- Monday, 18 April 2011 13:35
This past week I had 2 cases that exemplified why every DUI arrest must be aggressively defended. By that, I mean that a qualified, experienced DUI attorney should look at both the Defendant’s evidence and the State’s evidence before making a decision to plead guilty. A guilty plea to a DUI stays on your criminal record
and driving record for life, and carries not only a social stigma but can prevent a person from obtaining employment.
Case 1: Client supposedly backed into a car in the parking lot of a bar, although there was no damage to either car. My client suffers from anxiety disorder which causes her to vomit when placed under stressful situations. The police officer reported that my client’s speech was slurred, that she was unsteady on her feet, and that she had vomited in her car. Additionally, his report said she refused to do any field tests and refused the State breath test. The prosecutor would not dismiss or reduce the case, so we set the case down for a bench trial. By fully investigating the case, I learned that even though my client did originally refuse the State breath test, at the jail she told the sheriff’s deputy that she would take the test, but the arresting officer refused to let her take the test, violating the law. The arresting officer failed to put that in his report, however. By having the sheriff’s deputy appear and tell the prosecutor what had happened, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DUI. This was extremely important to my client as she was an employee for a public school system.
Case 2: Client was involved in a one car accident when a deer ran in front of him. No one witnessed the accident. He called his girlfriend to pick him up from the scene. About an hour later, Suwanee Police showed up at his house, had him perform field tests, arrested him for DUI, and he agreed to a State breath test, which registered .14. However, the client, as well as his girlfriend, both testified that the client had drank after arriving home. In addition the breath test was administered more than 3 hours after the accident. The State eventually agreed to dismiss and reduce to reckless driving. At first glance, it would have appeared to be an impossible case to defend, with the accident, performance on field tests, and a .14 breath test.
So next time you hear someone say that they were arrested for DUI and are planning on pleading guilty without talking to a DUI lawyer, try to convince them to call me!