There's a good chance your interactions with the police and in your cell were recorded: audio and video. Just something to think about.
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.
Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.
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.
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.
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.
Last edited by GAC; 02-27-2010 at 10:42 AM.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
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
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/pres...zer-132755.phpOhio 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.
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.
Last edited by Dom Heffner; 02-27-2010 at 11:27 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.
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.
Pay attention to the open sky