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Thread: DUI Lawyers

  1. #1
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    DUI Lawyers

    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.

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  3. #2
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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.
    Last edited by GAC; 02-26-2010 at 05:15 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  4. #3
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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.
    Last edited by camisadelgolf; 02-26-2010 at 09:27 AM.

  5. #4
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    Just remember, those of us at Redszone are your buddies and we promise not to submit your early morning posts as evidence...

    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.

  6. #5
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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?

  7. #6
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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/emailVi...3882_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.

  8. #7
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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.

  9. #8
    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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"

  10. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    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.

  12. #11
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.

  13. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    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.

  14. #13
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    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.

  15. #14
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.

  16. #15
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: DUI Lawyers

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.


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