agreement where you are allowed to drive only to work, and thank your lucky stars if you can get that.

I'd be stunned beyond belief if you got off. You had been drinking. You fell asleep at an intersection. You were driving with a suspended license. Even after they tested your blood sugar some time later it wasn't high enough to cause problems like falling asleep in your car.

All the rest of the story is just chaff that doesn't address the question of your guilt. Next time in your in custody if someone asks you if you ever think about killing yourself, the answer is "Of course not"

You're not the bad guy. You make some realistic points. The only one I quibble with is the one on blood sugar. High blood sugar doesn't cause you to pass out. Low blood sugar does. Thus if his story works for him he'd have to argue that he took a shot of insulin and didn't get food and thus his blood sugar was too low at the time. A blood sugar of 190 or higher should not make you pass out. If his blood sugar was getting high then he'd feel agitated and hyper.

The testimony that he didn't get any sleep the night before partying his birthday is not something I'd bring up. That looks like he is quite the party animal.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:55 AM
You refused a breath test, all the officer needs is reasonable suspition that you are DUI to make the arrest. Honestly, being passed out behind the wheel of a car, and the smell of alcohol, is more than enough reason for that.
I don't blame them for arresting me. The arrest wasn't an injustice in any way imo. An injustice is when an innocent party is convicted for something he didn't do.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 11:58 AM
For the record, even if I disagree with you, I appreciate the input. Thank you to the three of you.

Reds4Life
02-26-2010, 11:59 AM
Actually, I think driving without a valid license helps my case in the sense that it would be very easy to drop the DUI and still have something to punish me for. In my experience, the courts are always looking to compromise, and that seems like an easy decision to make.

It doesn't help your case, at all. They aren't going to drop a DUI, and having another charge against you from the same arrest isn't going to score you any points with the judge.

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 11:59 AM
I may have missed it and if so I apologize...I didn't see the part of the story where you would not consent to a BAC test. What is the issue behind that? Couldn't they have given you one on site or even back at the station?

Edit - I see you mentioned it in one of your replys...I don't follow the logic though.

JaxRed
02-26-2010, 12:16 PM
Unfortunately, if there was a chance he wasn't over the limit..... by refusing the BAC test you gave up your only chance to prove your innocence. I thought in many states, refusing a BAC means automatic DUI.

Sea Ray - you're right on the low blood sugar (duh)

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 01:02 PM
Unfortunately, if there was a chance he wasn't over the limit..... by refusing the BAC test you gave up your only chance to prove your innocence. I thought in many states, refusing a BAC means automatic DUI.

Sea Ray - you're right on the low blood sugar (duh)
When I was in the cruiser, I called a lawyer (I forget which one), and he told me not to submit to the breathalyser and to call him the next day (which I didn't do).

Roy Tucker
02-26-2010, 01:09 PM
Get a lawyer fast.

I was involved in the legal system because of my wayward children over the past couple years and one lesson I learned was get ... a .... lawyer ... ASAP. Don't wait. Now.

You're a babe in the woods with all this stuff and you need someone who knows what to say and do (and what not to say and do) before you get into it any deeper.

KoryMac5
02-26-2010, 01:16 PM
It really depends on the state you live in. If you reside in NY state like me all the officer has to do is prove he was right in asking you to submit to a breath test. So far everything that you have told us (asleep at a light, drinking, poor balance etc...) gives the officer probable cause to think you may have been drinking. Therefore him asking you to take the breath test was not out in LF.

Most likely you will lose your DL for 1 year and have to pay a fine. Plus you might have to go take some classes. Chalk it up as one of life's lessons and try and learn from this mistake.

klw
02-26-2010, 01:43 PM
Here's the primary Ohio DUI statute
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.19+

hebroncougar
02-26-2010, 01:46 PM
When I was in the cruiser, I called a lawyer (I forget which one), and he told me not to submit to the breathalyser and to call him the next day (which I didn't do).


That doesn't help. That alone makes you sound impaired. I wouldn't bring that up in court.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 01:50 PM
Unfortunately, if there was a chance he wasn't over the limit..... by refusing the BAC test you gave up your only chance to prove your innocence. I thought in many states, refusing a BAC means automatic DUI.

Sea Ray - you're right on the low blood sugar (duh)
The penalties of not blowing in a breathalyser were never explained to me.

Raisor
02-26-2010, 02:04 PM
The penalties of not blowing in a breathalyser were never explained to me.

that won't matter in court

KoryMac5
02-26-2010, 02:09 PM
The penalties of not blowing in a breathalyser were never explained to me.

Doesn't matter if they explained it to you or not, they aren't responsible for telling you the consequences of refusing a test. I think the best advice given to you so far has been call a lawyer quick. The longer you wait the tougher your case becomes to handle.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 02:17 PM
I called a lawyer and am waiting for correspondence.

wolfboy
02-26-2010, 02:31 PM
Here's the primary Ohio DUI statute
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.19+

From what I understand, he was charged in Kentucky.

A few things to consider: Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to blow over a .08 to be charged and convicted of an OVI. With that in mind, there are two damning pieces of evidence against you right now - you drank alcohol and you fell asleep behind the wheel at a stop light. I think it works in your favor that you did not take the breathalyzer test. Some on here have suggested that it may have worked against you. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, bearing in mind that a DUI attorney advised against a breathalyzer. Either way - it's in the past.

You need to get an attorney NOW. Judges love looking tough on crime. Defendants without an attorney sure make for an easy target. Get an attorney that specializes in DUI law instead of someone in general practice. They will know the nuances of this type of law and should know the prosecutors and judges that are key to a plea deal. Your preference should be someone who once worked in the prosecutors office charging these types of offenses. This is the most important decision you will make, so think it through well.

If you need to know where to find someone, the Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati Bar Association is a good start. Cincinnati has a lawyer referral service and NKY should too. I'd recommend that you find a Kentucky attorney. As I stated above, the connections he or she has could be a great advantage for you. Also, don't feel obligated to take the first attorney you find. All attorneys are not created equal. If you are going to spend a lot of money on this, make sure you are getting what you need.

Kentucky may be a bit different than OH, but here's what you want to discuss:
-The possibility of a plea. In OH, it usually takes the form of a "wet op" charge. This is a reckless operation charge that carries the DUI penalty. In essence, you serve the punishment associated with a DUI charge but only have a reckless op on your record. Take the "wet op" as an example, not an expectation. A plea may be tough given that the police are going to say that you were very uncooperative. Still, you'll want to discuss it.
-School/work privileges. If possible, see if this can be negotiated.

Temper your expectations on this. I know you feel like you've got a really solid case to prove your absolute innocence. Others may disagree...like the judge. Go over everything with your attorney and see what they say, but mentally prepare yourself for a conviction or a plea deal. They are very real possibilities as well.

Most of all - get some help for yourself. This situation, in addition to some of your posts around here, indicate that you probably need it. I might be out of line in saying that, but the real question isn't what punishment you get for a DUI. The real question is whether you have your life on the right track and you are taking care of yourself.

Best of luck.

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 03:01 PM
The penalties of not blowing in a breathalyser were never explained to me.

Not a lawyer but I have to think legally that onus is 100 percent on you.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 03:11 PM
When the police asked me about the breathalyser, I told them I wanted to refer to a lawyer before submitting. I called a DUI lawyer who told me not to blow, and I guess now I have to pay for it. Speaking of paying . . .

About how much should a DUI lawyer cost me? Thousands of dollars?

WMR
02-26-2010, 03:19 PM
Just based on what you've related here, I would definitely push my lawyer to see what sort of deal the prosecutor's office will offer you.

15fan
02-26-2010, 03:27 PM
Served on a jury a couple of years ago. It was a DUI case.

We had a juror who was (1) an attorney, and (2) had been convicted of something like 8 DUIs in a 10 year span. How he wasn't stricken during voir dire has baffled every lawyer and judge I've spoken to since.

Defendant was a female, and it was astonishing to watch all of the female jurors throw her under the bus when we went to deliberate. It was like watching a pirranha feeding frenzy.

So based on that, I'd say do what you can to cut a deal. Anything can happen when you (1) go to trial, and (2) the jury goes to deliberate.

Sea Ray
02-26-2010, 03:29 PM
When the police asked me about the breathalyser, I told them I wanted to refer to a lawyer before submitting. I called a DUI lawyer who told me not to blow, and I guess now I have to pay for it. Speaking of paying . . .

About how much should a DUI lawyer cost me? Thousands of dollars?

Tell the DUI lawyer that you don't have much money. I'm sure they're used to that and will know how to advise you.

I'm almost afraid to ask...do you have car insurance? What you're convicted of will have a future impact on your rates. Usually the cost of the attorney pays for itself by avoiding a major conviction that could jack your rates.

If you were my kid or sibling, I'd definitely help out with the attorney fees so I hope you have family for this. You're in need of getting help out of this mess.

Sea Ray
02-26-2010, 03:32 PM
I thought in many states, refusing a BAC means automatic DUI.



I think it's that way in Ohio too but then again I see folks getting lawyered up and getting much better deals than if they'd blown so my advice is do not take the test if you know you're hammered. The example I gave earlier of my colleage is one of those

Caveat Emperor
02-26-2010, 03:36 PM
When the police asked me about the breathalyser, I told them I wanted to refer to a lawyer before submitting. I called a DUI lawyer who told me not to blow, and I guess now I have to pay for it. Speaking of paying . . .

About how much should a DUI lawyer cost me? Thousands of dollars?

Most reputable DUI lawyers will probably charge on a sliding scale. A high-end guy like Steve Adams, Kelly Farrish, Jeff Meadows or Matt Ernst (going local for Cincinnati here) will probably run you close to $2000 - $3000 to handle a case that ends in a plea (either as charged or to some kind of plea). If you have the attorney file a Motion to Suppress (to challenge that evidence taken against you or some part of the initial stop) to fight the case, that will cost you more. If you want the case taken to trial, that'll cost more and if you want the case taken to a jury trial (as opposed to a bench trial), that'll be an additional fee on top of that. I'd anticipate fees somewhere in the neigborhood of $5,000-$6,000 to take an OVI case to trial.

You can find some attorneys who will take your case for less money, but as with anything in life: you get what you pay for. Ask around, though -- there are some good, younger attorneys who have experience as former prosecutors who might do your case for less.

As for your case -- speaking from the other side, being asleep at the wheel is a strong indicator of guilt. If you told the officers you'd been drinking, that's a strong indicator of guilt. If you (or your car) smelled like alcohol, that's a strong indicator of guilt. If you refused a chemical test, that's a strong indicator of guilt. All of these are facts that will (and should) get hammered at a trial. I'd expect a guilty verdict on an OVI trial with the facts you've reported, even given the medical mitigation (unless you can prove you frequently fall asleep in traffic because of your condition).

Contact a lawyer and let them explain the ins and outs to you, though.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:09 PM
I contacted Steve Adams, and he said the fee will range from $3,500 - $7,500.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:10 PM
I seriously considered taking this to trial, but after talking with you all and some lawyers (particularly the ones who have experience with Judge Karen Thomas), it sounds like my best bet is plea bargaining. In that case, do you think it's worth it for me to hire a lawyer?

Reds4Life
02-26-2010, 04:16 PM
I seriously considered taking this to trial, but after talking with you all and some lawyers (particularly the ones who have experience with Judge Karen Thomas), it sounds like my best bet is plea bargaining. In that case, do you think it's worth it for me to hire a lawyer?

Yes. Attorneys know people that work in the prosecutors office, they might be able to get you a better deal. Your goal is to get things reduced as much as possible. It will impact your insurance rates in the future, and possible employment. Most employers these days run a background check.

Get it reduced as much as possible, even if it costs you $3,500. In the future you will be glad you did.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:18 PM
Tell the DUI lawyer that you don't have much money. I'm sure they're used to that and will know how to advise you.

I'm almost afraid to ask...do you have car insurance? What you're convicted of will have a future impact on your rates. Usually the cost of the attorney pays for itself by avoiding a major conviction that could jack your rates.

If you were my kid or sibling, I'd definitely help out with the attorney fees so I hope you have family for this. You're in need of getting help out of this mess.
I don't personally have car insurance, but the car might have been insured under my sister's name since the car was still in her name (we traded cars, and I've been nagging her about getting the titled transferred over). I don't drive unless it's an emergency, and I just happened to need food.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:21 PM
Innocent until proven guilty? Hah! I love America.

Eric_the_Red
02-26-2010, 04:23 PM
Innocent until proven guilty? Hah! I love America.

What kind of proof would you be looking for since you refused the breathalyzer?

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:26 PM
What kind of proof would you be looking for since you refused the breathalyzer?
How does refusing the breathalyser prove that I'm guilty? Sure, it raises questions, but it's far from proof. I'm mad at myself for letting it get to this point, but I'm mad at the system for forcing me to admit to guilt to something I didn't do (DUI) in order for my punishment to be less severe than it would be if I were charged with the appropriate offenses.

Caveat Emperor
02-26-2010, 04:27 PM
I seriously considered taking this to trial, but after talking with you all and some lawyers (particularly the ones who have experience with Judge Karen Thomas), it sounds like my best bet is plea bargaining. In that case, do you think it's worth it for me to hire a lawyer?

On charges like this, you always want to give the impression that you are taking the matter seriously. It makes a favorable impression on the judge and can, in certain situation, get you a better deal from a prosecutor.

Prosecutors are lawyers, they usually have dockets to move and don't enjoy dealing with pro se litigants -- who generally don't understand what's going on, ask lots of questions (which is good for them, but annoying for a prosecutor who is responsible to the judge to keep a court docket moving), and are easy marks in a trial should it come to that (I'm always confident I can win a pro se trial, no matter what the facts are). An attorney will help you deal with the prosecutor and, in most circumstances, obtain the most favorable deal for you. An attorney will also explain the potential outcomes and consequences of any guilty plea, including for future driving purposes.

Further, an attorney will help you deal with the judge. They'll speak on your behalf and advise you the best things to say to your particular judge to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Hiring an attorney is a no-brianer here -- regardless of what you want to do.

Reds4Life
02-26-2010, 04:28 PM
How does refusing the breathalyser prove that I'm guilty? Sure, it raises questions, but it's far from proof. I'm mad at myself for letting it get to this point, but I'm mad at the system for forcing me to admit to guilt to something I didn't do (DUI) in order for my punishment to be less severe than it would be if I were charged with the appropriate offenses.

Since you didn't submit to the test, you have no idea if you were DUI or not. It doesn't take much to blow .08 or higher. If you were that confident, then you should have taken it. If it wasn't over the limit, you wouldn't have been arrested and charged with it.

Caveat Emperor
02-26-2010, 04:32 PM
How does refusing the breathalyser prove that I'm guilty? Sure, it raises questions, but it's far from proof. I'm mad at myself for letting it get to this point, but I'm mad at the system for forcing me to admit to guilt to something I didn't do (DUI) in order for my punishment to be less severe than it would be if I were charged with the appropriate offenses.

Here is evidence that'd kill you at a trial:

1. You were in a car that likely smelled like alcohol.
2. You likely admitted you'd been at a bar.
3. You likely admitted to the officers you had been drinking.
4. You couldn't recall how many drinks you had consumed.
5. You fell asleep at the wheel of your car while at a red light.
6. You had difficulty maintaining balance when exiting the vehicle.
7. You refused a chemical test which could have cleared your name and proved you were legal to drive.

Put yourself in the shoes of a juror. What's the most likely explanation for all of those facts?

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:36 PM
Here is evidence that'd kill you at a trial:

1. You were in a car that likely smelled like alcohol.
2. You likely admitted you'd been at a bar.
3. You likely admitted to the officers you had been drinking.
4. You couldn't recall how many drinks you had consumed.
5. You fell asleep at the wheel of your car while at a red light.
6. You had difficulty maintaining balance when exiting the vehicle.
7. You refused a chemical test which could have cleared your name and proved you were legal to drive.

Put yourself in the shoes of a juror. What's the most likely explanation for all of those facts?
My defense:
1. The car smelled like alcohol because there was someone in my car who was literally doused in beer earlier in the evening.
2. Yes, I was at a bar. I'm at the same bar, every Monday, because I play a gig there.
3. I never told the police I was drinking.
4. I don't know exactly how many drinks it was, but I know it was two or three, likely three.
5. Yes, I did. I was exhausted from the night before, and when my blood sugar gets low, it's very normal for me to become even more tired. I have been in several comas, actually.
6. Yes, I have torn ligaments in my knee that require surgery.
7. I refused the test because a lawyer told me to. Had I known it would've ended up like this, I would have accepted.

. . . and I have witnesses and proof for pretty much all of this.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 04:39 PM
I'm really not trying to be a jerk, but it sounds like you need to grow up, a lot.
I have a very dry sense of humor and am able to find humor in anything, but I don't think that necessarily means I need to grow up. It's just how I deal with things.

Roy Tucker
02-26-2010, 04:40 PM
Innocent until proven guilty? Hah! I love America.

I had no idea how the legal system really worked till my kids got in hot water. I got a crash course in how the system really works. It ain't like TV.

We were little lambies waiting for slaughter. My lawyer then got it all under control.

As Warren Zevon said, "send lawyers, guns, and money".

Raisor
02-26-2010, 04:43 PM
If you have a blood sugar problem that makes you fall asleep at the wheel, you shouldn't be driving anyway.

joshnky
02-26-2010, 04:49 PM
If you have a blood sugar problem that makes you fall asleep at the wheel, you shouldn't be driving anyway.

Great point. I'm not sure of the law but I'm pretty sure falling asleep at the wheel is not legal.

wolfboy
02-26-2010, 04:51 PM
Since you didn't submit to the test, you have no idea if you were DUI or not. It doesn't take much to blow .08 or higher. If you were that confident, then you should have taken it. If it wasn't over the limit, you wouldn't have been arrested and charged with it.

That's not true. He could have still been charged if the breathalyzer registered under .08 (at least in OH). Given the circumstances when they found him, it wouldn't have been surprising.

wolfboy
02-26-2010, 04:52 PM
If you have a blood sugar problem that makes you fall asleep at the wheel, you shouldn't be driving anyway.

Or without a license....or when he can't stand up to take a field sobriety test because of a bad knee.

WMR
02-26-2010, 04:52 PM
That's not true. He could have still been charged if the breathalyzer registered under .08 (at least in OH). Given the circumstances when they found him, it wouldn't have been surprising.

Yep, it would have, however, given him a much stronger defense and reason to fight the charge in court had he blown below a .08. That would have lended much more credibility to his other 'extenuating circumstances.'

wolfboy
02-26-2010, 04:59 PM
Yep, it would have, however, given him a much stronger defense and reason to fight the charge in court had he blown below a .08. That would have lended much more credibility to his other 'extenuating circumstances.'

What you say is true. I just wanted to point out that people do get charged and convicted of OVI even if they don't register at .08 or above. I'd rather not get into a discussion about the merits of taking the breathalyzer. Suffice it to say that there are viable arguments on both sides.

WMR
02-26-2010, 05:08 PM
What you say is true. I just wanted to point out that people do get charged and convicted of OVI even if they don't register at .08 or above. I'd rather not get into a discussion about the merits of taking the breathalyzer. Suffice it to say that there are viable arguments on both sides.

I'm with you.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 05:39 PM
My defense:
1. The car smelled like alcohol because there was someone in my car who was literally doused in beer earlier in the evening.
2. Yes, I was at a bar. I'm at the same bar, every Monday, because I play a gig there.
3. I never told the police I was drinking.
4. I don't know exactly how many drinks it was, but I know it was two or three, likely three.
5. Yes, I did. I was exhausted from the night before, and when my blood sugar gets low, it's very normal for me to become even more tired. I have been in several comas, actually.
6. Yes, I have torn ligaments in my knee that require surgery.
7. I refused the test because a lawyer told me to. Had I known it would've ended up like this, I would have accepted.

. . . and I have witnesses and proof for pretty much all of this.

Just an outsider's viewpoint- I promise you I mean this with all due respect.

In reading your account, it sounds like a story I would hear from a teenager caught out late at night.

The blood sugar thing is the dog ate my homework of DUI stops.

Tack on the torn ligament, the I only had two drinks (the receipt says more but those were for my friends...), my car smelled like beer, I called an attorney who said not to blow....

Come on. Enough. And I promise you most reading this are saying this to themselves. And if we're thinking it, a judge is going to think it. While everything you say could be true, the fact remains you were drinking then driving and you refused to blow.

Why is blowing important you ask? Well if everybody who was blasted up on alcohol refused to blow, we'd never have a DUI conviction. They'd all just pass on the breathlyzer. No thanks, officer! And off he'd go.

Back to the diabetes point- Our office is right next door to a Bail Bonds place and every one of their DUI cases is a diabetes defense.

I once witnessed a guy drive into a line of cars at a red light and guess what his defense was? My ex-girlfriend was on the jury for a DUI case and that was his defense, too. One of our plaza partners got arrested a few weeks ago and that was his defense.

If diabetes causes you to drive erratically or fall asleep at the wheel, perhaps diabetics sholdn't be on the road. I mean, if the disease mimics drunk driving, why should you be allowed to drive just because it is a disease and not alcohol? The issue is safety, not alcohol versus diabtes. If you can't operate a motor vehicle safely, then get off the streets.

Being asleep at a stop light isn't much better than drunk driving- tests have shown tired drivers are just as bad if not worse than drunk ones.

I don't want to pick on you- I just want to tell you honestly what this sounds like becuase if you go in front of a judge with a story like that- I promise you this isn't the first blood sugar DUI they've seen.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 05:46 PM
Innocent until proven guilty? Hah! I love America.

Dude, you were given the chance to prove your innocence when you were offered a breathylyzer. You refused.

Now, after your blood has had a chance to dry up, you want to say, "Believe me, it was my blood sugar."

If I'm not drinking, I'm blowing. You were drinking, which is why you didn't blow.

There really isn't much else to say.

You may avoid a DUI but your license would be suspended in many states for at least a year.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 05:50 PM
Thank you, Sea Ray; I sent an email through the link.

Also, I think I forgot to mention that I declined to blow in a breathalyser. Like I said, I did drink that night, and my concern was that if they detected any alcohol in my system whatsoever, they would try to argue that I was drunk at the time of the arrest and sobered up by the time I got to the police station.
By the way, all of you are helping me very much. Thank you again.

I don't understand the bolded part. They pulled you out of the car while you were driving, so if you blew over the limit after this time, it would have meant you were drunk. I'm probably missing something....

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 05:58 PM
Dude, you were given the chance to prove your innocence when you were offered a breathylyzer. You refused.

Now, after your blood has had a chance to dry up, you want to say, "Believe me, it was my blood sugar."

If I'm not drinking, I'm blowing. You were drinking, which is why you didn't blow.

There really isn't much else to say.

You may avoid a DUI but your license would be suspended in many states for at least a year.
Yes, I was drinking. I'm guilty of drinking and driving a vehicle in the same evening, but that isn't illegal. I am not guilty of driving while drunk. I am guilty of reckless operation (and driving without a valid license), and I am willing to accept that and be punished for that to the fullest extent of the law. However, I am willing to fight tooth and nail to prove that I was not driving while drunk.

And did you hear my reason for not blowing? Look at what wolfboy is saying. That's why I didn't blow. It's a prosecutor's job to get convictions--not concede to people he believes are probably innocent.

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 06:01 PM
Yes, I was drinking. I'm guilty of drinking and driving a vehicle in the same evening, but that isn't illegal. I am not guilty of driving while drunk. I am guilty of reckless operation (and driving without a valid license), and I am willing to accept that and be punished for that to the fullest extent of the law. However, I am willing to fight tooth and nail to prove that I was not driving while drunk.

And did you hear my reason for not blowing? Look at what wolfboy is saying. That's why I didn't blow. It's a prosecutor's job to get convictions--not concede to people he believes are probably innocent.

Well lets for a moment say you were drunk...with the actions you took how do you suppose the police could ever convict you then?

Eric_the_Red
02-26-2010, 06:02 PM
Yes, I was drinking. I'm guilty of drinking and driving a vehicle in the same evening, but that isn't illegal. I am not guilty of driving while drunk. I am guilty of reckless operation (and driving without a valid license), and I am willing to accept that and be punished for that to the fullest extent of the law. However, I am willing to fight tooth and nail to prove that I was not driving while drunk.

And did you hear my reason for not blowing? Look at what wolfboy is saying. That's why I didn't blow. It's a prosecutor's job to get convictions--not concede to people he believes are probably innocent.

But how do you "prove" you weren't drunk? How do you prove a negative? I just don't see how you win this one.

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 06:07 PM
But how do you "prove" you weren't drunk? How do you prove a negative? I just don't see how you win this one.

He's gonna claim the police have to prove he was drunk...something that they were not able to do.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:08 PM
I don't understand the bolded part. They pulled you out of the car while you were driving, so if you blew over the limit after this time, it would have meant you were drunk. I'm probably missing something....
It is possible to have alcohol in your system while not being drunk. If I blew even a .03, the prosecutor can make the argument that I was drunk at the time of the arrest and just sobered up quickly.

In the state I was found (asleep at the wheel, trouble with balance), the prosecutor is going to argue that I was so drunk that I appeared to have had about 12-14 drinks in the same evening. Have you ever seen a 170 lb. man with a high tolerance for alcohol get that drunk off three alcoholic beverages over the course of five hours? If so, was he so drunk that he passed out at the wheel and appeared to be so incapable of doing a field test that the officers felt it was best to skip the test for the safety of the person being arrested?

hebroncougar
02-26-2010, 06:08 PM
Just an outsider's viewpoint- I promise you I mean this with all due respect.

In reading your account, it sounds like a story I would hear from a teenager caught out late at night.

The blood sugar thing is the dog ate my homework of DUI stops.

Tack on the torn ligament, the I only had two drinks (the receipt says more but those were for my friends...), my car smelled like beer, I called an attorney who said not to blow....

Come on. Enough. And I promise you most reading this are saying this to themselves. And if we're thinking it, a judge is going to think it. While everything you say could be true, the fact remains you were drinking then driving and you refused to blow.

Why is blowing important you ask? Well if everybody who was blasted up on alcohol refused to blow, we'd never have a DUI conviction. They'd all just pass on the breathlyzer. No thanks, officer! And off he'd go.

Back to the diabetes point- Our office is right next door to a Bail Bonds place and every one of their DUI cases is a diabetes defense.

I once witnessed a guy drive into a line of cars at a red light and guess what his defense was? My ex-girlfriend was on the jury for a DUI case and that was his defense, too. One of our plaza partners got arrested a few weeks ago and that was his defense.

If diabetes causes you to drive erratically or fall asleep at the wheel, perhaps diabetics sholdn't be on the road. I mean, if the disease mimics drunk driving, why should you be allowed to drive just because it is a disease and not alcohol? The issue is safety, not alcohol versus diabtes. If you can't operate a motor vehicle safely, then get off the streets.

Being asleep at a stop light isn't much better than drunk driving- tests have shown tired drivers are just as bad if not worse than drunk ones.

I don't want to pick on you- I just want to tell you honestly what this sounds like becuase if you go in front of a judge with a story like that- I promise you this isn't the first blood sugar DUI they've seen.

+1, not to mention, just being behind the wheel, impaired or not at this point, YOU are driving illegally because your license wasn't legal. You've got a whole lot working against you.

Caveat Emperor
02-26-2010, 06:09 PM
He's gonna claim the police have to prove he was drunk...something that they were not able to do.

They don't have to prove he was drunk, they have to prove that his ability to operate his motor vehicle was appreciably impaired due to the effects of consumption of alcohol.

Big difference.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:11 PM
Well lets for a moment say you were drunk...with the actions you took how do you suppose the police could ever convict you then?
I was asleep at the wheel. I had trouble maintaining my balance. There was a scent of alcohol in my vehicle. I had been at a bar earlier in the night. The police will state that I was clearly drunk in their opinion. I'm sure they'll be able to come up with more evidence beyond that, too.

redsfanmia
02-26-2010, 06:13 PM
Just an outsider's viewpoint- I promise you I mean this with all due respect.

In reading your account, it sounds like a story I would hear from a teenager caught out late at night.

The blood sugar thing is the dog ate my homework of DUI stops.

Tack on the torn ligament, the I only had two drinks (the receipt says more but those were for my friends...), my car smelled like beer, I called an attorney who said not to blow....

Come on. Enough. And I promise you most reading this are saying this to themselves. And if we're thinking it, a judge is going to think it. While everything you say could be true, the fact remains you were drinking then driving and you refused to blow.

Why is blowing important you ask? Well if everybody who was blasted up on alcohol refused to blow, we'd never have a DUI conviction. They'd all just pass on the breathlyzer. No thanks, officer! And off he'd go.

Back to the diabetes point- Our office is right next door to a Bail Bonds place and every one of their DUI cases is a diabetes defense.

I once witnessed a guy drive into a line of cars at a red light and guess what his defense was? My ex-girlfriend was on the jury for a DUI case and that was his defense, too. One of our plaza partners got arrested a few weeks ago and that was his defense.

If diabetes causes you to drive erratically or fall asleep at the wheel, perhaps diabetics sholdn't be on the road. I mean, if the disease mimics drunk driving, why should you be allowed to drive just because it is a disease and not alcohol? The issue is safety, not alcohol versus diabtes. If you can't operate a motor vehicle safely, then get off the streets.

Being asleep at a stop light isn't much better than drunk driving- tests have shown tired drivers are just as bad if not worse than drunk ones.

I don't want to pick on you- I just want to tell you honestly what this sounds like becuase if you go in front of a judge with a story like that- I promise you this isn't the first blood sugar DUI they've seen.

I like the way you said with all due respect. I agree with you 100% Seems like to me that this case is a slam dunk DUI and you should take a plea if offered.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:13 PM
For the record, I'm not expecting to come out of this without at least one conviction. My only argument is that I am not guilty of a DUI.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:14 PM
I like the way you said with all due respect. I agree with you 100% Seems like to me that this case is a slam dunk DUI and you should take a plea if offered.
Are you being sarcastic?

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:17 PM
But how do you "prove" you weren't drunk? How do you prove a negative? I just don't see how you win this one.
I must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't have to prove anything. The prosecutor is responsible for proving that I was guilty of a DUI.

Caveat Emperor
02-26-2010, 06:17 PM
Are you being sarcastic?

I'm guessing not. FWIW, if this case was on my docket, I'd be very confident that I'd be able to obtain a conviction either to the bench or to the box. These facts skew heavily towards the State / Commonwealth, and I've seen cases with similar evidence result in quick convictions.

I can't give you legal advice, but I'd strongly urge you to obtain representation and listen carefully to what an attorney tells you about this case.

TeamSelig
02-26-2010, 06:17 PM
In the little bit of training that I have, I was always taught to ask if the suspect is a diabetic because of coordination issues and their breath can supposedly have a sweet smell to it, similar to alcohol.

I could be mistaken, but I believe in Indiana if you refuse the breathalyzer it is an automatic suspension of your license. Then, they can get a search warrant for your blood to get your BAC... which lands you with suspended licenses and a DUI.

redsfanmia
02-26-2010, 06:18 PM
Are you being sarcastic?

I just found it amusing that he said with all due respect, did not mean to be offensive. It just sounds like to me you do not have much of a leg to stand on. If I were on a jury and this was the story I would say guilty with out much deliberation.

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 06:18 PM
I don't think you understood the spirit of my question camis,

Let's say your story is 100 percent accurate and you were not drunk/OVI/whatever...

But 2 blocks over the exact same sequence of events occured to your identical clone, who was drunk.

How do you think the police/judge/jury should differeniate between the two cases?

Raisor
02-26-2010, 06:24 PM
I must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't have to prove anything. The prosecutor is responsible for proving that I was guilty of a DUI.

and he'll do this by showing that
1. You were asleep at the wheel
2. Smelled of alcohol.
3. Refused a breathalizer
4. Had trouble standing

Do you really think a jury will need any more dots connected?

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:25 PM
I don't think you understood the spirit of my question camis,

Let's say your story is 100 percent accurate and you were not drunk/OVI/whatever...

But 2 blocks over the exact same sequence of events occured to your identical clone, who was drunk.

How do you think the police/judge/jury should differeniate between the two cases?
Oh, I see. Yeah, there are obviously flaws in the wording of everything. I guess your point is eventually going to be that I'm grasping at straws. That may be correct. But if you're accused of something you didn't do, would you accept it and move on, or would you try to fight it?

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:29 PM
and he'll do this by showing that
1. You were asleep at the wheel
2. Smelled of alcohol.
3. Refused a breathalizer
4. Had trouble standing

Do you really think a jury will need any more dots connected?
If the jury will listen (which is apparently a real wildcard), I have legal and/or medical explanations for everything that happened. I am currently walking with a strong limp. For the same reason that wolfboy mentioned, I declined the breathalyser. My car smelled of alcohol for the reason that someone who had a beer poured on him had been in my car less than 15 minutes of when the arrest occurred (I have witnesses for this). I was asleep at the wheel for reasons dealing with my condition, which can be backed up by any doctor with knowledge of diabetes.

I'm not saying a jury wouldn't convict me, but do you really think that makes me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 06:32 PM
I just can't understand why you wouldn't blow.

In Kentucky, if you don't blow you are automatically guilty of refusing to blow, which carries an automatic license suspension of 30 days, and it also means that you are automatically charged with aggravated DUI, which means double penalties: double fines, jail time, license suspension.

And- even if you are found not guilty of DUI, you still are guilty of failing to blow, which means that the judge can apologize to you for having wrongfully arrested you, but you still will be guilty of not blowing. They are two separate issues.

I cannot imagine a universe where someone would tell you not to blow. The only time I would not blow is if I knew I was way over the limit.

When I say I mean this with all due respect- I'm just trying to be honest. This is not personal, but I shouldn't sit here when the story is not passing the smell test and say nothing.

None of this makes sense to me.

Which tells me you were drunk. And I mean that with all due respect. :)

Raisor
02-26-2010, 06:33 PM
I'm not saying a jury wouldn't convict me, but do you really think that makes me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

Frankly, yes. Being as honest as I can here.

You need to cop a plea, and I'd be surprised if that's not what your lawyer recommends.

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 06:35 PM
I just can't understand why you wouldn't blow.

In Kentucky, if you don't blow you are automatically guilty of refusing to blow, which carries an automatic license suspension of 30 days, and it also means that you are automatically charged with aggravated DUI, which means double penalties: double fines, jail time, license suspension.

And- even if you are found not guilty of DUI, you still are guilty of failing to blow, which means that the judge can apologize to you for having wrongfully arrested you, but you still will be guilty of not blowing. They are two separate issues.

I cannot imagine a universe where someone would tell you not to blow. The only time I would not blow is if I knew I was way over the limit.

When I say I mean this with all due respect- I'm just trying to be honest. This is not personal, but I shouldn't sit here when the story is not passing the smell test and say nothing.

None of this makes sense to me.

Which tells me you were drunk. And I mean that with all due respect. :)

Outstanding points up and down these past few pages Dom.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 06:36 PM
Oh, I see. Yeah, there are obviously flaws in the wording of everything. I guess your point is eventually going to be that I'm grasping at straws. That may be correct. But if you're accused of something you didn't do, would you accept it and move on, or would you try to fight it?


How do you know you didn't do it? You didn't blow.

Which again, is against the law.

And if you knew you didn't do it, then you should have blown.

And these law officers tell you this- they do- as a matter of fact, they tell you as an incentive to get you to blow.

And if this attorney you called (while handcuffed, I presume, they don't just sit you in the back of the car while being arrested) just said, nah don't blow, and you didn't tell him that you weren't drunk...and you can't remember his name, but you knew a number to call....

I dunno...doesn't make any sense.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:40 PM
I just can't understand why you wouldn't blow.

In Kentucky, if you don't blow you are automatically guilty of refusing to blow, which carries an automatic license suspension of 30 days, and it also means that you are automatically charged with aggravated DUI, which means double penalties: double fines, jail time, license suspension.

Actually, it's unaggravated because it's my first offense.


And- even if you are found not guilty of DUI, you still are guilty of failing to blow, which means that the judge can apologize to you for having wrongfully arrested you, but you still will be guilty of not blowing. They are two separate issues.

I didn't blow because a lawyer told me not to.


I cannot imagine a universe where someone would tell you not to blow. The only time I would not blow is if I knew I was way over the limit.

When I say I mean this with all due respect- I'm just trying to be honest. This is not personal, but I shouldn't sit here when the story is not passing the smell test and say nothing.

None of this makes sense to me.

Which tells me you were drunk. And I mean that with all due respect. :)
Actually, you have been more than respectful. For you to offer an opinion is very nice of you because I'm sure you have good intentions in mind. I really appreciate your and everyone else's input.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:43 PM
How do you know you didn't do it? You didn't blow.

Which again, is against the law.

And if you knew you didn't do it, then you should have blown.

And these law officers tell you this- they do- as a matter of fact, they tell you as an incentive to get you to blow.

And if this attorney you called (while handcuffed, I presume, they don't just sit you in the back of the car while being arrested) just said, nah don't blow, and you didn't tell him that you weren't drunk...and you can't remember his name, but you knew a number to call....

I dunno...doesn't make any sense.
I never knew it was against the law, and I have a million excuses for not wanting to blow in a breathalyser, most of which have nothing to do with alcohol.

For the record, I called several lawyers that night, and the ones I called were the ones that had the biggest advertisements in the phone book.

Raisor
02-26-2010, 06:43 PM
I didn't blow because a lawyer told me not to.


.

Did you call this lawyer on your cell? Do you have the number?

You don't know who the lawyer is, right?

I don't think I'd mention this in court.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:48 PM
Did you call this lawyer on your cell? Do you have the number?

You don't know who the lawyer is, right?

I don't think I'd mention this in court.
Actually, I never thought to check my call history. I'm going to do that right now. Do you think that will help me?

Raisor
02-26-2010, 06:50 PM
Actually, I never thought to check my call history. I'm going to do that right now. Do you think that will help me?

no.

A jury isn't going to care if you got bad advice.

westofyou
02-26-2010, 06:51 PM
Did you call this lawyer on your cell? Do you have the number?

You don't know who the lawyer is, right?

I don't think I'd mention this in court.
I'd avoid court at all costs, the story I've read here will fall flat 30 seconds into the excuse path. Add in any odd body language and built in predjudices from judge/jury and the penanlty will just get larger with each word.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 06:53 PM
No. Falure to blow in Kentucky is an automatic aggravated DUI.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 06:53 PM
no.

A jury isn't going to care if you got bad advice.
So what you're saying is that even though I'm innocent, I should plead guilty?

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 06:57 PM
Listen- the only time you don't blow in Kentucky is if your blood alcohol level is over 1.6.

That is very, very drunk, and any lawyer would know that.

And if you weren't very, very drunk, then you should have blown.

If your BAC is 0.8-1.6, you get a DUI. Higher than that is an aggravated DUI, which is what you get charged with when you refuse to blow.

So sue your lawyer and bend over and grab your ankles and pray for a plea.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 07:07 PM
No. Falure to blow in Kentucky is an automatic aggravated DUI.
That's not what the lawyer told me.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 07:11 PM
That's not what the lawyer told me.

If you did not blow and you were arrested, you were automatically charged with aggravated DUI.

That's how they get you to blow.

This is not optional. By not blowing, you automatically are charged with this, whether you were a choir boy or Adolf Hitler.

Now- you may not be convicted of this becuase of your prior record, but believe me, you're charged with it.

It is against the law to not blow in Kentucky. It is a crime.

Even if they end up not charging you with a DUI, you didn't blow, so it's an automatic license suspension.

Raisor
02-26-2010, 07:13 PM
If you were arraigned, you should have some paperwork saying what you were charged with someplace.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 07:13 PM
If you were arraigned, you should have some paperwork saying what you were charged with someplace.
When I get home from work, I'll look that up. Maybe the lawyer was talking about Ohio law or something like that.

westofyou
02-26-2010, 07:19 PM
I'd look at my outgoing calls and any paperwork I might have from the incident before I queried a bunch of baseball loving guys on what the law is.

Fact is by you not doing that (or realizing it??) makes me ponder if you still might have a slight buzz happening.

camisadelgolf
02-26-2010, 07:27 PM
This thread has been extremely helpful. Does anyone know where I could get a great price on a lawyer for the sake of plea bargaining? At the moment, that's what I'm leaning toward.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 07:43 PM
This thread has been extremely helpful. Does anyone know where I could get a great price on a lawyer for the sake of plea bargaining? At the moment, that's what I'm leaning toward.

I think you'll get offered a deal- they'll lower it from aggravated DUI to DUI if you just plead guilty.

But lordy, if you weren't drunk (as in 1.6 or above), just blow....

Lesson learned.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 07:52 PM
It's just odd to me that a lawyer would tell you to not take a breathlyzer without knowing the facts.

He essentially just guaranteed you an aggravated DUI charge over a DUI.

Just remember- if you are really drunk- like fall down, crazy- refuse the breathlyzer. At this point you know you're up for aggravated, so make them prove it. If you arent, though, then take it.

I also find it odd they didn't give you a field test. Usually that provides them with probable cause. They need that, because a good DUI lawyer will try and get your case thrown out under that premise. To just see you swerve or cross a yellow line, isn't enough, so they normally want you to fail a field test, then they can ask you, with cause, to take a breathlyzer test. These guys aren't stupid (well, they can be, but you know what I mean...)....

In your case you were just sitting at a light asleep, so not sure how much cause is there, other than the alcohol smell. That may be enough, but that field test is a good way to have cause for you to blow....

joshnky
02-26-2010, 08:32 PM
When I was in the cruiser, I called a lawyer (I forget which one), and he told me not to submit to the breathalyser and to call him the next day (which I didn't do).

You were able to get a lawyer to pick up in the middle of the night? At least I'm assuming this wasn't from 9-5 on a weekday.

Newport Red
02-26-2010, 08:35 PM
You were able to get a lawyer to pick up in the middle of the night? At least I'm assuming this wasn't from 9-5 on a weekday.

I think most lawyers who specialize in DUI answer the phone 24/7 since a majority of their client's "problems" are in the early AM.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2010, 08:38 PM
You were able to get a lawyer to pick up in the middle of the night? At least I'm assuming this wasn't from 9-5 on a weekday.

Normally you don't call anyone from the back of a cruiser. If u r there, ur under arrest, and if u r under arrest, u r cuffed.

Yachtzee
02-26-2010, 09:02 PM
I would just like to point out some information to you (not legal advice, just information, but important). Anything you say, including in a thread on a baseball discussion board, is considered an admission by a defendant and could be used at trial if an enterprising prosecutor or one of their volunteer law students were able to link you to your Redszone persona. Your best bet is to contact the bar association in the community where the court is located as ask for a referral to a DUI attorney with experience in that particular court. If you need to attorney shop for a better price, so be it. People do it all the time. However, I would refrain from further discussing the facts of the case in this thread.

savafan
02-26-2010, 09:53 PM
I don't know about your story. The only thing I have to add to this is that every DUI lawyer that I've ever talked with has told me that if I ever get pulled over and have been drinking, that I should always refuse the breathalyser test, no matter what. I'm not sure the reasons, but I think that is typical advice.

dabvu2498
02-26-2010, 09:58 PM
I don't know about your story. The only thing I have to add to this is that every DUI lawyer that I've ever talked with has told me that if I ever get pulled over and have been drinking, that I should always refuse the breathalyser test, no matter what. I'm not sure the reasons, but I think that is typical advice.

Old school, that was 100% true. "Don't walk, don't talk, don't blow, don't go (peepee)" was the rule of thumb.

New school, that's tough. New laws re: license suspensions and new case law have changed the game.

I know what I'd do. In Ohio. (Don't drink anymore, so that's not an issue.)

In Kentucky, I may do something different.

Yachtzee
02-26-2010, 10:00 PM
I don't know about your story. The only thing I have to add to this is that every DUI lawyer that I've ever talked with has told me that if I ever get pulled over and have been drinking, that I should always refuse the breathalyser test, no matter what. I'm not sure the reasons, but I think that is typical advice.

The problem is, the law keeps changing, usually in the direction that stacks the deck in the prosecution's favor. The more I deal with it, the more I tell people to have a designated driver. States like Ohio now allow law enforcement to force you to take a blood draw if you refuse the breathalyzer. Not that many communities are taking advantage of it, but it's an option they have.

dabvu2498
02-26-2010, 10:01 PM
Best rule of thumb when picking an attorney is if he makes you a promise, walk away. If he/she says "I guarantee I can do ____ for you," get out.

Tell him/her what your best case scenario for your case is, he should tell you whether or not that's realistic and go from there.

Attorneys who make promises about what they can do for you are what gives the profession a bad name.

Yachtzee
02-26-2010, 10:02 PM
Best rule of thumb when picking an attorney is if he makes you a promise, walk away. If he/she says "I guarantee I can do ____ for you," get out.

Tell him/her what your best case scenario for your case is, he should tell you whether or not that's realistic and go from there.

Attorneys who make promises about what they can do for you are what gives the profession a bad name.

Exactamundo.

JayBruceFan
02-26-2010, 10:32 PM
So,

You drove after you had been drinking, don't have a valid license, and you have no insurance.

Take whatever you can get, which is probably not going to be much

kaldaniels
02-26-2010, 10:34 PM
DUI is serious business and I don't think anyone in here would disagree. I just don't see why the states can't make part of getting your license that you must submit to a breathalyzer test. Frankly it makes me sad that there is a whole subset of attorneys devoted to helping DUIers wiggle out of their punishment. Maybe this is the way the whole legal system works but its almost like this DUI business is a game between the driver, the attorney, and the court system...no offense intended on this.

savafan
02-26-2010, 10:40 PM
DUI is serious business and I don't think anyone in here would disagree. I just don't see why the states can't make part of getting your license that you must submit to a breathalyzer test. Frankly it makes me sad that there is a whole subset of attorneys devoted to helping DUIers wiggle out of their punishment. Maybe this is the way the whole legal system works but its almost like this DUI business is a game between the driver, the attorney, and the court system...no offense intended on this.

It's not just with DUIs, it's the entire legal system. The truth isn't what matters, all that matters is what can be proven.

TRF
02-26-2010, 11:36 PM
camis, can you go ahead and reject/accept my trade proposal. I'm worried you won't have access to the internet for a while after reading this thread.

dabvu2498
02-27-2010, 12:29 AM
DUI is serious business and I don't think anyone in here would disagree. I just don't see why the states can't make part of getting your license that you must submit to a breathalyzer test. Frankly it makes me sad that there is a whole subset of attorneys devoted to helping DUIers wiggle out of their punishment. Maybe this is the way the whole legal system works but its almost like this DUI business is a game between the driver, the attorney, and the court system...no offense intended on this. Some would say that being forced to take a breathalyzer is a violation of privacy.

kaldaniels
02-27-2010, 12:33 AM
Some would say that being forced to take a breathalyzer is a violation of privacy.

I propose that right be given up in return for the state handing you a license, though I will get some dissenters on that one.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2010, 12:49 AM
Some would say that being forced to take a breathalyzer is a violation of privacy.

It's the nature of drinking and driving. If you are going to have a set BAC that is illegal, there has to be a system in place to measure it at the time you are caught.

It's one of those crimes where the evidence needed to prove you were doing wrong disappears within hours.

To be able to legally refuse one sort of flips the bird at the law. It's not like the police can go down to the courthouse and get a warrant for a test- by the time they got one, you'd be sobered up.

To determine if you are above the legal limit, the police need to know right then and there.

I don't think it invades anybody's civil liberties to ask them to blow into a tube.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2010, 12:50 AM
I propose that right be given up in return for the state handing you a license, though I will get some dissenters on that one.

I agree. It's not like you could drive 95 mph and then say, you know, you can't clock me.

RBA
02-27-2010, 01:40 AM
There's a good chance your interactions with the police and in your cell were recorded: audio and video. Just something to think about.

Yachtzee
02-27-2010, 02:21 AM
DUI is serious business and I don't think anyone in here would disagree. I just don't see why the states can't make part of getting your license that you must submit to a breathalyzer test. Frankly it makes me sad that there is a whole subset of attorneys devoted to helping DUIers wiggle out of their punishment. Maybe this is the way the whole legal system works but its almost like this DUI business is a game between the driver, the attorney, and the court system...no offense intended on this.

There are implied consent laws. It makes me sad that people don't have enough respect for their constitutional rights that they feel sad that there are attorneys out there that people can hire to protect them. There is a whole subset of police officers who will pull someone over because one tire touched the fog line, will cut corners left and right on the field sobriety tests, and still arrest a person for DUI even if they pass the breathalyzer. For every bunch of good officers out there, there are a few bad apples.

Believe it or not, defense attorneys aren't always trying to get the guilty off. They're job is to zealously defend the rights of the accused to the best of their ability. That typically means ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution does their job of proving all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and doing so according to the procedural safeguards intended to protect our constitutional rights. If defense attorneys make you sad, then so be it. Maybe you'll change your mind if you or someone you love ever needs one.

WMR
02-27-2010, 02:48 AM
There are implied consent laws. It makes me sad that people don't have enough respect for their constitutional rights that they feel sad that there are attorneys out there that people can hire to protect them. There is a whole subset of police officers who will pull someone over because one tire touched the fog line, will cut corners left and right on the field sobriety tests, and still arrest a person for DUI even if they pass the breathalyzer. For every bunch of good officers out there, there are a few bad apples.

Believe it or not, defense attorneys aren't always trying to get the guilty off. They're job is to zealously defend the rights of the accused to the best of their ability. That typically means ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution does their job of proving all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and doing so according to the procedural safeguards intended to protect our constitutional rights. If defense attorneys make you sad, then so be it. Maybe you'll change your mind if you or someone you love ever needs one.

Well said.

No one should willingly give up a single inch of their civil liberties. Civil liberties are what make this country great.

reds1869
02-27-2010, 08:39 AM
There are implied consent laws. It makes me sad that people don't have enough respect for their constitutional rights that they feel sad that there are attorneys out there that people can hire to protect them. There is a whole subset of police officers who will pull someone over because one tire touched the fog line, will cut corners left and right on the field sobriety tests, and still arrest a person for DUI even if they pass the breathalyzer. For every bunch of good officers out there, there are a few bad apples.

Believe it or not, defense attorneys aren't always trying to get the guilty off. They're job is to zealously defend the rights of the accused to the best of their ability. That typically means ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution does their job of proving all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and doing so according to the procedural safeguards intended to protect our constitutional rights. If defense attorneys make you sad, then so be it. Maybe you'll change your mind if you or someone you love ever needs one.

Great post.

Eric_the_Red
02-27-2010, 09:40 AM
I'd like my civil liberties protected by not being killed by a drunk driver. But that's just me.

How about instead of arguing about lawyers and the rules, just not driving if you've had more than a couple of drinks?

Another thought....if my son was killed by another driver who passed out, regardless of whether the other driver was drunk or diabetic, and that other driver had a suspended license, I would OWN him.

kaldaniels
02-27-2010, 10:02 AM
There are implied consent laws. It makes me sad that people don't have enough respect for their constitutional rights that they feel sad that there are attorneys out there that people can hire to protect them. There is a whole subset of police officers who will pull someone over because one tire touched the fog line, will cut corners left and right on the field sobriety tests, and still arrest a person for DUI even if they pass the breathalyzer. For every bunch of good officers out there, there are a few bad apples.

Believe it or not, defense attorneys aren't always trying to get the guilty off. They're job is to zealously defend the rights of the accused to the best of their ability. That typically means ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution does their job of proving all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and doing so according to the procedural safeguards intended to protect our constitutional rights. If defense attorneys make you sad, then so be it. Maybe you'll change your mind if you or someone you love ever needs one.

Your thoughts on the Donte Stallworth case? (I'll even give you a head start...the pedestrian was jaywalking)

I'm all for people getting a fair shot...but note I said "subset", so I was not knocking all defense attorneys. Don't turn it into that.

GAC
02-27-2010, 10:28 AM
Tell the judge you play for the Bengals. You'll probably get a lighter sentence. ;)

Ok. All kidding aside, and from reading your detailed response of the situation, you're most probably not going to out of this with or without a lawyer. Why in my opinion?.....

Irregardless of the fact that you're diabetic, had knee surgery, the number of drinks YOU SAY you had, the way the officer's might have talked/treated you, the condition of the jail cell, and other particulars you mention - all that, in the eyes of the Judge, will be inconsequential. I know it may sound uncaring, but he/she could really care less.


I must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't have to prove anything. The prosecutor is responsible for proving that I was guilty of a DUI.

Again - when it comes down to your word vs the police officer(s), that police report is all the evidence (proof) the Judge needs, and will look at. Unless you and/or your lawyer can prove otherwise.

In the state of Ohio, there are several ways in which you can be charged with an OVI relating to alcohol. You can be charged with OVI for being impaired, without any chemical test if the officer has reason to believe you are under the influence.

They didn't give you a field test. That is at the officer's discretion, and won't matter to the Judge. If the officer felt it wouldn't be safe to do so, or in their opinion you were to inebriated to perform one, whatever, then that Judge will accept that.

You refused the breathalyser, which is your right to do so. Many may refuse to do so simply because they know that by submitting to these tests, you run the risk of providing evidence to the State of Ohio that will be used against you to prove that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. But there are also repercussions for failing to submit in the state of Ohio - you will then be immediately arrested and charged with OVI.

And once you are charged, then it's up to you and/or your lawyer to prove your innocence too.

Here's a FAQ article by a Columbus lawyer.... http://www.probstlawoffice.com/CM/Custom/Custom4.asp

The bottom line is - unless you have have some really sound evidence to present (not circumstantial) to prove that you weren't driving under the influence, such as - can you prove that diabetes (your sugar level) was the reason you fell asleep at the intersection with the car in drive and your foot on the brake, an it wasn't at all related to the alcohol you consumed? Because it is a FACT you consumed alcohol and was behind the wheel of a car- then it's going to again come down to your word vs the arresting officer(s), and you're going to lose most likely.

And even if you tried to use your diabetes as a defense or line of reasoning, it is a very poor defense simply because, IMO, a Judge is going to come right back at you with... "As a diabetic, don't you realize that alcohol consumption, especially if you're on medication, can interact and cause complications with your disease, and did you take that into consideration when you went out socializing?"

Now I'm not advising you to not sit down in an initial consultation with a lawyer. But again IMO, any reputable lawyer, if you give him the same testimony you have presented here, would probably look at it and tell you that you have a huge uphill battle because your evidence is pretty much circumstantial, and it would be very difficult to prove and more importantly - refute the officer's report.

Your only hope is getting a lawyer who can possibly plea bargain it down.

Sea Ray
02-27-2010, 10:58 AM
In Ohio you agree to take a breathalyzer if asked when you renew your license. Basically you give up that civil right (to refuse) if you want the priviledge of driving. This was recently reviewed by the Ohio Supreme Court and they ruled that it is constitutional and further they can give you harsher penalties for refusing to do so


Ohio is an implied consent state. This means that as a condition of holding a driver's license in Ohio, drivers have given consent to the police to perform a breathalyzer or other chemical test if arrested for a DUI/OVI (R.C. 4511.191).

Taking it a step further, the statute enhances the penalties for a DUI if the driver refuses to submit to the chemical test. Before the law was changed, drivers who refused the breathalyzer only faced administrative penalties, but under the changes, they also now face increased criminal penalties as well.http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/ohio-imposes-harsh-penalties-for-refusing-breathalyzer-132755.php

Sea Ray
02-27-2010, 11:09 AM
You refused the breathalyser, which is your right to do so. Many may refuse to do so simply because they know that by submitting to these tests, you run the risk of providing evidence to the State of Ohio that will be used against you to prove that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. But there are also repercussions for failing to submit in the state of Ohio - you will then be immediately arrested and charged with OVI.




In Ohio you really do not have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. That's why they can impose harsher penalties on you for refusing. Of course in his case it was in Kentucky and their laws may differ

Dom Heffner
02-27-2010, 11:11 AM
In Ohio you really do not have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. That's why they can impose harsher penalties on you for refusing. Of course in his case it was in Kentucky and their laws may differ

Kentucky is the same as far as harsher penalties go.

And I loved Yachtzee's post, at least in theory anyway.

The distrust of defense attorneys comes from being on both sides of the issue. If it was your son who got killed, you'd hate the defense lawyer trying to get the accused off. If it's your son being tried for the crime, the defense attorney is your friend.

And while I realize that defense attorneys are there to ensure the process of putting someone behind bars is valid, they also go overboard sometimes for the sake of their ego and wanting to win.

Who can forget Barry Scheck, "Mr. Innocence Project," ripping apart Dennis Fung with a text book that nobody ever, ever, follows to the tee, while knowing full well that the DNA proved only Mr. Simpson could have killed his wife.

He used his reputation and expertise to let someone go that he knew fully well did it. A reputation he earned freeing innocent people, which is wonderful, but then you turn around and use your reputation as a payday and media exposure for yourself. Boo. And you can talk all day about processes and civil liberties, and everybody with a sane mind knew Simpson was given more than a fair shake.

You see something like that and you don't think these guys are noble anymore.

On the flip side, there are enough zealous prosecutors out there to more than make up for the sly defnse attornies.

They balance themselves out- and one can certainly see how both sides can come off as not being good for the system.

Sea Ray
02-27-2010, 11:45 AM
Ahhh Barry Scheck and the OJ case...I blame the jury on that one; not Scheck and his expertise. The jury was too stupid to see that if Fung's evidence was contaminated it would have led to a false negative. In other words he can't use a dirty glove and magically synthesize OJ's DNA. Contamination would dissolve someone's DNA not create it.

I understand your larger point that our legal system does lead to a few aquitals like OJ's and Robert Blake's. I'm OK with that. The nuisance lawsuits are another story.

Roy Tucker
02-27-2010, 11:46 AM
There are implied consent laws. It makes me sad that people don't have enough respect for their constitutional rights that they feel sad that there are attorneys out there that people can hire to protect them. There is a whole subset of police officers who will pull someone over because one tire touched the fog line, will cut corners left and right on the field sobriety tests, and still arrest a person for DUI even if they pass the breathalyzer. For every bunch of good officers out there, there are a few bad apples.

Believe it or not, defense attorneys aren't always trying to get the guilty off. They're job is to zealously defend the rights of the accused to the best of their ability. That typically means ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution does their job of proving all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and doing so according to the procedural safeguards intended to protect our constitutional rights. If defense attorneys make you sad, then so be it. Maybe you'll change your mind if you or someone you love ever needs one.

Well said.

Like I mentioned before, many of us lay people have no idea as to how the law works. At least me. I may have a lot of naive ideas about rights and how it should be and all that. But I rapidly realized I needed someone highly experienced and trained (and licensed) in the field of law. I needed them to explain to me what the realities are, what our situation is, and what our courses of action are. And yes, that costs money. But its money well-spent. Don't screw around with your freedom.

Most lawyers will do the free consultation thing. Call a few and explain it all. Don't screw around in here. Spend your time on the phone. Go with someone you feel a connection with and you feel they are highly competent. You're in some deep yogurt and you need representation. Like, now.

wolfboy
02-27-2010, 12:14 PM
There are implied consent laws. It makes me sad that people don't have enough respect for their constitutional rights that they feel sad that there are attorneys out there that people can hire to protect them. There is a whole subset of police officers who will pull someone over because one tire touched the fog line, will cut corners left and right on the field sobriety tests, and still arrest a person for DUI even if they pass the breathalyzer. For every bunch of good officers out there, there are a few bad apples.

Believe it or not, defense attorneys aren't always trying to get the guilty off. They're job is to zealously defend the rights of the accused to the best of their ability. That typically means ensuring that law enforcement and prosecution does their job of proving all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and doing so according to the procedural safeguards intended to protect our constitutional rights. If defense attorneys make you sad, then so be it. Maybe you'll change your mind if you or someone you love ever needs one.

Great post Yachtzee.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2010, 12:15 PM
Ahhh Barry Scheck and the OJ case...I blame the jury on that one; not Scheck and his expertise. The jury was too stupid to see that if Fung's evidence was contaminated it would have led to a false negative. In other words he can't use a dirty glove and magically synthesize OJ's DNA. Contamination would dissolve someone's DNA not create it.

I understand your larger point that our legal system does lead to a few aquitals like OJ's and Robert Blake's. I'm OK with that. The nuisance lawsuits are another story.

It may be the jury's fault for believing it, but he still stood up and said it.

None of it was true- and if you have to lie in hopes of having a stupid jury believe you, you aren't protecting rights and you aren't noble.

Deepred05
02-27-2010, 12:41 PM
This thread has been extremely helpful. Does anyone know where I could get a great price on a lawyer for the sake of plea bargaining? At the moment, that's what I'm leaning toward.

I have had numerous friends get DUI, and the total cost when the state was done with you is around $10,000. Of course I am talking about California and Washington, but I cant imagine it would be that much cheaper there.

dabvu2498
02-27-2010, 12:51 PM
I have had numerous friends get DUI, and the total cost when the state was done with you is around $10,000. Of course I am talking about California and Washington, but I cant imagine it would be that much cheaper there. The best ovi lawyer in my little corner of here would charge him $1500 to 2000 for a 1st ovi and no operators license. A good bit more if it went to trial. Also, an attorney may tell someone not to submit to the breathalyzer because if you blow and blow over the limit, you lose a major opportunity to get a not guilty finding. Other than that, yeah, go ahead and blow.

TeamCasey
02-27-2010, 01:36 PM
For the record, I'm not expecting to come out of this without at least one conviction. My only argument is that I am not guilty of a DUI.

How do you figure? By your own initial admission, you have no idea how many drinks you had that night.

If you had 2 drinks that night, you would've stated that.

Reds4Life
02-27-2010, 01:40 PM
Don't forget, if you push it to a trial, nearly every crusier has a camera in it these days. Odds are very high the entire thing was recorded, and that tape will be shown to the jury. If you appear intoxicated, the trial is pretty much over.

TeamCasey
02-27-2010, 01:50 PM
I don't think it invades anybody's civil liberties to ask them to blow into a tube.

I disagree on this one. Mandatory breathalyzer seems unconstitutional ........ like searching without a warrant.


...... or maybe I just watch too much TV. :)

Dom Heffner
02-27-2010, 01:57 PM
I disagree on this one. Mandatory breathalyzer seems unconstitutional ........ like searching without a warrant.


...... or maybe I just watch too much TV. :)

I see where you are coming from here- but truthfully, they dont force you to blow, it's just if you don't, you get charged with aggravated DUI.

I think this is reasonable. The only way they can test your BAC is either a blood test or breathylyzer, it's not like you can test it next month, time is of the urgency.

I don't think there's a way the police can plant alcohol in your system to frame you- I just don't see the danger here.

kaldaniels
02-27-2010, 02:32 PM
I get the whole civil liberties point of view. It's just that also there is no constitutional right to drive a car on public roads either. I just think it should be quid pro quo...you drive on public roads, you agree to be given a breathalyzer at anytime. And if you blow under the legal limit, I would probably go as far to say the reading may not be used against you at all.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2010, 02:40 PM
NM

Chip R
02-27-2010, 02:49 PM
I get the whole civil liberties point of view. It's just that also there is no constitutional right to drive a car on public roads either. I just think it should be quid pro quo...you drive on public roads, you agree to be given a breathalyzer at anytime. And if you blow under the legal limit, I would probably go as far to say the reading may not be used against you at all.

I understand the civil liberties angle but wouldn't it fall under probable cause? Cop notices the car weaving, pulls it over and the driver smells of alcohol, slurs his words and has bloodshot eyes he's going to think the driver is drunk. It'd be similar to the cops believing that something funny is going on in your house. They can ask you to search your house and you can agree or they have to get a warrant. You can refuse to take a breathalyzer just as you can refuse a search.

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 05:43 PM
There's a good chance your interactions with the police and in your cell were recorded: audio and video. Just something to think about.
I realize that, and that's why I think I have a great case. On the video, I had a strong, noticeable limp, and in the cruiser, I was very coherent.

Police officers have quotas to meet. In February, it was more difficult to find drivers on the road due to the snow. I don't think it's a coincidence that the judge said, "Wow, eight DUIs?! I don't think I've ever seen that many."

TeamSelig
02-27-2010, 05:45 PM
Police officers have quotas to meet.

False.

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 05:46 PM
How do you figure? By your own initial admission, you have no idea how many drinks you had that night.

If you had 2 drinks that night, you would've stated that.
I knew it was two or three, and I have since talked to some people and reviewed my bank account, and I came to the conclusion that it was three. I bought five drinks, four of which were alcoholic, and the fourth was for a friend of mine (who I was due to meet later on that night at the restaurant I was heading toward).

joshnky
02-27-2010, 05:46 PM
Police officers have quotas to meet. In February, it was more difficult to find drivers on the road due to the snow. I don't think it's a coincidence that the judge said, "Wow, eight DUIs?! I don't think I've ever seen that many."

Yeah, I'm sure the police arrested you to meet a quota and not because you were asleep at the wheel, smelled like alcohol, and couldn't walk straight. Not to mention no insurance and a suspended license. To be honest, I'd be surprised if any of the other seven DUIs looked less guilty then you.

TeamSelig
02-27-2010, 05:50 PM
I knew it was two or three, and I have since talked to some people and reviewed my bank account, and I came to the conclusion that it was three. I bought five drinks, four of which were alcoholic, and the fourth was for a friend of mine (who I was due to meet later on that night at the restaurant I was heading toward).

Three drinks? Not sure how accurate this calculator is but if you are about 180 lbs, drank 3 beers (12oz), over a span of 2 hours, you are at a .02, which is basically nothing.

Man, you really should have taken that breathalyzer.

Raisor
02-27-2010, 06:08 PM
camis,

Ever get around to looking at what you were charged with?

Yachtzee
02-27-2010, 06:30 PM
Your thoughts on the Donte Stallworth case? (I'll even give you a head start...the pedestrian was jaywalking)

I'm all for people getting a fair shot...but note I said "subset", so I was not knocking all defense attorneys. Don't turn it into that.

It's my understanding that Stallworth plead guilty to DUI manslaughter, got sentenced to a jail term, a fine, and had his license revoked for life. He also paid a substantial sum to the family of the victim to settle any civil liability he might have had. Whether I feel his sentence was too light or not, I can't say. I'd have to compare it to what others in Florida have received under similar circumstances. I haven't seen many cases where someone was killed. Mostly first time offenders who had one too many and made the mistake of driving home.

In my experience, very few persons with DUI get off. Most end up pleading to some kind of DUI offense with the respective penalties based on their past record. In those cases, the lawyer has typically informed the court and the prosecutor of any mitigating circumstances to ensure their client received a fair sentence under the sentencing guidelines and, if they're a first time offender, had the opportunity to resolve things without the conviction ruining their life. Most courts have some kind of program for first-time offenders which allows them to go through an intervention program in lieu of jail time. I think most courts, prosecutors, and defense attorneys want to see these people get help and be a positive contributing member of society. However, there are many traps for the unwary in the legal system, which is why it's a good idea to have an attorney help you if you've been charged with a criminal offense that carries the potential of jail time. The few cases where I've seen someone get out of a DUI charge involved police officers failing to follow proper procedures according to their training, which resulted in a successful suppression of the evidence.

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 06:58 PM
False.
I have talked to officers who say they have quotas to meet. After a Google search, I'm just going to post the first result I found, which is a local news story about it.
http://www.wlwt.com/news/5298686/detail.html

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 07:00 PM
Three drinks? Not sure how accurate this calculator is but if you are about 180 lbs, drank 3 beers (12oz), over a span of 2 hours, you are at a .02, which is basically nothing.

Man, you really should have taken that breathalyzer.
I really doubt that that's true. I was once told that one drink per hour will result in a BAC of .010, which is over the legal limit.

dabvu2498
02-27-2010, 07:09 PM
The few cases where I've seen someone get out of a DUI charge involved police officers failing to follow proper procedures according to their training, which resulted in a successful suppression of the evidence.

I have talked to an attorney who hired a PI to inspect several of the breathalyzer machines at local police stations in a northern part of Ohio. He said all but one of them was improperly installed and/or maintained. Which would, of course, be grounds for suppression of those breath test results.

I have little doubt that similar results could be found around here.

Thus, the importance of hiring a good attorney.

TeamSelig
02-27-2010, 07:11 PM
I have talked to officers who say they have quotas to meet. After a Google search, I'm just going to post the first result I found, which is a local news story about it.
http://www.wlwt.com/news/5298686/detail.html

The quota is denied in that very same article. Sounds like a lazy officer that got disciplined. Officers may have 'personal goals' that they strive to meet. The closest thing to a quota that you will find is contact "quotas", where they are required to make some sort of contact with the public X amount of times per shift, but there are never any minimum arrest or ticket numbers.

top6
02-27-2010, 07:15 PM
Can you afford a lawyer? If so, get one.

Given that you posted this question on a baseball message board, you ended up getting some pretty spectacular advice, namely from Caveat Emptor. It is hard to imagine a better source of free information for you than someone who has prosecuted DUIs (if I understand his posts correctly). The advice was that you are pretty screwed, fair or not. You need a lawyer.

You also got a lot of advice on here from smart, well meaning people, but they don't seem to be DUI lawyers. I work in the legal profession, and I can tell you that I would never attempt to dispense advice on DUIs, and would have no clue what to do if someone asked me what they should do in your boat. So I'm not sure how much advice from people who don't specialize in this area is worth, unless that advice is the advice I am giving you, which is find someone who knows what they are talking about.

If you can't afford a lawyer, this sucks, but I would start calling every lawyer in the phone book and see if you can work something out financially. If there is anyone who would loan or give you the money, see if you can work something out there. It's not fair that someone with more money would have an easier time with this than you, but it is the reality and you desperately need guidance from someone who knows what they are doing, IMO.

TeamSelig
02-27-2010, 07:15 PM
I really doubt that that's true. I was once told that one drink per hour will result in a BAC of .010, which is over the legal limit.

.08 is the legal limit.

So by what you were told, you'd have .03 which very close to .02 like the calculator came up with. It cannot be exact, as everyone is different, but sounds like it could be a good rough estimate.

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 07:16 PM
camis,

Ever get around to looking at what you were charged with?
It is violation codes 02109 (DUI--but I'm not sure if it's aggravated or not) and 00403 (S.O.L.).

TeamSelig
02-27-2010, 07:22 PM
http://kentuckystatepolice.org/violation_codes/2009/VioCodeOrder.pdf

OPER MTR VEH U/INFLU ALC/DRUGS/ETC. .08 (AGG CIRCUM) 1ST

I'm assuming the 'AGG CIRCUM' means it is aggravated DUI.

The 00403 is failure to register vehicle.

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 07:29 PM
Here's what the report says (it's mostly illegible, but I'm making some guesses):
Dispatched to a suspect passed out behind the wheel upon arrival. Above was slumped forward at the wheel. The vehicle was in drive and above's foot was on the brake. Lt. Riley opened the driver's door and put the car in park before waking the driver. There was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. It took a strong effort to wake the suspect up as we helped him out of the vehicle. He had trouble with maintaining his balance. I did not feel that it was safe to administer field sobriety test to the suspect because he might injure himself. He was arrested and taken to the jail. While riding, implied (word I can't recognize at all) above kept interrupting. When (word I can't recognize at all) finished, he consulted seven attorneys from the phone book.

westofyou
02-27-2010, 07:34 PM
It is violation codes 02109 (DUI--but I'm not sure if it's aggravated or not) and 00403 (S.O.L.).

Well I know SOL basically means.. blank out of luck.

Deepred05
02-27-2010, 07:50 PM
The best ovi lawyer in my little corner of here would charge him $1500 to 2000 for a 1st ovi and no operators license. A good bit more if it went to trial. Also, an attorney may tell someone not to submit to the breathalyzer because if you blow and blow over the limit, you lose a major opportunity to get a not guilty finding. Other than that, yeah, go ahead and blow.

Fifteen hundred is what they call a retainer around these parts.:D
But I wasn't talking about just the attorney fees. Dui classes, ankle bracelets, special devices outfitted on the car so that you cant start it if you have been drinking, and of course your new car insurance (cause you are getting dropped) all adds up to a pretty little sum.

I was stopped once having drank two beers, and I blew 0.00 and I weigh around 180. Not sure if the alchohol had enough time to get thru my system or not, but two beers is my limit.

Hoosier Red
02-27-2010, 07:57 PM
Actually, I think driving without a valid license helps my case in the sense that it would be very easy to drop the DUI and still have something to punish me for. In my experience, the courts are always looking to compromise, and that seems like an easy decision to make.

I'm not sure whether the courts will see it this way or not, but hiring a lawyer will save you bookoo bucks overall. I had some issues driving with a suspended license in my past, hired a lawyer to go to court with me over a new speeding ticket, and he was able to talk to the DA.

IMO opinion, you're definately better having a lawyer who knows the talk to speak with the DA about any possible compromises.

dabvu2498
02-27-2010, 08:16 PM
Fifteen hundred is what they call a retainer around these parts.:D
But I wasn't talking about just the attorney fees. Dui classes, ankle bracelets, special devices outfitted on the car so that you cant start it if you have been drinking, and of course your new car insurance (cause you are getting dropped) all adds up to a pretty little sum.


Yeah. Good point.

BoydsOfSummer
02-27-2010, 08:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdZF1JSgzas

camisadelgolf
02-27-2010, 08:52 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdZF1JSgzas
I used to go to Steve Earle shows all the time, and he never ceases to amaze me.

GAC
02-28-2010, 05:56 AM
In Ohio you really do not have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. That's why they can impose harsher penalties on you for refusing. Of course in his case it was in Kentucky and their laws may differ

But you still have the right to refuse. What the citizens of Ohio need to understand is that Ohio has what is called the "implied consent law", meaning, this law states every person given the right to drive in Ohio agrees to take a breathalyzer when asked. Yes, there are consequences in the state of Ohio if you refuse to take the field sobriety and/or breathalyzer tests; but you still have that right to refuse.

Now once you refuse....

Administrative License Suspension - Your licence will be immediately suspended if you refuse to participate in the taking of a sample of your breath, blood or urine. If you agree to subject yourself to testing, your license will be immediately suspended if the test shows an alcohol level above those permitted for breath, blood, or urine. Therefore, if you take a breathalyzer test and the test shows an alcohol level of .10 or greater, your license will be immediately suspended. Ohio, they will immediately seize your driver's license, then arrest and charge you.

Law enforcement also cannot demand you submit to a field sobriety test and/or breathalyzer without consulting an attorney. You have a right to counsel. When and where your right to counsel begins during a stop and/or arrest for DUI depends upon the circumstances of the stop and/or arrest. You can specifically state you will not take any further tests or answer any questions without consulting an attorney. At that point, the police must stop all questioning or any testing, giving you reasonable time to contact an attorney. This right to counsel is not unlimited. The police have the right to go forward with a breathalyzer test after giving you reasonable time to contact and consult with counsel. Your refusal to take a test after being given a reasonable amount of time to call an attorney may be considered a refusal to take the test.

Here's a really good link (and must read IMO) on "Dispelling Myths About Ohio's DUI Law"....http://ohio-dui.com/myths.htm

Ohio's DUI law is quite complicated. There are really two laws that apply to DUI...

http://ohio-dui.com/DUIlaw.htm#DUI

1) Driving Under The Influence.... it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. No scientific tests are necessary and, ordinarily, this violation is based upon a police officer's observations of your driving, physical appearance, and responses to what are called "field sobriety tests" - a series of tests prescribed to test your mental and physical abilities. Generally, a conviction of this law is based upon testimony of the arresting officer and other witnesses who had an opportunity to observe you.

2) Driving with a Prohibited Level of Alcohol in your Breath, Blood or Urine...In effect this law states, notwithstanding your ability to pass physical dexterity tests, you are not permitted to drive with a prescribed level of alcohol in your breath, blood, or urine. This is the law, in Ohio, that mandates you can not drive a vehicle with a level of .08 or more of alcohol in your breath. To be convicted of this violation, the governmental authority offers into evidence scientific tests proving the level of alcohol. In most instances a breath testing device is used , normally referred to as a "breathalyzer."

New Law Effective September 30, 2008

Authorities in Ohio now can force drivers who have two or more drunk driving convictions to submit to a blood or urine test without their consent. A new law that took effect on September 30, 2008 allows police offers to demand that a driver take a blood or urine test if they've been convicted two or more times. The law applies to people convicted of driving under the influence twice in six years or five times in the last twenty years. The law also requires an online database to track offenders with drunk-driving or related offenses.

So when I look at camisadelgolf's situation - and again I'm no attorney and it's just my opinion based on what I've read in the law - his situation would fall under #1 above where it comes down to his word vs the police officer's. And 99.99% of the time, that Judge is going to side with the officer.

GAC
02-28-2010, 06:10 AM
I don't know about your story. The only thing I have to add to this is that every DUI lawyer that I've ever talked with has told me that if I ever get pulled over and have been drinking, that I should always refuse the breathalyser test, no matter what. I'm not sure the reasons, but I think that is typical advice.

The only reason a lawyer would advice that is because the breathalyzer results are pretty sound and irrefutable evidence placed into the hands of the state.

How is a lawyer going to refute such "damning" evidence? Not saying it's an impossibility - maybe try to take the route that the test wan't administered properly, or there was something mechanically wrong with the equipment - but any lawyer is still facing an uphill battle.

Most reputable (key word) lawyers will only advice you of your right to refuse, but wouldn't go as far as telling you to refuse. Do those same lawyers also advice you of the consequences (punitive actions) the state will take if you refuse? ;)

As far as I'm concerned - any lawyer who would tell a person to flat out refuse a breathalyzer is probably looking out more for their welfare then that of the person involved.

But again, in the state of Ohio, the DUI law has two parts (see my above response). So even if you refuse the test, you will still be arrested and charged with "Driving Under the Influence" where no scientific tests are necessary and, ordinarily, this violation is based upon a police officer's observations of your driving, physical appearance, and responses. Generally, a conviction of this law is based upon testimony of the arresting officer and other witnesses who had an opportunity to observe you.

So the cards are really stacked against you. But then people will say one shouldn't drink (even moderately) and get behind the wheel of a car. Common sense.

So the only "hope" a lawyer has, if no scientific tests were done, and a person is arrested/charged with Driving Under The Influence, is to place that officer on the stand and try to find inconsistencies between their testimony and the written police report, or some other technicality that might sway a Judge or jury.

But again, in a majority of the cases, it's still a long shot IMO.

camisadelgolf
02-28-2010, 06:13 AM
It seems to me that a lot of people view driving as a right as opposed to a privilege. Had I not received legal advice and/or known all the laws involved with not blowing, I would've done it in a heartbeat.

GAC
02-28-2010, 08:36 AM
It seems to me that a lot of people view driving as a right as opposed to a privilege. Had I not received legal advice and/or known all the laws involved with not blowing, I would've done it in a heartbeat.

The highlighted part is the key. But you're not alone there. A vast majority don't either read or understand the law when it comes to DUIs (and even a lot of other issues). And that "ignorance" can influence many to make either bad or unwise decisions.

Is driving a right or a privilege?

Here is an interesting article. Don't know if I agree with many aspects of it....http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/DrivingRight.html

IMO, they are saying that it is unconstitutional to place "restrictions" on the citizenry's inalienable right to travel the roadways by requiring a drivers license, vehicle registration, mandatory insurance, and demanding they stop for vehicle inspections, DUI/DWI roadblocks etc. And that these restrictions are therefore violating the peoples common law right to travel.

Reds Nd2
03-01-2010, 01:03 AM
I realize that, and that's why I think I have a great case.
You don't. Lawyer up quick and take the plea. Act repentant, take the classes, get your driving privaledges back, and try to save some money on future insurance premiums. Roy Tucker has some nice posts in this thread. Go back and read them. Everyday people are in way over their heads when they find themselves involved in the legal system. It really is the deep end of the pool and I don't suggest swimming there alone.


On the video, I had a strong, noticeable limp, and in the cruiser, I was very coherent.
On the video, you were passed out behind the wheel of your car and staggered out of the vehicle. That's going to play well in front of a jury, it might even make Youtube. In the cruiser, While riding, implied (word I can't recognize at all) above kept interrupting. When (word I can't recognize at all) finished, he consulted seven attorneys from the phone book. Never underestimate the power of the police report. It's the official record of what happened that night. Don't forget, you also ended up in the padded cell because of your supposed suicidal tendencies that night. Also part of the official record of what happened that night. I'm all for fighting to prove your innocent, but in reality you've screwed the pooch on this one.

You forgot the number one rule of dealing with the police, never talk to the police.

camisadelgolf
03-01-2010, 03:03 AM
How does specifically saying 'I have never attempted suicide and would never consider doing so' equate to 'I am suicidal and need to be placed in a padded suit in a padded room'? The officers were making a mockery of me. And pretty much the only thing I said to the police was that I wanted to talk to a lawyer before submitting to a breathalyser. I never said I had a drink. I never said I was suicidal. I never said anything incriminating.

But I agree with you about being in over my head. The justice system is a joke, and I have to behave accordingly. I just need to cough up the cash for a lawyer and put this behind me as quickly as possible.

klw
03-01-2010, 09:38 AM
Here's my quick take on this. I am not licensed in Kentucky, never even been there, but I did see it from across the river once. I was a defense attorney for close to 12 years. The first half in private practice the second half as a public defender. I am now a prosecutor. You should definitely get an attorney. Even if you are simply looking to plea bargain it will be worth the money. The advantage of a private attorney over a public defender would be that the private attorney could also handle a civil protion of the event for you- ex. administrative license suspension, traffic tickets- and can also consult with you prior to the arraignment. As a result of this need to handle noncriminal protions of a DUI, my experience in the states I have worked is that most DUI challenges come from private counsel. (Public Defenders are often better that private counsel for other types of cases) Their abilty to focus more on your case increases the liklihood of their finding the sort of technicality which reigns supreme in DUI cases. Someone who focuses on DUI's should know which police forces have video, if it is in the cruiser, station or both, and if so how long it is preserved, which station's equipment may be wonky, which approach works best with which prosecutors etc. Here also is a discussion diabetes in DUI cases which you may find interesting. http://www.floridaduilawyerblog.com/diabetes_and_alcohol_consumpti/
I can't/ won't/ shouldn't tell you more as I can't/ shouldn't give you legal advice.
Good luck

camisadelgolf
03-01-2010, 11:03 AM
After reading everyone's input, I've made up my mind that I'm going to hire a lawyer and go for a plea bargain. I'm feeling pretty confident that I'm making the decision that's best for me, and I have all of you to thank for that. I hope none of you are ever in a similar situation as me, but if you are, I'll be glad to help in any way I can, so please don't hesitate to ask.

My next step is finding a lawyer. I have already been in contact with several different lawyers, but I'm short on funds, so if anyone could recommend a good lawyer for a good price, I'd really appreciate it.

Sea Ray
03-01-2010, 11:13 AM
After reading everyone's input, I've made up my mind that I'm going to hire a lawyer and go for a plea bargain. I'm feeling pretty confident that I'm making the decision that's best for me, and I have all of you to thank for that. I hope none of you are ever in a similar situation as me, but if you are, I'll be glad to help in any way I can, so please don't hesitate to ask.

My next step is finding a lawyer. I have already been in contact with several different lawyers, but I'm short on funds, so if anyone could recommend a good lawyer for a good price, I'd really appreciate it.

Great! It's my hope that we'll hear you check in at some point and announce that you "got off easy". I hope you get a good deal!

Reds Nd2
03-01-2010, 11:14 AM
Good luck.

camisadelgolf
03-01-2010, 11:41 AM
I'll definitely keep all of you up to date. I'm going to learn from this, and I hope others can, too.

savafan
03-01-2010, 12:46 PM
Try this link:

http://referral.lawfirms.com/consultation/request_details?practice_area=DUI+and+DWI&skey=9b35b4b84d2ef0df8061b53338ba0c9c

GBC Red
03-01-2010, 04:48 PM
I know you have come to your decision, but I was in a position once where I was pulled over and breathalyzed. It was a bad situation where someone had a grudge against someone I was with and childishly called the police, giving them my plate number and reporting I was driving under the influence. Funny thing was neither me, nor my friend had drank anything while in the presence of this guy. I had drank 2 beers at Applebee's with dinner 2-3 hours before (if you've ever drank a brewtus from Applebee's you will know they are pretty much the equivalent of two beers a piece). The officer asked me how much I'd drank and I told him the truth. He asked if I was lying to him because if I was I needed to tell him before he breathalyzed me and I told him I was not lying. He breathalyzed me and the breathalyzer wouldn't read for some reason. He told me that even though the breathalyzer wouldn't read he would let me go because I was not staggering or slurring and he could not detect the presence of alcohol so it was obvious to him I was not impaired.

Granted, I had insurance and a valid drivers license, but it never even crossed my mind to refuse the breathalyzer. The reason? I was confident that while I may blow a 0.04 or something around there, I was not going to get a DUI. Always comply with the officers. NEVER interrupt a police officer. I don't care what your situation is you never anger them. If you are cooperative with them, in most cases they will be cooperative with you.

As for my opinion on your case, take the plea deal. I'm not doubting you were not intoxicated and it could have been the diabetes. I don't know you personally and have no reason not to believe you. That being said, you look extremely guilty and that doesn't change. I hope everything works out well for you though.

GAC
03-02-2010, 05:52 PM
Never underestimate the power of the police report. It's the official record of what happened that night.

Bingo! And in the state of Ohio, that's all that's needed to convict for Driving Under The Influence. Those police reports, in the eyes of a Judge, carry an awful lot of weight.

camisadelgolf
03-04-2010, 10:13 AM
Just an update: I had a lawyer, but we are no longer in contact with each other. Our last correspondence was Friday, and he hasn't responded to any of my phone calls since then. When I told him that I didn't want to go to trial and instead wanted to plea bargain, he stopped responding to my phone calls. Does anyone have any specific suggestions?

By the way, I could be wrong, but I believe the maximum penalty for me is 30 days in jail, $500 fine, substance abuse treatment for 90 days, and loss of license for 120 days. I'm seriously considering not having a lawyer. As long as I convince the judge to drop down from aggravated to un-aggravated, I probably won't have to worry about jail time.

Ghosts of 1990
03-04-2010, 10:34 AM
If you're in Columbus, I know the finest DUI attorney in town. And I never have had the DUI but he has gotten off several of my famliy members and friends. He went to law school at UC with my uncle. PM me if you want more.

Reds4Life
03-04-2010, 10:37 AM
Just an update: I had a lawyer, but we are no longer in contact with each other. Our last correspondence was Friday, and he hasn't responded to any of my phone calls since then. When I told him that I didn't want to go to trial and instead wanted to plea bargain, he stopped responding to my phone calls. Does anyone have any specific suggestions?

By the way, I could be wrong, but I believe the maximum penalty for me is 30 days in jail, $500 fine, substance abuse treatment for 90 days, and loss of license for 120 days. I'm seriously considering not having a lawyer. As long as I convince the judge to drop down from aggravated to un-aggravated, I probably won't have to worry about jail time.

Sounds like that attorney was looking to make the maximum amount of money off of you instead of acting in your best interest.

Find another attorney. If you want a little payback drop a little note to the bar association about the conduct of the attorney who is ignoring you. They won't do anything, but it might be worth it for the satisfaction alone.

RBA
03-04-2010, 10:52 AM
I like the Google ads on this one. Big Brother is watching you. ;)

TeamCasey
03-04-2010, 08:01 PM
I like the Google ads on this one. Big Brother is watching you. ;)

OMG ...... that's creepy! :eek:

klw
03-04-2010, 09:42 PM
Have you paid the attorney or signed a retainer agreement? If not it may be that he or she got tired of giving you free advice over the phone. Or it could be that the attorney is handling a trial. When a trial hits it will easily consume all your time for a few days. Trial attorneys are notoriously hard to reach because they are always in court.

Yachtzee
03-04-2010, 10:09 PM
Have you paid the attorney or signed a retainer agreement? If not it may be that he or she got tired of giving you free advice over the phone. Or it could be that the attorney is handling a trial. When a trial hits it will easily consume all your time for a few days. Trial attorneys are notoriously hard to reach because they are always in court.

That's what I was going to say. If he or she has a secretary or paralegal, they might be able to update you on what's going on.

dabvu2498
03-05-2010, 08:18 AM
That's what I was going to say. If he or she has a secretary or paralegal, they might be able to update you on what's going on.

Ding!

A good attorney will have an even better paralegal/assistant. They'll do most of the "work" on you case and the lawyer shows up in court. This is especially the case with a crminal defense/DUI attorney. They're out hitting the bricks most of the day. At least they are if they have many clients.

And like klw said, most attorneys aren't going to give a ton of free info out over the phone.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 01:54 PM
I'm just going in without a lawyer. I know everyone advised against it, but I'm going to play hardball with the prosecutor. If they don't drop it from aggravated to un-aggravated, I'll threaten going to trial (at which point I'd hire a lawyer).

top6
03-05-2010, 02:10 PM
Well if you're not going to accept good advice anyway, it's probably not a good idea to pay for it.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 02:22 PM
Well if you're not going to accept good advice anyway, it's probably not a good idea to pay for it.
The maximum fine I can get is $500, so it doesn't make sense to me to pay $2,000 for a lawyer that could do at a high price for what I could do for free.

Reds4Life
03-05-2010, 02:25 PM
The maximum fine I can get is $500, so it doesn't make sense to me to pay $2,000 for a lawyer that could do at a high price for what I could do for free.

You can go to jail, your license will be suspended, etc. There is a lot more than fines involved here.

There are things a lawyer could do that you can't. You have no leverage with the prosecutor at all, and making a threat you'll go to trail means nothing to them. If it goes to trial, all they need to show is the cruiser cam tape and have the arresting officer testify and you are done.

klw
03-05-2010, 02:26 PM
The maximum fine I can get is $500, so it doesn't make sense to me to pay $2,000 for a lawyer that could do at a high price for what I could do for free.

The maximum fine may only be $500 but how many thousands of dollars will your insurance go up by. You will klikely be required to carry special insurance for a number of years at a added cost of over $1000 per year. Then there are DWI classes and counseling costs that often need to be paid before reinstatement, etc. The fine is often the least of what you pay.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 02:27 PM
You can go to jail, your license will be suspended, etc. There is a lot more than fines involved here.

There are things a lawyer could do that you can't. You have no leverage with the prosecutor at all, and making a threat you'll go to trail means nothing to them. If it goes to trial, all they need to show is the cruiser cam tape and have the arresting officer testify and you are done.
The judge already said, on camera, that I won't go to jail, so I'm not all that worried about that. My license is going to be suspended no matter what, but it makes no difference to me since I don't have a valid license anyway.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 02:29 PM
The maximum fine may only be $500 but how many thousands of dollars will your insurance go up by. You will klikely be required to carry special insurance for a number of years at a added cost of over $1000 per year. Then there are DWI classes and counseling costs that often need to be paid before reinstatement, etc. The fine is often the least of what you pay.
I only need car insurance if I have a license, and I don't plan on having a drivers license for a long time anyway. I don't think there's a lawyer anywhere that could prevent me from going to some kind of treatment program, so that's a cost I'm planning on having no matter what.

Eric_the_Red
03-05-2010, 02:30 PM
The judge already said, on camera, that I won't go to jail, so I'm not all that worried about that. My license is going to be suspended no matter what, but it makes no difference to me since I don't have a valid license anyway.

Brilliant. It's not like you needed a license to drive before anyway.

Just be sure to give your RZ friends a heads up what part of town you are driving through.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 02:32 PM
Brilliant. It's not like you needed a license to drive before anyway.

Just be sure to give your RZ friends a heads up what part of town you are driving through.
If you just avoid the bar scene, you probably won't run into me. Correction: I won't run into you. :rolleyes:

Reds4Life
03-05-2010, 02:35 PM
The judge already said, on camera, that I won't go to jail, so I'm not all that worried about that. My license is going to be suspended no matter what, but it makes no difference to me since I don't have a valid license anyway.

You realize it means nothing what he said on camera, correct?

westofyou
03-05-2010, 03:02 PM
This thread should be blended with the things that make you laugh no matter what thread... and the things that drive you crazy, too.

George Anderson
03-05-2010, 03:02 PM
This whole thread makes my head hurt.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 03:23 PM
You realize it means nothing what he said on camera, correct?
Why not? If it's on the record, it's on the record.

Roy Tucker
03-05-2010, 03:54 PM
I'm just going in without a lawyer. I know everyone advised against it, but I'm going to play hardball with the prosecutor. If they don't drop it from aggravated to un-aggravated, I'll threaten going to trial (at which point I'd hire a lawyer).

Good luck with all that.

Caveat Emperor
03-05-2010, 04:02 PM
You have no leverage with the prosecutor at all, and making a threat you'll go to trail means nothing to them.

And trust me, it'll probably annoy him enough to ask the judge for jail time on the case.

Ltlabner
03-05-2010, 04:21 PM
The stubbornness of people is truly stupefying.

Go threaten the prosecutor and use your obvious legal expertise in-front of the judge. I'm sure he'll be impressed. Don't forget the part about how you plan to drive without a license anyway.

reds44
03-05-2010, 04:24 PM
This thread is awesome.

Is anybody enjoying reading it as much as I am?

Ltlabner
03-05-2010, 04:24 PM
I'm just going in without a lawyer. I know everyone advised against it, but I'm going to play hardball with the prosecutor. If they don't drop it from aggravated to un-aggravated, I'll threaten going to trial (at which point I'd hire a lawyer).

You mean the person who deals with these cases, and likely much worse on a daily basis?

The person who has no vested interest in whether you avoid jail time or not?

You mean the person who received specialized legal training?

You mean the person who is in court day in and day out?

You are going to play hardball with them?

Let us know when your court date is because I want to come and watch you go down in flames.

Sea Ray
03-05-2010, 04:39 PM
You mean the person who deals with these cases, and likely much worse on a daily basis?

The person who has no vested interest in whether you avoid jail time or not?

You mean the person who received specialized legal training?

You mean the person who is in court day in and day out?

You are going to play hardball with them?

Let us know when your court date is because I want to come and watch you go down in flames.


C'mon folks. Go easy on him. It's obvious he has a lot on his plate. He hasn't ruled out hiring a lawyer; just not at this point.

As for the jail time it relates directly to hiring a lawyer. If he was eligible for jail time he'd qualify for free legal defense.

This guy is not flush with cash. He didn't even renew his driver's license because of cash flow. I have no problem with him talking to the prosecutor at this point. He can bring a lawyer in at anytime.

The bottomline here is there is no good answer which is why I wish him the best...:thumbup:

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 05:13 PM
For the record, this isn't my first time in a courtroom. On three separate occasions, I have gone to court, represented myself, and won. I have never lost. Maybe I'm overconfident, but I don't think I'm clueless in a courtroom.

RFS62
03-05-2010, 05:14 PM
"A man who represents himself has a fool for a client."
~ Abe Lincoln

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 05:17 PM
Abe Lincoln was a white supremacist, so I don't really respect his point of view in every instance.

My pre-trial date is on Monday. Any suggestions on what to wear? Judging by some of the posts in this thread, I think some of you are expecting me to show up with a pink mohawk.

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 05:20 PM
"Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."
-Abe Lincoln

klw
03-05-2010, 05:22 PM
You realize it means nothing what he said on camera, correct?

Well the importance of this is that in many jurisdictions the threshold on whether or not someone may qualify for a public defender is whether or not the court may impose jail. The judge most likely made a notation in the court file that it is a non-jail case. The biggest issue about the loss of license to consider is that even though his license is suspended it will now also be suspended for a DWI. Many states have mandatory jail sentences if you are caught driving while you are suspended for a DWI whereas non-DWI related suspenions will result in traffic tickets or non-mandatory jail cases. Many jurisdictions will consider the suspension as a DWI suspension until the license is reinstated even if the original period of x days has run.

Good luck with the prosecutor. You may have better luck if you take documentation about the diabetes with you to show to the prosecutor with a copy to provide to the DA if they need something for the file. If you have something that you can give them to provide a reason to amend, it often helps. Another thing to consider would be at least doing something to show you are taking steps to address the situation, ex. signing up with a counselor or for something you may need to do to get you license back.

Don't be too nervous but don't be cocky. Be respectful and do what you can to show them that you are a person. And yes a shirt and tie always helps.

klw
03-05-2010, 05:24 PM
One advantage someone who is representing himself usually has in court is that even if they may not be the most familiar with the law or procedures they can be the most familiar with the facts and circumstances of their case.

RichRed
03-05-2010, 05:46 PM
My pre-trial date is on Monday. Any suggestions on what to wear? Judging by some of the posts in this thread, I think some of you are expecting me to show up with a pink mohawk.

That would be a mistake. You should definitely dye the mohawk a color that will match your suit.

Reds4Life
03-05-2010, 05:54 PM
Abe Lincoln was a white supremacist, so I don't really respect his point of view in every instance.

:lol:

savafan
03-05-2010, 06:08 PM
Go with the pink mohawk, and print this thread out and take it with you as well. They'll probably let you off on an insanity plea. :p:

TRF
03-05-2010, 06:28 PM
'm going on the record now insisting you relinquish control of your redszone dynasty team. Hard to set a lineup in jail.

klw
03-05-2010, 07:47 PM
'm going on the record now insisting you relinquish control of your redszone dynasty team. Hard to set a lineup in jail.

Ben? Nice to meet you.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4pmUNQE7llI/SmXsB3bo3iI/AAAAAAAAJvs/-RsPl3uDecc/s400/tex+cobb.jpg

flyer85
03-05-2010, 08:16 PM
Ben? Nice to meet you.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4pmUNQE7llI/SmXsB3bo3iI/AAAAAAAAJvs/-RsPl3uDecc/s400/tex+cobb.jpg
that's Mr. Dover to you

camisadelgolf
03-05-2010, 08:17 PM
'm going on the record now insisting you relinquish control of your redszone dynasty team. Hard to set a lineup in jail.
I thought prison had free internet, free TV, free food, free health care, free gym, etc.? When I go to court, I'm going to request the maximum sentence.

klw
03-05-2010, 10:27 PM
You realize with a max sentence you are also forced to root for the Cubs?

Raisor
03-05-2010, 11:00 PM
http://redstick.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/trainwreck2.jpg

Reds Nd2
03-05-2010, 11:21 PM
I'm seriously considering not having a lawyer. As long as I convince the judge to drop down from aggravated to un-aggravated, I probably won't have to worry about jail time.
You might want to Google Criminal Contempt. Just saying...

C'mon folks. Go easy on him. It's obvious he has a lot on his plate. He hasn't ruled out hiring a lawyer; just not at this point.
It better get to that point before he steps in front of a judge.

Any suggestions on what to wear?
This will leave an impression on the court and it'll cover up that pink mohawk too.




http://www.pdrater.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/beer-hat.jpg

GAC
03-06-2010, 05:37 AM
I'm just going in without a lawyer. I know everyone advised against it, but I'm going to play hardball with the prosecutor. If they don't drop it from aggravated to un-aggravated, I'll threaten going to trial (at which point I'd hire a lawyer).

Respectfully.... you realize you're in no position to play hardball with anyone don't you? You go into that court, especially without a lawyer, and have the attitude (above), where if you don't get the leaser charge you'll THREATEN to go to trial, that will not sit well at all with that Judge. They'll tell you to take it to trial. That's your right. But you're still going to have to convince a jury, and that can be just as hard to do.

Trying to play hardball with an experienced prosecuting attorney, who knows the law, this is his job day-in-and day-out, is like lining up opposite Ray Lewis. All he sees is fresh meat.

On what grounds should they have to deal with you, and give you the lesser charge?

You will be convicted, buy either a Judge or a jury, on the police officer's testimony and written report alone.

You're just complicating the issue IMO, and asking for them to pile on even more. And they will be more then happy to accommodate you.

RedsBaron
03-06-2010, 07:36 AM
I'm just going in without a lawyer. I know everyone advised against it, but I'm going to play hardball with the prosecutor.

Why not just play hardball wih the judge? When you appear for your hearing, show the judge who is boss. Pound on the bench and make it clear to the judge that you are not going to take any nonsense from him or her, and demand the result you want. Don't take any nonsense from the baliff, either.

Ltlabner
03-06-2010, 10:45 AM
http://www.realclearsports.com/blognetwork/buccaneer_bow_shots/train-wreck.jpg

Roy Tucker
03-06-2010, 10:49 AM
Google's context-sensitive ads certainly do lend an appropriately themed framing for this thread.

Hey, who knows, maybe camisa will pull a Clarence Darrow and be brilliant in the courtroom. Certainly isn't the path I'd recommend but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Newport Red
03-06-2010, 12:47 PM
Google's context-sensitive ads certainly do lend an appropriately themed framing for this thread.

Hey, who knows, maybe camisa will pull a Clarence Darrow and be brilliant in the courtroom. Certainly isn't the path I'd recommend but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I think he'd have a better chance if he kidnapped the arresting officer. No show, no conviction.

camisadelgolf
03-06-2010, 02:00 PM
I think he'd have a better chance if he kidnapped the arresting officer. No show, no conviction.
You might want to edit your post. I jokingly mentioned bribing the judge, and I got in trouble with a moderator because I was talking about something illegal. Kidnapping is also illegal, so you're probably going to hear about it.

goreds2
03-06-2010, 02:32 PM
I have a friend who received a DUI conviction yesterday.

He was pulled over for not using a turn signal. If everyone got pulled over for that, the courts would be overloaded for a century. :rolleyes:

He refused the breathilzer, there was no video or audio footage. The only "test" he accepted was the looking at the pencil going back and forth. He refused everything after that. He may have been drunk. I do not know. He was not even sure if he was over the limit.

He got a lawyer and the district attorney was even willing to do a plea bargain. The judge overturned everything and said guilty without hearing any testimony.

Note: A sad story as that judge had a daughter who was killed by a drunk driver about a year or so go. Should this judge be overseeing these type of cases?

redsfandan
03-06-2010, 03:44 PM
Note: A sad story as that judge had a daughter who was killed by a drunk driver about a year or so go. Should this judge be overseeing these type of cases?
Valid question.

RBA
03-06-2010, 04:09 PM
Here's some court footage to get you into practice.

It's from the 1930's, but I don't think our court system has change much since that time. It covers certain rules like:

1. Be on time.
2. How to address the court
3. Proper attire and courtesy
4. How to take the stand
5. How to re-enact the scene.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu0Qb16rp60

I hope you find this helpful

GAC
03-07-2010, 07:03 AM
I have a friend who received a DUI conviction yesterday.

He was pulled over for not using a turn signal. If everyone got pulled over for that, the courts would be overloaded for a century. :rolleyes:

I agree it might appear trivial. I got stopped once for it, but just got a warning from the officer. He looked like he was 12 and just got out of the academy. But using your turn signal is a requirement of the law though. A majority who get those type of minor traffic infractions aren't going to miss work to take it to court - how can you fight that? - and just post the bond (fine).


He refused the breathilzer, there was no video or audio footage. The only "test" he accepted was the looking at the pencil going back and forth. He refused everything after that. He may have been drunk. I do not know. He was not even sure if he was over the limit.

If he wasn't sure he was over the limit then he probably should have taken the Breathalyzer. It might have shown he was below the limit. People have this mis-perception that refusing a Breathalyzer may somehow help their cause when it's not. You're going to still be immediately charged and arrested. The police report (officer's observations) alone will convict you.

And why refuse the Breathalyzer yet consent to any of the other tests then? The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, or the "follow the pen with your eyes" test, the officer is looking for an involuntary jerking of the eyes, and not the fluid motion a non-drinking person would demonstrate.

If you really did do well on the field tests, that is certainly a defense at trial. In many cases, people believe they performed well on the tests because they are unaware of what the officer is looking for when he administered the test. The reason for that is the officer doesn't tell you what he is looking for.

Many, many years ago, in the days of my youth, I got a DUI. I was given the field test then taken back to the station to be administered the Breathalyzer. I did not refuse to take the test but told them I wanted a lawyer present when the test was being administered. Of course where are you going to find a lawyer, in a small Ohio town, at 2 AM in the morning? I didn't know any, and had never had to have a lawyer in my life. So they showed me a list of local lawyers and told me to pick a name. They, not me, then tried to call them. When there was no response, the two officers then asked me what I was going to do? I reiterated to them that I was not refusing to take the test but still wanted a lawyer present. They charged me and threw me in the drunk tank. When I asked them right then and there if I could make a phone call to let family members know my whereabouts they ignored me. It wasn't till the next morning, when the next shift came on, and after some badgering that I was allowed to call. My brother came and posted bail.

To this day I still say my rights were violated. I got a DUI lawyer. When we sat down and went over the police report it infuriated me. He made it appear that I was falling down drunk. Had I been out drinking that night? Yes. Was over at a friend's house. But I had only had 3-4 beers all night, and it had been a couple hours since my last. I left to go home because I was extremely tired, and a couple of times almost fell asleep behind the wheel. I had the windows open and the radio blaring. I was within 5 miles of my home when I got stopped.

We went to a pre-trial where the officer was placed on the stand. My lawyer found numerous inconsistencies in his testimony that conflicted with his written report. He even confessed that I appeared to have passed the field test, but just looked tired. He also confessed to not reading me my Miranda rights. The prosecuting attorney wouldn't put me on the stand, and my lawyer said it wouldn't do me any good to take the stand because I might then say something that would incriminate me, and when it comes down to my word vs the officer's the Judge was going to side with him anyway.

But to this day I still remember the words of that Judge. Even after inconsistencies were found..... "I will accept AS FACTUAL the testimony and report of the officer".

Now from there I could have went to trial. But not only did I not have the money, but I couldn't take the chance of being found guilty. They would have hauled me off to jail right then and there, and I would have lost my job. Besides, it had been several months, due to delays, since the arrest and my suspension was almost over so I was due to get my licence back. So I paid what was then a $250 fine, had to attend a DUI class, got driving privileges for work, and spent 3 days (weekend) in jail.


Note: A sad story as that judge had a daughter who was killed by a drunk driver about a year or so go. Should this judge be overseeing these type of cases?

Should a Judge who has been robbed, maybe had a family member murdered, or was a victim of some other crime, then be excused from overseeing those types of cases? We might have a hard time finding Judges then. ;)

While it may not always be true - Judges are human beings too - their job requires them to be impartial, and to not allow their own personal feelings/experiences to interfere with a case.

But we have a Judge here in Logan Co., who oversees DUI cases regularly, and has had 7 of them himself. I know this because I have friends who are sheriffs locally. They are handled "administratively". :rolleyes:

Last year we had two deputies, who were at an all-night bonfire party, leave the party both drunk as a skunk according to witnesses, and wrecked into each other. They were not arrested or charged. The citizenry here was furious when the Sheriff said it would be handled "internally".

Sea Ray
03-07-2010, 01:57 PM
The prosecuting attorney wouldn't put me on the stand, and my lawyer said it wouldn't do me any good to take the stand because I might then say something that would incriminate me, and when it comes down to my word vs the officer's the Judge was going to side with him anyway.



The prosecuting attorney can't put you on the stand. No one can force you to testify against yourself. That decision is up to your lawyer.




Should a Judge who has been robbed, maybe had a family member murdered, or was a victim of some other crime, then be excused from overseeing those types of cases? We might have a hard time finding Judges then. ;)



I can't imagine it'd be difficult to find a judge who hadn't been the victim of a drunk driver. Luckily that rarely happens. I don't think that judge should have been presiding over such a case. As for your example of robberies--apples/oranges. There's not nearly the emotional baggage when compared to losing a loved one.

If it's a murder trial, again clearly rare so finding a judge who hadn't been touched by such a crime shouldn't be a problem

TeamSelig
03-07-2010, 06:50 PM
The "pencil" test is legit

ochre
03-08-2010, 12:01 AM
The "pencil" test is legit
Is that the one where they break out the scantron sheets and you have to fill the little ovals in completely, while staying entirely within the lines?

LoganBuck
03-08-2010, 12:08 AM
Is that the one where they break out the scantron sheets and you have to fill the little ovals in completely, while staying entirely within the lines?

Circling the answers doesn't count?

camisadelgolf
03-08-2010, 01:41 AM
I did the pencil test, but it wasn't a #2 pencil, so the results won't count in court.

camisadelgolf
03-08-2010, 01:44 PM
Well, I just got back from my pre-trial, and it was awesome. When I got on the stand, I made sure to talk very slowly as to make them more likely to give in to my demands. I hypothetically asked what my penalties would be if I were to plead guilty, and the prosecutor recommended the standard penalties (4 days jail, $300 fine + court costs, 120-day license suspension, state program for substance abuse). At that point, I said, "Prosecutor, did I forget to mention that your hair looks very nice?" When she heard that, she said, "It's time for lunch. If you plead guilty, I'll recommend all the minimum penalties and no jail time."

Tomorrow, I'm going in to give the court my plea. Hopefully I won't be too hung over to wake up in the morning because I'm definitely going to celebrate my win tonight.

And I'm 100% serious about all of that except for the sentence before this one.

klw
03-08-2010, 01:57 PM
i think you are missing a word. What did you say looks nice? congrats on getting the result you wanted.

Sea Ray
03-08-2010, 01:58 PM
Well, I just got back from my pre-trial, and it was awesome. When I got on the stand, I made sure to talk very slowly as to make them more likely to give in to my demands. I hypothetically asked what my penalties would be if I were to plead guilty, and the prosecutor recommended the standard penalties (4 days jail, $300 fine + court costs, 120-day license suspension, state program for substance abuse). At that point, I said, "Prosecutor, did I forget to mention that your looks very nice?" When she heard that, she said, "It's time for lunch. If you plead guilty, I'll recommend all the minimum penalties and no jail time."

Tomorrow, I'm going in to give the court my plea. Hopefully I won't be too hung over to wake up in the morning because I'm definitely going to celebrate my win tonight.

And I'm 100% serious about all of that except for the sentence before this one.


OK, don't leave us hanging. What are the minimum penalties? What about the bit about driving with an expired license and driving without insurance?

camisadelgolf
03-08-2010, 01:59 PM
Whoops. Thank you. It was her hair. I design testing methods for hair dye, and I was impressed with her highlights.

camisadelgolf
03-08-2010, 02:02 PM
OK, don't leave us hanging. What are the minimum penalties? What about the bit about driving with an expired license and driving without insurance?
It turns out that I was insured, actually. I think it was a clerical error with the insurance company.

I have to pay $200 + court fines (which pushes the total to around $700 iIrc), 90-day license suspension, no jail, and the minimum amount of time in the alcohol abuse program.

In other words, stalling in court saved me $100, 30 days of a suspended license, a few weeks in an alcohol abuse program, and four days of jail.

Moral of the story:
IF YOU EVER GO TO COURT, COMPLIMENT EVERYONE AND TRY YOUR BEST TO WASTE THEIR TIME.

Sea Ray
03-08-2010, 02:27 PM
OK, that sounds like about what Rey Maualuga got. I think that's about as good as you're going to do with or without a lawyer but I think the reason most of this board suggested you get a lawyer is because you gave the impression that you didn't want to plead guilty to a DUI because you felt you weren't guilty. If you'd have said I'm OK with a DUI on my record as long as I only get the minimum sentence then I'd say fine, go to court, be cooperative and they'll probably go easy on you since it's a first offense.

If your insurance jacks your rates, let us know. That'll be helpful information for those of us who might find ourselves in a similar situation.

If jailtime was on the table then why didn't you qualify for a public defender?

Incidently I don't think your compliment on the Judge's hair had much to do with it. All she was looking for was for you to be cooperative and respectful, but anyway, I'm real glad it worked out in the end for you!

savafan
03-08-2010, 02:34 PM
Can they suspend a license when you don't have one???

WMR
03-08-2010, 03:16 PM
Camisa Del Cochran

klw
03-08-2010, 03:49 PM
Can they suspend a license when you don't have one???

Yes. It changes the basis for the suspension and the requirements which must be fulfilled prior to reinstatement. It also usualy means that the penalty gets much harsher if he is picked up driving while suspended. For instance in 2 of the 3 states in which I am admitted if you get picked up while driving and suspended for a DWI it is mandatory jail (min 7 days in one, 10 days in the other) whereas for a DLS not for a DWI is sometimes not a criminal offense.

GAC
03-08-2010, 05:44 PM
Looks like you got the results you wanted.

Dom Heffner
03-08-2010, 05:47 PM
One thing I learned from this thread is how to spell cockamamie. Never knew, honestly, until now.

Raisor
03-08-2010, 09:34 PM
Celebrating a "win" in a DUI case by getting hammered.

Let's just think about that one for a second.